"Kids asleep?" Alicia asked as Peter entered the kitchen where she was finishing dinner clean up.

"Nope," he said, wrapping his arms around her from behind and planting a quick kiss on her cheek. "Well, Zach is close. He got a shower and brushed his teeth, but he wanted to make it all the way through his book by himself before going to sleep." Alicia and Peter smiled at each other, pleased with their son's love of reading.

"And Gracie?" asked Alicia. Peter made a face, as if conceding failure. "She was really wound up taking her bath. I thought I was never going to get the tangles out of her hair. She wouldn't stand still." He chuckled. "You know how excited kids get about stuff like this."

"Oh I know. Losing that first tooth is a big deal." Alicia said with a soft smile. "How many delay tactics do you think she will try?"

"She's insisting that she needs some water," he said, filling a plastic cup, "and I promised her one more story. But...that should do it." He smiled a knowing smile. "She knows the tooth fairy won't visit until she's long asleep." he said, winking at her as he headed back to Grace's room. Alicia just rolled her eyes and laughed.

With the dishwasher started and the kitchen back in order, Alicia went to check on the kids herself. She approached Grace's bedroom door quietly. Leaning against the frame, she smiled and watched with great love as Peter finished the last bit of ThePokeyLittlePuppy.

He smiled back at her, drawing the final words out in an over-animated test of Grace's awareness. Then, with a satisfied nod and mock exhaustion, he set the book down. Their daughter was finally asleep.

As Alicia entered, Peter whispered, "Be right back." For a moment she stood with her hands in the back pockets of her jeans, staring at the sleeping girl's little face and smiling tenderly. Then she bent over the bed, tucked in Grace's covers, and kissed her daughter's forehead. "Mama loves you, sweet girl."

Next she headed to Zach's room and smirked at the familiar sight. He had fallen asleep while reading again. She picked up some dirty socks on her way to his bed and gently extracted GreenEggsandHam from his fingers. After placing the laundry in his hamper and the book on his shelf, Alicia kissed her son's forehead. "Sweet dreams, Zachy. Mama loves you." she said, running her hand softly over the top of his hair. She turned off his bedside lamp and smiled as he stirred slightly before settling in again on his side.

Alicia met Peter in the doorway of their bedroom, and she couldn't contain a laugh. He stood before her in the same white undershirt, shorts, and bare feet as before, but there were unexpected embellishments now. He had strapped Grace's butterfly wings to his back, and he was holding one of Zach's drumsticks like a wand.

With a mischievous grin and a goofy accent he said, "Excuse me, Madame. You wouldn't have change for a $20, would you? I seem to have misplaced all my small bills. Could you help out an ill-prepared ole tooth fairy?"

Alicia, playing along, replied, "I don't think I do, actually, but let me see what I can find." Then, with one raised eyebrow, a naughty smile, and an amused shake of her head, she popped the elastic strap that held the wings onto her husband's back. "Nice get-up, Mr. Tooth Fairy."

Walking towards her dressing table, Alicia said more seriously, "How much are you planning on giving her?" Peter shrugged and dropped out of character. "What do you think, Babe? A dollar? I mean, when you're five, that's a lot of money still, right?"

Alicia agreed. "I think that's fair for a first tooth. Besides," she said, holding out a dollar bill, "I think that's what we gave Zach, so we should keep it consistent."

Peter smiled and said with sincere admiration, "That's my girl! Always thinking ahead!" Then he grabbed the bill and her hand, pulling her towards him to hug her. She grinned before kissing him softly on the lips.

Peter kissed her back several times in a row, then, breaking up her question, "Did you see" … "where Grace" … "put her tooth?"

"Yeah." he replied, smiling. "I just hope it hasn't shifted under her pillow..."

Still holding Alicia's hand, he spoke in the goofy voice again, "And now we go! A tooth awaits!" Then he playfully crept down the hallway with Alicia in tow. She giggled with him at the silliness of it all and smiled proudly as she watched the exchange of booty in Grace's much-anticipated childhood right of passage.

The End