On Saturday, Monkey burst into our room bright and early to let us know that his tooth hadn’t yet fallen out—this being the one next to the one he lost last week, which was flopping all crooked and gross yet refusing to let go—and later we tromped off to the fields for a morning of soccer. Once again, it was gripping, cut-throat competition, with our team ultimately reigning triumphant. And by that I mean that the mom who brought snack had oranges AND Cheez-Its AND granola bars.
I think we won the game, too. I’m not sure. Monkey spent a lot of time acting surprised whenever he was called back into play. “I’m playing AGAIN?” he would ask, looking around as if to say, hey, I’m pulling up some important grass over here, you know, “ALREADY?”
When it was all over we piled back into the car and came home, only to discover that a house had landed on our resident witch.
Oh, wait. That’s not quite right.
What I meant to say is that when it was all over we piled back into the car and came home, only to discover that a tree out front was falling apart all over the street and, um, some power lines up above.
I’m not sure that this picture really captures it, but it was a fairly freaky site to behold, particularly because it’s not as though we were having a hurricane or anything when it happened. It was a beautiful day with the barest puff of wind, and when we left the tree was in one piece. When we got home? Not so much. And now I had several hundred pounds of tree dragging those power lines down right in front of my mailbox, which seemed bad.
The kids oohed and aahed at the sight and I sent them off to play while I called the power company. There are no humans working at the power company on a Saturday, by the way. “Yes, hi, I’d like to report that I have a tree dangling from my power lines? I still have power, amazingly, but I’m thinking you might want to come cut down the piece of tree in question.”
I hung up the phone and paced. What, exactly, was I supposed to do now?
I watched as various neighbors walked out into their driveways to cluck disapprovingly at my misbehaving tree. Periodically I would open the door and wave. “It’s okay!” I’d call out. “I called the power company! So, um, surely we’ll get it taken care of! Thanks for your concern!”
(Otto was away, I guess I should mention. Had he been here I’m sure he would’ve known what to do.)
Eventually one set of neighbors took pity on me and came over to report that they had called their friend who works for the power company, and he’d be over shortly. We stood in the driveway chatting—mostly about how apparently this is what these trees do, just fall to pieces for no reason—until the friend showed up. He hopped out of his truck, looked up, and said, “Yeah. Those are phone lines.”
At this point I was unsure what would happen next. Because it was just the phone and not power, did that mean we could just leave it there?
No, actually now I had two manly men at my disposal, and within minutes there was a chainsaw going and they were cutting down the wreckage while we womenfolk dragged the pieces off to the side. It was sort of like a quilting bee. It was a wreckage bee! Afterwards we all square danced.
We had to stop and have a conversation about whether or not the crazy lady who lives next door would pitch a fit about the pile of branches which we had heaped up in the common area between our properties, so that was fun. I posited that since the alternative was a tree dangling from the phone lines, we were probably okay. (For the record, she was later seen outside scoping out the situation and looking surly, but she didn’t say a word. She can’t! That would ruin her 3-month run of refusing to acknowledge that we exist.)
So that was pretty exciting and all, but afterwards (after thanking the neighbors profusely for their help) life went on. The rest of the day was uneventful. Sunday morning Monkey bit into a frozen pop-tart (breakfast of champions!) and finally his nasty snaggletooth let go, so we cheered and put it on my nightstand for safekeeping. Later we went to church and then in the afternoon I looked around my house and was gripped by how disgusting it was, and I spent the rest of the day vacuuming from top to bottom and mopping and dusting and barking at the children to put their things away.
Eventually the INSIDE of the house was clean, even if the landscaping outside left something to be desired.
It was nearly bedtime when Monkey remembered that he needed to get his tooth out of my room. So he headed in there with a ziploc…
… and couldn’t find it.
I responded to his wailing and came and searched along with him, and in slow-motion television-style several events flashed through my head:
* going in to make the bed *
* deciding the rumpled bedclothes needing a good shaking out *
* fluffing up the sheets and bedspread *
*** gee, do you think that knocked the tooth off the nightstand? ***
* vacuuming everywhere *
* noticing something rattling in the vacuum by my nightstand *
Monkey became distraught and fled up the stairs, wailing that we needed to perform an operation on the vacuum cleaner. I continued to search for a bit, half-heartedly, because I already knew the truth. I had suggested that we could just write the tooth fairy a note explaining what happened, but he was having none of it.
Otto sidled up next to me. “Do you still have his tooth from last week?”
Oh, brilliant Otto! I did, indeed, have the companion tooth. (Yes, I don’t know so don’t ask. I have most of their teeth. It seems wrong to throw them away, even though it seems creepy and gross that I’ve kept them.) It had a ridge up top that the recently-lost one did not, so I managed to snap that extra bit off and then take it upstairs as the “found” tooth. Otto pointed out that if Chickadee had swiped the tooth (she claimed she hadn’t) that this would likely blow her mind. She seemed unperturbed so I guess the vacuum theory was correct.
Then, of course, came ANOTHER problem, because by this time Monkey wanted to write out a whole note and it was time for bed. I gave him two choices: Put it under your pillow without a note or save it for tomorrow, because there’s no time to write a note right now. This caused a fresh meltdown, and after trying to be patient for a while I finally snapped that he’d best make his decision while brushing his teeth and he had 60 seconds to do so.
Otto and I were cleaning up in the kitchen when we overheard the following exchange.
Chickadee: It’s okay, Monkey, you can just write her a note in your MIND!
Monkey: No I caaaaaaaan’t!
Chickadee: Don’t cry, buddy! Sure you can! Just think really hard about what you want to say. The tooth fairy can read minds!
Monkey: But I want to wriiiiiite something!
Chickadee: So just think it out real carefully in your head. Honest. Listen, just think like, “Dear Tooth Fairy, I am a dumbo.”
*here Otto and I clapped our hands over our mouths at exactly the same time to stifle our laughter*
Chickadee: Or WHATEVER. She’ll know.
Monkey: Why would I tell her that I’m Dumbo?
Chickadee: Never MIND.
In the end he opted to wait a night. I tell you what, it’s hard being a little kid.
Hey, at least his tooth didn’t take out a bunch of phone lines.