I love Santa Claus and for the sake of cultural assimilation we celebrate Three King’s Day too. But I have had it with Raton Perez. In a period of two weeks, Along with Christmas and Three King’s duty, I have had to approximate three different visits from Raton Perez (and one was on Christmas Eve”). For those in the non-Latina world, Raton Perez is essentially the tooth Fairy but is a rat who collects teeth to build his house. Charming. But he serves the same purpose in that he leaves a gift and/or money (both seems to be the norm here) as well as the all important note to those who lose their teeth.
All this collective magic, that seems to be my responsibility, became too much weight for me to bare. The last time Raton Perez was scheduled to visit, I forgot. I was awoken at 3 o’clock in the morning by a very distressed Georgie informing me that “He didn’t come, I told you wouldn’t if I didn’t put it under my pillow (she swallowed her tooth, we think, since it is gone from her mouth), he is not coming!!!!” I stuck her in our bed and she went right back to sleep. I groped around in the closet looking for that bag of crap that all parents of young children keep handy for such events. I took a marginal quality white stuffed pony and 4 pesos ($1.25) into the kitchen. With a lot of effort, I found a pencil that had a tip on it and began to write a note, in Spanish. On a good day with coffee, this is a challenge, three in the morning it was not happening. I proceed to write it in English. Knowing that Owen (the continuity police) would notice it wasn’t in Castellano, I explain in the note that due to the high volume of visits that Raton Perez needed to make this night, the notes were written by an assistant Freddy who is from Miami and therefore explaining for the spectacular English. It seemed to work, and as a result I have lightened my load for future visits. This is a good thing because right now, between Georgie and Owen, there are no fewer than 6 loose teeth.