“Mom! It came out!, I heard the Little Demon shout as he bounded down the stairs tooth in hand. His second tooth came out today after what seemed like a wiggly lifetime. The excitement plastered on his face was met with my panic of needing to find a $2 bill on Sunday. It was in that moment that my absolute disgust in dealing with childhood myths and legends (well, 99% of them) was solidified.
I can already hear what some of you are thinking; “Let them be kids!”and “Don’t ruin all their fun!”. Oh please. None of these things actually have to do with being a “kid”. I guess if we need to stretch and find a way to make them relevant to childhood; some of these things keep the magic of the world alive. Some. Okay, like two. Other than that, these myths are a pain in the ass. Why exactly are they such a hassle?
The top reason for my loathing of all things childhood myth is the expectation. As if there aren’t enough standards and expectations parents have to deal with now-a-days…we have to live up to the expectation of these make believe people and things. For instance- in our family, The Tooth Fairy always leaves $2 bills. You think it’s a simple and cute until it’s 11pm on Sunday and you realize you need a $2 bill. Santa goes big every year? Got to keep it going so they don’t think Santa likes them less or that they are “naughty”. I think there are many different positive ways to celebrate seasons or times of the year. Volunteering for selflessness during the winter (Thanksgiving and Christmas), Planting trees or flowers or cleaning up local parks to celebrate spring (Easter). Instead of making everything about gifts and being given things by make believe things, there are many lessons and character building opportunities year round to be taught by the actual people in his life.
II. The Concept and Motive
I don’t understand the “motive” of most of the American Holiday personas. I don’t need stuffed elves to keep my Mini Demon on his best behavior. That’s what I, his parent, is for. I absolutely don’t need a giant fat man who flies with reindeer to get the appreciation for the gifts I work hard to tuck under the tree, or the concept that Christmas is all about getting gifts. (I celebrate Yule, but currently entertain Christmas per my parents request). Don’t even get me started on the concept of a massive bunny who hides eggs for no reason (bunnies don’t even lay eggs!). What is hiding colorful eggs teaching Mini Demon? There are plenty of other fun Spring related things we can do. Being a Heathen/Pagan household, I understand some of the holidays observed in America are based on traditions from the old ways- but some of these have been molded to fit religion making them even less appealing to me. Religious or not, I still don’t encourage some creepy lady taking my kids teeth for money…
III. The Execution
Mini Demon got out of bed three damn times for no reason. He’d than “go to the bathroom” or “need a drink”. Each time I’m sure he searched frantically under his pillow for what the Tooth Fairy left. When he finally fell asleep, the act of removing the snack sized ziploc bag from his demonic death grip, was like a scene out of National Treasure. Every tiny tug made his breathing shift or hand move. It’s like the nightmare that is called Elf on the Shelf. You have to make a mess that you inevitably also have to clean up- what?!? I do enough cleaning throughout the day, I don’t need to have something stuffed and make-believe be the culprit of even more messes. While the idea of recreating some of the cute holday pins I see on Pinterest is almost appealing to me….it’s just so much work!
IV. The Payoff (or lack thereof)
After all is said and done comes the hardest part- acting surprised. I have never been the mom who is good at the surprised act, or excited act. I also am not good at the “Oh Im so happy!” act because the payoff of 99% of these made up things is me cleaning up a huge mess like plastic easter grass and wrapping paper. While I try really really hard to give him the reaction he seeks-after being up all night trying to steal a tooth, the last thing I want to do is listen to how awesome the bone stealing night creature is.
I am counting down the days until Mini Demon is wise enough to realize that all of this is just made up so I can begin teaching him what in my opinion is the importance of holidays and seasons. Until then, I will continue to be a fat man, an egg laying bunny and a bone craving winged sprite.