Fingernails already crusted with blood, I eyed the trashcan at McDonald’s and thought, “Well, here goes nothing.” I opened the two doors leading to the trash, rolled out the can, and used the two blue gloves kindly given to me by an employee to start picking through the trash.
How did I get here? Let me rewind.
We came to McDonald’s because Squeaker had a late OT session and, frankly, neither of us felt like making dinner. Plus, Squeaker had been bugging us about getting that last Minion, so…you know…here we were. The guy that took our order, Chris, even went searching for the right Minion for us. He didn’t find it, but he took the one out of the display and gave it to Squeaker. Apparently Minions are over tomorrow. Lucky us!
Oh, do you think that’s what I was searching in the trash for? Nope. That’s not it. I kind of went off on a tangent there. Sorry!
Anyway, Squeaker had a loose tooth that he had been working on that afternoon. He had already lost two other teeth in the past year or so that I had been unable to retrieve, so this was kind of significant. This particular tooth was destined to come out on my watch. It was going to go under his pillow and we were going to have a tooth fairy moment. Our first tooth fairy moment.
Finally, after dinner was over, we managed to wiggle that sucker out. It was messy, I got blood under my fingernails, but it was worth it. He was so excited. We talked about putting it under his pillow, the tooth fairy coming, and getting money to buy something special. He thought it was awesome. I was super excited too, because I actually got to participate in the whole baby tooth thing for the first time, after he lost his third tooth. He’s actually lost two teeth in two days, and I got to witness this one, so this is special.
When it was time to go, we cleaned up the table and went to the car. Squeaker got in the car, turned to me, and asked me where his tooth was.
“Crap,” I said, and told The Manager that I left the tooth inside. I prayed that it was still on the table. Please God, let it still be on the table.
I went inside, looked on the table, and my heart dropped. In disbelief, I looked on the floor. Under the seats. I looked everywhere. Anywhere but the trashcan. It can’t be there, right? I wouldn’t throw his TOOTH away! My phone rang. It was The Manager. He told me that if I threw it away, it was probably at the top of the trash can.
So, there it was. I knew if I didn’t find it, it would be a bad night for us at home. Most kids would be devastated if their parents lost their baby teeth, right? But the meltdown mine would go through would be above and beyond that. I had just gotten him really pumped up about this. He was counting on putting that tooth under his pillow. This was special to him. To take that away? I didn’t want to think about the consequence of that. I couldn’t do that. I felt so bad about having been so careless, so there was no turning back now.
So, I stood in front of that trash can and I peered in, hoping it would just be magically lying on the top with an angelic aura of light around it. It wasn’t. Two employees were sitting down eating dinner during their break and asked me if something was the matter. I looked at them, bereft, and said, “Yeeeah…I think I threw my son’s baby tooth away…”
“I think I kind of have to,” I said. “He’s going to be devastated if I don’t.”
“Do you want me to get you some gloves at least?” the female employee asked me.
“That would be great,” I said. “Thank you!”
She brought me some magical blue gloves. The kind of garbage digging, you know? Nice, thin plastic ones. I found the tooth pretty quickly. I did have to maneuver the trash cleverly, though, because it kept trying to fall deeper into the trashcan. But, I saved it. And then I held it into the air like a trophy and said, “I got it!”
They smiled at me and one of them said, “Good” or something like that.
And now Squeaker is sleeping soundly in his room with a tooth under his pillow. Just don’t tell the Tooth Fairy that it’s been in the trash can. I’m not sure if that decreases the value of the tooth or not…
What kinds of crazy things have you done for your children?
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