Thursday, May 26, 2022

When our children are little and their teeth begin to fall out, they learn about the Tooth Fairy. The Tooth Fairy is a magical creature that gently flutters into their rooms when they are sleeping; retrieves the tiny tooth and replaces it with some sort of monetary compensation. What the Tooth Fairy leaves under the pillow usually depends upon what the Tooth Fairy finds lying around the house. Sometimes, the precious child receives four quarters, sometimes $5 and sometimes, if times are really stressful and the Tooth Fairy has gotten into a quarrel with its spouse because he forgot to go to the bank, the poor unsuspecting child gets a Ziploc bag filled with pennies.

What are we teaching our children? Not to take insurance and that there is magic in the world (but not necessarily in that order.) Of course there is the time when the Tooth Fairy’s middle child lost his first tooth in Disney World. No one knew he even had a loose tooth, being the middle child and all, so the Tooth Fairy had to buy an over-priced toy from one of the gift shops. Enough said.

When I think of magical fairies, they usually have beautiful wings and they look good in a Tinkerbell costume. Not the case in this house. In this house, we have the Water Fairy. The Water Fairy replaces the water bottles in the refrigerator when her precious children drink all of the water and do not have the energy to get more from the garage because they are so tired from fighting with each other or watching football. Then there is the Laundry Fairy, who magically makes all of the clothing disappear from the various hampers around the house. Abracadabra, the laundry is washed, folded/ironed and magically reappears in drawers and closets. There is the Lost and Found Fairy, which is pretty much self-explanatory. And so on and so on.

This fairy, who I speak of, does not have wings (except when she got a really bad haircut in the ’80s) and does not fit into a Tinkerbell costume. She wears Target pajama pants and a Biggest Loser sweatshirt. She does not flutter around the house; it’s more of a stomping sound, coupled with frustrated sighs and mutters of “why am I the only fairy doing anything around here???”

I know what some of you are thinking. This fairy is a very bad mom. She is not teaching her children any responsibility. They are going to grow up thinking that everything should be done for them. Their wives are going to hate you. The reason why they don’t listen to you is because you spoil them. Yes, you are correct. I am in big trouble. But, in my defense, when the fairy isn’t around and her angels need water or clean laundry or to eat something, they do it on their own. I have been witness to this (because as you know, fairies are magical and are ever present).

There is a method to this fairy’s madness. Boys are different than girls. They rarely want to go shopping or hang out at the mall. They are very black and white. They do not always like to be hugged or shmushed (not a word, but you know what I mean), but they do like their water cold and their laundry clean, so for the short time I have them all home—and man is that going quickly—I want to do all I can for them. Bad mom or not, they are my everything.\

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

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