Sunday, October 28, 2007

Food Fairies vs. the Gnomes

In all the years I have been raising children I have also been lying to them endlessly regarding where their food comes from, and why it is that I actually still have every tooth that ever came out of their heads (tagged appropriately with dates, filed systematically in my important papers box next to their DNA kits). There is a reason: fairies. It is true - fairies bring my children unexpected food items from time to time, they pay handsomely for teeth, but they also have this little racket going where these same fairies have bribed me, literally holding my children's teeth ransom until I come up with the money they (the fairies) are out for being forced to pay higher costs for THESE particular teeth. Usually, as you know, fairies don't hoard the teeth, they sell them to sellers who recycle them or something - but the fairies in our lives always find me wanting - therefore, they charge me a little extra, making a little on the sides, but the good news is that I get to keep my children's broken, no-longer-worth-a-dime teeth (forever!).

Gnomes are a different story! Gnomes take and take and take. All they ever do around our gardens, or in our refrigerator - where they hang out often - is take the food that use to belong to a particular child. Here's how that works: Reuben would steal Laura's sandwich, place a gnome where the food once held residence, and let his sister find the gnome without her treat, and this was her clue (or que) to start the fight! She would then throw the soft rubber gnome across the room, sometimes hitting her brother, sometimes hitting the dog, often times simply smacking the gnome hard against the wall.

Seeing a gnome in the frig was an automatic bad sign. It ALWAYS meant that someone was going to be upset about a prepackaged piece of cake, perhaps left over Chinese, or that too-good-to-eat-all-at-once steak...GNOME! GONE! Everytime the gnome showed up I was expected to then call in the fairies. Fairies bring food back. Well, not the same bit of digested food, no it usually meant that I had to bribe the fairies to go out and get the food and then I'd have to take my car because fairies aren't licensed in our state to drive. It usually meant that I would be gone for a while, I would be out a bit of cash, and I would be inconvenienced to no end. Who in the hell thought up this method in the first place? I always seem to get the raw end of it!

The day Reuben left for the Army we stopped seeing the little red domed gnome in our cupboards and food never really disappeared again, so I have to assume that the United States Army allows them to enlist. They are REAL - I've seen them. I've witnessed their feats of theft! They DO exist. As do fairies, even though my children have actually never seen one - they believe me, and I believe me, so they have to be out there - right? I mean, the food reappears...sometimes in the same day.

The food fairies have a new assignment now that the girls are moving out - they will be called upon to KNOW what is in the apartment, and to KNOW whether or not they need to replenish the items that could be disappearing. Fairies never let children down, and even if it means I have to continue to drive these beasts to the store and probably end up paying for the replacement food items - I will still allow the fairies themselves to get the credit, because I feel in my heart that my children (who have always depended too much on me at times) should realize that there comes a time that they have to stand on their own! If a fairy wants to help, fine, let the fairy help a little, but they don't need to be crying on my shoulders just because one or the other of them finished off the last of the Silk Chocolate!

Gnome or no gnome, there must be fantasy rescues out there - otherwise we'd all be forced to face reality! Who wants that?

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