Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mommy Math

Dear Tooth Fairy,
  As you are doubtless aware, Bar has begun working on the last of his four baby teeth.  These four teeth will bring on hours of agony, ill-humor, and general malcontent.  And for what, dear Tooth Fairy?  Why must you pick on my sweet little boy?  A little guy who, on Christmas morning, upon seeing the shiny red trike under the tree waiting for him did not run headlong into the living room with wrapping-tearing, "gimme gimme gimmes" but retired to the hallway to weep quietly, overwhelmed by the magnitude of change that took place overnight.  It was a full 30 minutes before he could be coaxed onto his tricycle and convinced to scoot to the oven door to take a look at his reflection. There, after a few seconds, he managed a breathless and nearly inaudible, "Mine?"  This humble, gentle soul needed to be blessed with giant man-sized teeth?  Yes, yes, they are lovely and white and straight.  And, yes again, he has a most winning smile.  But these pearly whites are going to fall out, Tooth Fairy; they're going to fall out.  What good will they have done any of us?
  I confess that I won't be sad to not have you darken my door again for years.  But oh, oh, how I will be waiting for you when you return.  Don't even think about slinking in here with only a silver dollar and a pamphlet on oral hygiene when these hard-won teeth start to turn up under Bar's pillow.  Oh no.  Think elaborate, Tooth Fairy, elaborate and expensive.  And don't forget the gifts for me.  Shiny gifts.  Dream vacation gifts.   Return of the lost nights of my late twenties gifts.  I'm a thoughtful sort, so I'll help you with the math. 
  Let's assume my base hourly rate is $50/hr.  Sleep time starts at 7 PM and ends at 7 AM; I'll be super generous and not bill you for the weeks of 5 AM wake-ups or the not quantifiable level of exhaustion between 7 AM and bed time.  There will be a total of 20 teeth, once these four are in, and each has taken about two weeks of sleepless nights to break through.  That's 3,360 teething hours.  At straight time, you'd owe me $168,000.  But, factoring in penalties - time and half after midnight and before 6 AM and double time on Sundays (you'll again note my magnanimity in not charging you meal penalties, over 40, or compounding penalties) - it turns out you owe me significantly more.  By my estimation, I have $228,000 in cash and prizes coming my way.  Bring it, lady.  Bring it.