September 3, 2013

Labor Day Weekend, Part 1: Have Tooth, Will Travel

A year ago, I started a new family tradition:  our Labor Day weekend road trip.  The boys and I take plenty of day trips throughout the year but rarely do we spend the night in a hotel.  It's a big deal when we do get away, even if it's just an hour or two from home.  The boys love staying in a hotel for three reasons:  they can watch television while in bed; they can fix their own breakfast at the continental buffet; and they can swim as much as they want.

When I picked up Henry at school Friday afternoon, he proudly showed me the space where his tooth had been.  He was equally excited about the little container the office gave him to keep the tooth safe for the tooth fairy.  At six and a half, I believe he is one of the last in his class to lose a first tooth.  I'm just a little sad as I was there when this tooth came in and it seems like just yesterday.

We stopped at home to let the dogs out and make the final arrangements for their care while we were gone.  By six o'clock we were on the road with our bags, our snacks and Henry's tooth.  I had a white-knuckled drive through a bad thunderstorm but once we arrived at our hotel all was well.

I was exhausted and wanted to go to sleep as soon as Henry did but his brother had different plans.  Liam wanted to stay up and talk about everything under the sun.  If he didn't close his eyes and go to sleep, how was I ever going to exchange Henry's tooth for his prize?  He had even written a note to the tooth fairy that required a detailed answer.  I couldn't risk Henry waking before I did the next morning--not if I hadn't made the switch.  Please, please, go to sleep, I begged of Liam.  At 10:30, I gave up.  I let Liam continue talking in the dark while I "checked" on Henry.  I don't know what I would have said if Liam had figured out what I was doing.  As it was, I just grabbed the tooth and note from under Henry's pillow, wrote an answer and attached his dollar and a K'nex set, then placed those things in the bathroom.  I couldn't risk having my wide-awake 4 year old see me tucking stuff under his brother's pillow.

At some point, I dropped off to sleep--Liam may have still been talking, I'm not sure.  In the morning, Henry searched under his pillow.  His tooth was gone.  "Mommy, why didn't the tooth fairy leave me anything?  I'm not a bad boy."  UGH.  Why is this stuff so hard?  They make it look so easy on Pinterest.  I didn't want to come right out and tell him to check the bathroom but I did say that his tooth fairy was cousins with the Elf on the Shelf.
 "She's just sneaky, that's all.  I know she left you something, somewhere."
You would think we rented a penthouse suite for all the time it took Henry to find the fairy's note.  Look in the bathroom.  Look in the bathroom.  Meanwhile, Liam kept whining that the sun was in his eyes and  we were talking too loud for him to sleep.  Really?  Really?

All's well that ends well though.  Henry found the note, dollar and toy.  Turns out that his tooth fairy is named Ginger.  She may be sneaky but she's got a heart of gold.  When Henry lost his dollar later that day, she picked it up and flew it all the way back to his home.

Our weekend adventures had just begun.  After breakfast, we went for a swim and then jumped in the car to head towards a nature preserve.  I'm not sure if we got lost because the boys wanted to stop for lunch or if we stopped for lunch because we were lost.  Either way, we tried a new place.  Henry loved the huge menu and Liam loved that the servers wore roller skates.

Good thing we fueled up--there was lots of fun ahead!


  1. Loved this post :) Liam makes me laugh. I can't believe Henry is 6.5. Geez where does the time go? (And when did kids start getting gifts and notes from the tooth fairy? Is that an American thing?) xoxo

  2. Your boys seem so great. I have said this so many times. You are so inspirational how you give your boys these amazing experiences. I hope as my two get a little older I can give mine similar experiences.