Saturday, July 08, 2006

Eudora Enamel

Natalie hit a major 5-year-old milestone this week when she lost her first tooth. She was so proud. Of course this sort of thing is as important to a 5-year-old kid as completing construction of the first space shuttle was to NASA. It's no small accomplishment. So naturally, we celebrated in style.

Natalie was looking forward to the tooth fairy. During the days leading up to the big loss, she would wiggle her tooth back and forth, each morning exclaiming over her toast that she thought it wiggled just a little bit further today than it did yesterday. It finally came out in the middle of lunch at Rotelli's Pizza. The waitress kindly provided her with a little take-home salad dressing cup to carry it in, which Natalie cradled like a young ring bearer cradles a wedding ring on a pillow.

That night, we explained to her the rules of a Tooth Fairy visit. Natalie had to go right to bed, with the tooth tucked under her pillow. In the morning, the tooth would be gone, and in its place a gift in exchange. You see, the Tooth Fairy uses the teeth she gathers to build her castle. And, while the going rate of construction is about a buck a square tooth, a new kid opening up a new castle building account got an extra bonus with that first tooth (can you tell we've been dealing with this renovation a little too long?).

While we were explaining all this to her, my cell phone suddenly vibrated. Or, at least Natalie thought it did. I proceeded to have an imaginary conversation with our local Tooth Fairy, who was calling for directions to our place. When I asked the Tooth Fairy for her name, she told me it was "Eudora Enamel". She also told me that, although her castle was complete, she was looking for more teeth to build a hot tub and would be willing to pay a little extra for some prime Pittsburgh Chompers. She explained that I should lock the doors, but make sure nothing was in the way of the fireplace because that's how she would get in. I told her to be careful, because the chimney's been raised about 4 feet higher because of the renovation, and I didn't want her cracking her skull open in the dark.

After Natalie went to bed, we sat down in front of the computer and made up a nice pink envelope, with a picture of Eudora and a personalized message ("keep on brushing!") and snuck a few bucks under her pillow. The next morning, our little hockey player was beaming with pride, toothless grin a mile wide, waving her envelope in the air. She told us that at first she didn't believe the tooth fairy was real, wbut when Eudora ACTUALLY CALLED, well, she knew everything was kosher.

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