I love dressing up but not the dressing up where you have to wear fancy clothes, panty hose and/or painful shoes. I guess that’s why I’ve always loved Trick or Treat. It’s a time when kids (and some adults) dress in costumes and pretend to be something they totally are not.
Several months ago, I was asked by a dear school teacher to come to his class during Dental Health Month as the Tooth Fairy. (He asked me at church.) I was so excited! I told him I would L-O-V-E to but that I would probably be over the top. He said, “We love ‘over-the-top,’” and smiled. I skipped down the hall, even though we’re not supposed to skip in the church. I could barely sleep that night, or the next, or the next…
I KNEW that I would not be the beautiful Tooth Fairy like I had seen before. But, I could be the goofy Tooth Fairy, maybe an older but fun version! I was already picturing a wig, and eyeglasses! I didn’t want ANYONE to know it was me! I would have to be completely disguised!
A sweet lady at church redesigned an old-but beautiful-prom dress my friend Anita, had loaned me a few years ago at Halloween. (I’d dressed up like the Tooth Fairy then, but had never given it back!) She added sheer-y sleeves that poofed up like a fairy or princess’ sleeves would and added some other cool stuff. It was a beaut! I wanted to wear it around the house all the time but was afraid the neighbors would see me.
My hair is grayish brown-not very fairy-like at all except for the Godmother. I was pondering wig options.
A special friend of mine has very red hair. She’s nine. One day, while she was smelling “silly air” at our office, I asked her what color she thought the Tooth Fairy’s hair was. “Red!” she cheered without a pause. It was sealed: my Tooth Fairy wig would be bright red! I ordered pink cat-eye glasses to complete the ensemble. (I hope you are picturing this!)
Dental Health Month is in February. It snowed every Friday we planned for the Tooth Fairy to go to the school! We re-scheduled again and again.
Finally, there was a break in the weather!
I checked into the office, wand and tooth paste in hand. Older kids pointed and laughed as I waited. “Brush your teeth!” I called after them.
The first graders were all gathered in the library, awaiting a special guest. I was just about sick to my stomach. (So many of my ideas are better in my head!)
I told them I was one of the Tooth Fairy’s “helpers”. We talked about why we should take care of our teeth and how to do it. We danced and sang songs about brushing-the usual things the Tooth Fairy or her “helper” would say. Then, when I thought we were finished, one of the teachers said the kids wanted to ask some questions. I hadn’t thought of that!
The little girls loved my pretty dress. Someone up front asked, “Do you have on tooth earrings?” And, yes I did! (I work for a dentist. Of course, I have tooth earrings!) One first-grader asked if I knew Santa. I pondered that. I DO know at least one guy who has dressed up as Santa! “Why, yes!” I said. “And I know Mrs. Santa, too!” I had suddenly remembered that “Mrs. Santa” in the Christmas parade was another pastor’s wife in the community!
“What does it look like where you live?” asked one student. Whew! That one was easy! “There’s lots of snow where I live,” I told him. (I live in a hollow and there was still snow everywhere!)
One little girl in the front row said, “I thought you were smaller.” I got so tickled! “Well, I used to be smaller,” I started, “but with all this snow, I’ve eaten a whole lot of Pop Tarts!” I asked if any of them liked Pop Tarts. They did.
Before they went back to their rooms, we took a class photo. One little girl, who seemed much older than her years, had been very wiggly the whole time. She came over to me and smugly asked, “If you’re the real Tooth Fairy, then what color is my house?” She gave me a knowing look.
“You know what color your house is…” I said not sure how this was going to end.
“What color is it?” she asked again bobbing her head with attitude.
“Katie*, you better get in line. Your class is leaving,” I told her as I pointed to her classmates.
She snapped her head around. “How did you know my name?!” she blurted out completely shocked.
“Of course, I know your name,” I answered with a smile and wink. (Her teachers had called her down several times!)
The first-graders traded places with the kindergartners and we did it all over again. When I got to the car, I caught a glimpse of myself in the windows-pretty rough! With all the dance-brushing, I looked like I’d been out all night delivering tooth money! My glasses were intact, but my wig was crooked. I hoped none of the kids would have bad dreams!
*Name changed, of course!
Dawn Reed is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.