Work with me, please.


Another one bites the dust.

Mae lost another tooth on Saturday, a stubborn one that she’d been pulling on and wiggling for months and months.  I probably didn’t need to, but I reminded her to place the tooth under her pillow so that the Tooth Fairy could get it.  Lo and behold, Mae crawled in the bed beside me on Sunday morning with a long face.  I was half awake because Jay had nudged me over and crawled into the bed earlier.  Mae opened her hand and showed me her tooth.

Mae, in a pouty voice:  “The Tooth Fairy forgot.”

Me, groggy:  “Maybe the Tooth Fairy had a really busy day.  Put the tooth back under your pillow.”

Mae, still pouty:  “It’s no use.  It’s not going to work.”

Me, still groggy:  “You like to be given second chances, right?  Give the Tooth Fairy a second chance.”

Mae, more pouty:  “It’s not going to work.”

But, Mae did take the tooth back to her pillow.  And, voilà, the Tooth Fairy did visit on Sunday night.  She probably would have forgotten again had I not set an alarm on my cellphone to summon her at 9:30 pm.  Mae was delighted to find five $1 bills and a bag of M&Ms under her pillow this morning.  And, she agreed when I asked her to keep the M&Ms a secret from Jay until I picked them up from camp, at which time I would give him a comparable snack.  She understood when I explained that he had complained recently about not getting everything that (he thinks) Mae gets.

And, since we’re talking about fails, I entered the kitchen on Saturday afternoon to find a strange scene — a stack of bread slices, the jelly jar, and a plastic knife on the counter, and a slice of bread on the floor. 

I was confused because it didn’t look like something Mae or Jay would have done.  They can both create their own brand of havoc, and this scene did not match their M.O.s.  Honestly, I would have pinned it on Hubby, but he wasn’t home (Sorry, Dear.  I’ll explain that later).  I asked, “Who did this?”  Mae looked over from the dining table. “Not me.”  Jay came from the play room when he heard me ask.  “Not me.”  Usually, if they are trying to fake me out, they end up struggling to hide a smile.  If I look at them long enough, the smile breaks and it’s over.  I looked back and forth between them, waiting to see the corners of a mouth twitch.  No twitching.  Mae said again, “It wasn’t me” and went back to her computer game.  I remembered that Jay is my sneaky one and Mae is almost honest to a fault.  I remembered also that Mae is not a fan of sandwiches, and not a fan of jelly.  I turned to Jay, and told him that I would be very disappointed if he wasn’t telling me the truth.  I said, “Are you telling me the truth?”  He nodded yes, with a straight face, no twitching.  I told him that I would be able to help him if he tells me the truth, and not telling the truth would be worse than making a mess.  I asked if he had been trying to make a sandwich, and he nodded, more slowly, yes.  I told him that I was proud of him for trying to make his own sandwich, and that it would have been better to ask for help.  Apparently, the bag ripped when he was trying to open it and the slices fell out.  At that point, he abandoned the project.

I was genuinely more disappointed than upset because although Jay can be a bit impish, he’s good usually about recognizing when he has made a mistake.  To make matters worse, later in the day, he snagged a juice box from the counter that I’d told him was going into his lunch bag.  As he was bringing the empty box into the kitchen to place it in the trash, I turned from the sink and saw him with it.  I think he’d hoped to get it into the trash can without me seeing it.  So, he drank water with his lunch today, or maybe he was just parched, with serves him right for lying and stealing in the same day.  Ok, ok, that’s too harsh.  Maybe this is just a phase, and he’ll think better in the future..

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