I just wanted to share something that I think a lot of people are taking for granted. And that’s how to use the Pandemic to your advantage. I recently messed up big time in my job as dad, but I realized that I could blame my mistake (or the mistake of the Tooth Fairy) on covid. I gotta tell you: this is some untapped potential here for parents. This could solve a lot of problems, but I think it works best in the case of mythical creatures. In reality, it’s my fuck ups. So I’d do anything to shuck the blame. You understand. But this is really a great hack!
I really should just admit that I’m a bad dad though. I can’t believe that after years of flawless execution, I screwed up on something so simple. In my defense, my son has been losing a lot of baby teeth lately. Okay, it’s only been two teeth in the last month, but I forgot to put money under his pillow last night. Woops! No problem though. I told him the Tooth Fairy must have gotten coronavirus. Shit like this happens now. You know?
And this isn’t the first time the pandemic has fucked up holidays around my house either. With social distancing and my recent unemployment, I had to take my kids shopping with me for the things that the Easter Bunny usually provided them in secret. But times are tough in the pandemic. When Easter approached recently, I had to let my sons in on a little secret. No. It wasn’t that the Easter Bunny wasn’t real. It was that the pandemic had fucked shit up, and the Easter Bunny had sent me a message saying he needed help this year.
You should know that Easter egg hunts are pretty insane at my house too. I go mega-hunt mode! There’s not just eggs, there’s toys and little cans of soda. Plastic eggs full of money and balloons filled with chocolates. Just to name a few. Up till now, the boys had only painted boiled eggs to then leave out for the Easter Bunny the night before. The Easter Bunny would come the next day and add more prizes and candy to the mix! I never took any credit too. It’s all from some mythical creature. Some kind of legend. I try to preserve my kids’ belief in magic. Not ruin it.
This year, I explained to my young sons that the Easter Bunny had asked me to go shopping for all the things he usually brought. He could send me messages. To my boys it made sense. For me, I just didn’t have anyone to help babysit, and I didn’t feel like paying current rates for child care, just to keep the whole make-believe world going for my kids. Besides, kids are quite good at adapting. I’ve seen that with covid and all the restrictions that came with it. Our kids are better at accepting the changes than adults. It’s pretty cool.
Now, if you are going to try this out you’ll want to ask yourself: Have I even thought about all the things my kids might ask? Kids are pretty observant and adept at pointing out the flaws in our clever stories about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. In case one of my rugrats decided to wake up early Sunday morning, I decided to tell them the Easter Bunny had asked me to hide everything too! He needed to quarantine. My oldest son is too smart for my story to not be consistent.
And before we go any further, just know that I’m not going to discuss the validity of lying to my kids about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. My mom told me at a very young age that it was all a hoax! She was a New Age Boomer, and had decided to go with an honest approach to parenting. In contrast, I like to go full tilt into the illusion. I mean, why not? You only have kids once. They only have childhoods once. And what’s the harm in a little mythology? Some superstition? It only enhances a sense of wonder and magic in kids’ lives. Is that so wrong?
I don’t care what people think in general, but I especially don’t look for approval from outside sources when raising my kids. If you’re a parent, and you haven’t figured out that all kids are different, and that you can’t treat them all the same way, then there’s nothing I can say that will change your mind. Being a parent is one of those things that everyone tries to do the same but never realizes that it’s one of their greatest chances to be truly unique. To strike off from the herd. So to speak. Getting and giving tips to other parents is all well and good, but sometimes you’ve just got to come up with something new. Right there on the spot.
That’s why, when we were going to bed tonight, I decided to give the Tooth Fairy an infectious disease. You see. Last night, my son had put a tooth under his pillow. He’d forgotten about it after that. Me too. When I tucked him into bed tonight, his hand snaked underneath his pillow and a look of puzzlement struck his face. He pulled out his tooth. No money!
“The Tooth Fairy forgot my tooth!” he yelled in startlement. I was slowly realizing that I’m starting to slip in my old age. I had to think fast, but luckily I’d already started a precedent back in April. Bunnies could pass covid to fairies. Right?
“Tooth Fairy must have gotten coronavirus.” I was amazed how easily I said it. With such a straight face!
“Yeah.” Both my kids agreed. It wasn’t just the Easter Bunny. They’ve had tons of things change in this pandemic.
“I’m sorry buddy.” I apologized for the Tooth Fairy. “She’ll probably come get it tonight. Coronavirus has messed everything up.”
“I hate the coronavirus!” My son exclaimed.
“Me too.” I agreed. Hoping he’d still believe in magic. Even though magic can apparently get the flu now. And yeah. I know it’s not like the flu. I just thought it was a cute turn of phrase. Anyway.
It worked. For now. Only trick is I got to make sure to remember to put the money under his pillow after I post this. If he wakes up and catches me, I have plenty of covid credibility to fake him out. I can spin the legends that I grew up with together with the strict policies of today. Even Santa has to get the vaccine. Right? Or else he can’t show up for Christmas this year. Too many houses he’d show up to and cause a surge in cases. Wouldn’t want him spreading anything else besides the Christmas Spirit. That’d be gross.
Maybe it’s time to end the game. Be honest with my kids about the myths I’ve been passing on. Get rid of the lies that had been handed down to me: but I like the game. I like the initiations that keep getting handed down, from one generation to the next. Our own legends. It’s one way that kids today can connect with the way children felt a hundred years ago. Or maybe more. It’s a continuation of culture and identity. But it’s all also new, now. Because of covid. You never knew it before the pandemic, but even fairies can get sick. Don’t worry though. Dads can clean it up. Just got to be full of shit. Like a lot of it.
Categories: Dad's not cool