Tag Archives: children

Parents Beware Latest Childhood Myth: The Doughnut Fairy

Doughnut Creative CFrom the series: Life on Dog Hill

My twelve-year-old son Ryan lost his last baby tooth a couple of days ago. I was out at the time and didn’t get home until after he was in bed, but he remembered to tell me the next morning. He had the tooth in a sandwich bag, which he dangled in front of my face before I’d even had my first cup of coffee. Ewww.

“So, what can I get for this I wonder?” he asked, cutting his eyes up at me for a reaction.

“Hmmm, I don’t know,” I responded. “It’s got a silver cap.”

“Those should be worth more,” he added quickly. “You know, silver and gold….”

Truth is, I was never a good tooth fairy. I never stayed awake long enough to safely slip into the kids’ rooms unnoticed. Without fail, the following morning I would always forget to collect the tooth and deposit the money while they were still sleeping. Poor little Ryan was no exception. I can’t even count the number of times I would remember while he was eating breakfast to rush upstairs, grab the tooth, and put a buck or two under his pillow.

“That’s funny,” he said after one such occasion. “When I woke up, nothing was here. I eat breakfast and the tooth fairy comes. How exactly does that work?”

“Even Ms. Tooth Fairy can run late you know,” I replied in all honesty. “Now hurry up and brush your teeth. You don’t want to miss the bus.”

The whole tooth fairy concept came to a traumatic crossroads when I was out of town on business and hubby called to tell me Ryan needed a button for a school project.

“Put him on the phone,” I said. “I’ll tell him exactly where to look.”

I directed Ryan right to the covered dish in my closet where I kept extra buttons. What I forgot at the time was that particular dish also contained several sets of baby teeth.

“MOM!” he practically screamed in my ear. “Why do you have all these teeth in here?”

I visualized him holding up the little bags to read the name identifying whose mouth it once belonged.

Another example of Tooth Fairy FAIL.

Realizing my blunder, I felt somehow relieved to think my tooth fairy days were finally over. This was obviously the time to come clean and tell Ryan the truth. Maybe I could clear up details about the Easter Bunny too. And Santa, of course. I took a deep breath and began…

“Well, Ms. Tooth Fairy has to carry a lot of teeth around and they get pretty heavy,” I offered. “Besides I like to save special momentos from your childhood, so I told her I’d like to keep your teeth. After she picks them up from you, she slips them under my pillow.”

Where did THAT come from, I asked myself in disbelief. It goes without saying that I’m not very good at revealing the truth behind popular childhood myths. One more year, I thought.

Ryan is a smart kid. He’s smart enough to know that if he plays along with Mom, he’ll get money under his pillow. He accepted my lame response and changed the subject.

Still, the tooth fairy adventure was down hill from there. After several Tooth Fairy no-shows, Ryan suggested the Doughnut Fairy instead. Essentially, whenever an unreliable fantasy gift-giving character falls down on the job, the Doughnut Fairy whispers in Ryan’s ear that hot doughnuts from the Krispy Kreme three miles down the road would be an appropriate substitute. I’ve made quite a few trips, needless to say.

I’m not sure what Ryan expects for his last baby tooth. He packaged it up nicely and turned it over to me for safekeeping. However, since the Easter Bunny got lost last Sunday on his way to Dog Hill, even Ryan knows two dozen doughnuts in one week is unacceptable. For the moment all is quiet, but I know that damned Doughnut Fairy is hovering nearby. I imagine that, until Ryan collects on his last baby tooth, it’s drawing interest, too. Lots of interest….

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Drowning Piglet Dream Represents Need for Parental Respect


Oink! Oink! I need some R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

From the series: Life on Dog Hill

I woke from a dream this morning that I rescued a piglet from drowning in a clear puddle of water. As I scooped it up, I immediately put its little pink body next to mine and hoped, with all my might, it was still breathing. When I peeked inside my cupped hands, it was rooting around for milk. I smiled.

The dream continued as I searched for a nearby farm where it might have belonged. When I crested the hill, everything had been clear cut and heavy machinery was leveling the rich, brown earth. I rubbed my new friend’s belly and it squealed with delight. It was then I brought the piglet home and named it Prince. Prince Pig.

To celebrate, I gave Prince a bowl of milk with crackers.

Upon waking, I was amused with the dream and my desire to keep the piglet. For starters, in real life hubby and I are focused on simplification. Through the process of attrition, Dog Hill has gone from five sons living at home to two. We’ve gone from five dogs to three. And finally, while we once had a dozen or so chickens, we now only have four — and they don’t even lay eggs anymore!

When I was sixteen, I studied dream interpretation with my Episcopal priest who had learned about dreams in seminary. Using his method to understand the piglet dream, this was what I got.

