Yesterday didn’t go so well.
My last child lost his front tooth when he was staying with grandma last weekend. Chad and I were in California, and Locke waited until we came back and got home. Then he put his tooth under his pillow, but the tooth fairy didn’t show up Sunday night.
The tooth fairy has forgotten before, and it hasn’t been that big of a deal. But she had messed with the wrong kid this time.
I spent the next 30 minutes of my day snuggling a distraught Locke, trying to answer “Why didn’t she come!?!” to his satisfaction. I started off with an honest approach, “Maybe she just forgot?” or “Maybe she was on vacation?” But when honesty wasn’t working, I launched into at least 20 plausible reasons why the tooth fairy did not make an appearance. Everything from “Maybe she was sick?” to “Maybe her wings were broken?” to “Maybe she ran out of money?” With each scenario he screamed back, “That’s impossible! She’s magic!” He finally settled down when I suggested, “Maybe she doesn’t work on Sundays?” or “Maybe she thought you were still at Grandma’s house?”
When the tooth fairy fire seemed to be put out, the next fire started. Another child came into my room and barked, “What’s for breakfast?” When I told him “cereal” you would have thought I just asked him to eat poo. He was so disappointed in me and wanted me to “Make breakfast!” I explained how I had laundry and unpacking to do. There were suitcases and bags everywhere. The counters were covered from unloading the car, and I wasn’t going to make a mess on top of another one. Monday was Misc. day any way for breakfast so cereal was fine every once in awhile. He pouted, he cried, he shamed, and he kept sayin, “It’s not that hard [to make breakfast].” And I kept saying, “Then go do it.” He was made at me for not making him a better breakfast, and I was mad at him for being disrespectful and ungrateful.
The morning continued on a rough road with tons of fighting between the kids, continual disobedience, tantrums and even a dash of dishonesty.
By 11:00 am, no one was ever going to get to have a sleepover anywhere ever again.
By 2:00 pm, they were all going back to public school next year.
And by 4:00 pm, I was canceling the Easter bunny’s visit.
Luckily, I had a bit of reprieve by late afternoon and dinner. We regrouped in the car as we drove to Crew’s basketball game. We sang church songs and all settled down a bit. We even passed a lone “popcorn tree” as we sang “Popcorn Popping”. Crew won his game and life seemed promising as we were headed for post game / family night ice cream treat.
But on the way home after the game, the fighting commenced again. Purposeful and intentional annoyance and physical violence, resulted in 2 children not getting the treat. I sat out in the car with two sobbing kids while the others got their ice cream. One child continued to scream for 30 minutes as we drove home.
He went to bed first. The others managed to still get in Family Scripture Study, but everyone was sent to bed with no snuggles or bedtime stories or songs. I was done.
As I kissed them all good night, I said, “Let’s try again tomorrow.” I plopped in to bed without even taking my make-up off.
I was beat, but I wasn’t broken because I knew I could begin again tomorrow.
As a mother and a woman, I am so grateful for so many opportunities to start over.
Each new year, each grade, each season, each month, each week, and even each day is a chance to begin again.
Today is a new day. I will begin again.
(And the tooth fairy actually showed up last night so I’m worlds ahead of yesterday.)