Adventures Of Fatherhood

Adventures Of Fatherhood
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The tooth fairy has been a frequent visitor of late, and, according to a recent survey, we are cheap.

To date, the tooth fairy has visited Beckett’s seven times, and it appears Carson will soon be getting a few visits as well.

Pam and I decided pretty early on we were not going to overthink the whole concept of how much the Tooth Fairy would leave under the pillow. We decided a $2 bill would suffice per tooth.

Beckett thinks it’s cool because it’s a rare bill these days and seems content with it, although every now and again he will come home with reports of so and so getting a $5 bill per tooth with a certain upcharge for the front two. He even reported a friend getting $20 per tooth, an amount I think is beyond ridiculous.

When I was a kid, I remember getting quarters. I don’t recall the exact amount but I know it was in the form of change. Therefore, I thought Pam’s idea of doing the $2 bill was generous without going too far. However, I learned this week we apparently are below the average mark.

According to Visa’s annual Tooth Fairy survey, which I can’t believe is a real thing but it is, the going rate for a tooth in America is $3.19. At that average, a child can expect to receive about $64 by the time he or she loses all baby teeth. The survey even breaks it down into geographical areas with $3.56 reported as the average for the northeast, which Maryland falls into in this case.

Additionally, the survey found 32% of parents report the Tooth Fairy is leaving $1 under their child’s pillow; 5% of American children receive $20 or more; and 10% report their child gets nothing from the Tooth Fairy.

I read the survey with interest and kept waiting to read the statistic that interests me the most because we are not coming off our $2-a-tooth rule. I wanted to know how many households reported the tooth fairy as being a no show, which is our greatest fear. Maybe that explains that 10% receiving nothing.

Fortunately, while knocking on wood here, we have not forgotten yet, but I do have a bevy of excuses ready should that ever occur.

Although they drive me crazy most of the time when they are together, there are glimpses of what may be coming down the road with our sons.

As he has matured some, we have been talking to Beckett about how he needs to be a guardian of sorts for his little brother because of his special needs. Most of the time he’s not too crazy about that idea and sometimes remarks how he would prefer to be an only child or how he wishes he had a “normal” brother.

That’s obviously hurtful, but there are little examples along the way that show he understands what we mean when we tell him he needs to protect and care for his brother in a unique way as his older brother.

For example, at Jolly Roger’s water park last week, Carson was going through a rough period in the afternoon when he badly needed some downtime. That was impossible with all the other kids and all the other options for fun around him. As we were walking away from the group and toward another slide, Carson wiggled free from my hand and took off. For a few seconds, I couldn’t find him amid all the people. There’s no panic like that for a parent of a non-verbal child. Fortunately, Beckett was nearby and showed me that Carson was behind a stack of rafts. Later I let Beckett know that’s exactly what we hoped he would do.

Later on, I was eavesdropping on a conversation Beckett was having with his little brother. It was obviously one-sided but Beckett can usually fill in the empty space because he’s an accomplished chatterbox.

Apparently, Carson spotted a group of chickens in our neighbor’s yard and started knocking on the window. Here’s how the conversation went:

Beckett: Yeah Carson there’s those chickens again from down the street.

Carson: [Making the scariest face he could muster and banging on the windows]

Beckett: Oh you’re trying to scare them away. They can’t see you in here.

Carson: [Sprinting toward the side door to get outside]

Beckett: No, no, let’s just stay inside here and pretend we are chickens. Oh, I know, I know, let’s do the chicken dance. Now grab your ankle and do this.

Carson: [After falling down a few times trying to pull off the dance moves, he heads back toward the door and tries to open it.]

Beckett: Daddy, Carson’s trying to get out and I don’t know how long I can hold him.

I was standing right there observing the whole thing and got a bit distracted watching the brothers interact and forgot about the whole parenting responsibility.

Fortunately, I snapped out of it before Carson could get the door open and all was good. I really enjoy watching these two communicate and give the big brother in the house a lot of credit for how far he has matured in that regard.