There’s a struggling, infantile part of me that doesn’t really belong; yet, I’ve accepted it and all the responsibility that comes with it. I’ve given it a grand name, indicating that what is currently my liability will someday be my crowning glory.

I like it. After all, doesn’t everyone suffer from a struggling, infantile part of self?

Then I hopped over to DreamMoods.com to get their take on it. Not good. Apparently, pigs represent lots of negative, dirty things. Even if you like pigs, according to their definition, it has a negative connotation. Not to be deterred, I thought about other aspects of the dream… for instance, the pink flesh of the piglet stood out to me. Pink represents sweetness, affection, and kindness. And then there’s the fact that I rescued the pig from drowning so I looked up rescue. This was where things got interesting…

“To dream that you…rescue others represents an aspect of yourself that has been neglected or ignored. You are trying to find a way to express this neglected part of yourself. In particular, to dream that you rescue someone from drowning indicates that you have successfully acknowledged certain emotions and characteristics that is symbolized by the drowning victim.”

Very similar to my first interpretation, no?

When I was studying dream interpretation as a teen, my priest always reminded me that no one knows better than the dreamer what a dream means. He emphasized that, after all the analysis is said and done, it was up to me to decipher the higher meaning.

With that in mind, I thought about yesterday. In particular, I recalled the big argument I had with one of my nineteen year old twins. His words and behavior left me feeling hurt and vulnerable. I cried silent tears because I didn’t feel loved. Did I mention that according to DreamMoods.com, a piglet could represent children?

So where does all of this analysis paralysis leave me?

Ultimately, I believe it all boils down to me. I am aware of the aspects of myself that struggle and feel out of place. Insecurity as a parent comes to mind even though I know I’m not the only parent second-guessing myself. Then there’s my journey as an indie author, analogous to occasional bouts of insecurity. And, while my first instinct is to rid myself of insecurity, I realize that is not possible. Insecurity is a part of human experience and I will always be a parent. I will always be a writer.

That’s where acceptance and responsibility come in. My son was disrespectful to me but I accept that he’s going through the natural phases of young adulthood. I also understand the need for nurturing myself so that I stay healthy and happy. Last night I had a big glass of wine even though what I really wanted was love and respect from one angry, belligerent son.

Finally, at the end of the dream, I raised the piglet to the stature it deserves — Prince! After all, I am a dotting mother and all of my sons are royalty in my mind. Even when they’re angry.

Image found here.

Gentlemen beware… Momma’s home and she’s not happy!

Dog Hill

From the series: Life on Dog Hill

I recently returned home after four days and more than 1,300 miles on a soccer road trip with two of my sons. It was just after 4:00 a.m. when we pulled into the drive. I’d insisted on driving over night because I had to get the kids back to school. Missing one day of school for this tournament was enough.

I let the boys out in the drive and pulled into the garage to park. A minute later, they’re lumbering past me toward the interior garage door.

“Front door locked?” I asked in surprise, since everyone knew we were expected home in the wee hours.

“Yep,” they echoed, trying the garage door and finding it locked as well. “Do you have a key?”

“Negative,” I answered. “I can hardly keep up with the car fob. You got a key?” I asked hopefully.

Loud knocking on the door was my answer. Dogs barked and moments later we heard someone yelling for us to wait.

My husband opened the door, welcomed us home and turned to go back up the stairs to bed. The boys followed while I grabbed my bag and closed the garage door.

“I am NOT sleeping in my room tonight,” Ryan said, meeting me at the stairs.

“Why not?” I asked, guessing at the answer. “Is there dog poop in there?”

Ryan didn’t respond but followed me to the top of the stairs. I looked into his room to see the floor covered in dog bombs.

“Seriously?” I asked in disbelief as my husband poked his head back out of the bedroom. I looked at him with disdain. “Seriously?” I asked again. “There must be twenty dog poops in there!”

“I didn’t know!” he said.

“What do you mean you didn’t know! You didn’t know that dogs have to go outside to shit? Give me a freaking break!” I said, anger boiling up. Then, realizing I was just too tired to care, I told Ryan to get his jams on and climb in bed with us.

When I got up the next morning to make sure the kids got off to school, I was equally disappointed with the kitchen.

“I cooked twice while you were gone,” my husband said. “And you thought I wouldn’t feed the boys.” He chuckled at his joke.

“I can see by the dirty pots and pans still on the stove that you cooked,” I retorted.

“I’m pretty sure Serg cleaned the kitchen once,” my husband said, in a feeble defense.

“Really? He cleaned the kitchen once in four days? And what did you and Nate do? Watch?” I asked.

“We missed you a lot,” he added.


I’m a strong believer that a family that cleans house together, stays together. So I’m making a “to-do” list and it’s non-negotiable. It starts with shampooing the carpet because picking up the dog poo and flushing it down the pot is just not enough.

Gentlemen, beware… Momma’s home and she’s not happy!