I don’t know what’s going on with the Tooth Fairy these days, but on numerous occasions and for both my children she has forgotten to drop in, collect the tooth and leave some cold, hard cash behind.
My kids are so used to it by now, they take the disappointment in stride. Of course, my husband and I cover for the forgetful Fairy, insisting she was probably just busy. We’re certain she’ll come again if we place the tooth under the pillow one more time. And, usually, she does.
But, really, what kind of Tooth Fairy does that?
A lazy, good-for-nothing, crummy one that’s who.
I blame my husband. He’s in charge of special projects—book reports, the odd solar system science project, the miscellaneous oral presentation. And mythical creatures fall under that category. I handle the day-to-day stuff—the nightly homework, the shuffling to extracurricular activities, the constant scheduling and rescheduling of three lives (mine plus two kids), and I just can’t cram one more thing into my already over-stuffed brain. I know I’ll it mess up. That’s why I put Kevin on the job.
Most of the time Kevin’s pretty reliable, but every now and then he slips up. Last week was one of those times. It happened at the end of a very loooong wait for an extremely wiggly tooth to fall out. Our daughter placed the tooth under her pillow, but the next morning when she awoke to snatch up her pillow and claim her prize, she found the little white tooth in the same spot she had left it and no remuneration where it should be.
Kevin had already left for work, and I felt awful the stupid Tooth Fairy bungled this one again after such a highly anticipated event. That bicuspid had perpetually dangled from the kid’s upper jawbone for weeks, practically threatening to jump. When it finally did, it didn’t pay off.
As Kate, slowly slunk off down the stairs, head bowed, dragging her teddy bear behind her, I knew the moment to act was upon me. I snuck into her room and overcompensated for the Tooth Fairy’s oversight. Slipping $2 under a different pillow, I planned to fool her into thinking she just missed the money the first time around. Later when Kate found the money along with the tooth, I speculated Tooth Fairy must not have been able to find the tooth in the dark.
Kate was quite happy with her new found circumstances because ordinarily the Tooth Fairy leaves a dollar per tooth. She doubled her money on that little mistake, which is a pretty good return on investment. I actually think $1 is a rather generous sum for a little, non-functioning, plaque-encrusted tooth. I not really sure what value a tooth has once it’s been detached from the head. Even if it has worth, why would anyone pay for someones used teeth? They seem to be worth a couple of cents if anything. But that’s just me. My husband likes to liberally compensate our children for anything that falls out of their heads.
I did handsomely reward our child for her troubles, and we dodged the bullet this time. But nighttime stealth tooth-gathering is a tricky, high stakes, time-sensitive mission destined to be repeated 19 or so more times before all the adult teeth grow into our kids’ mouths. Which means the Tooth Fairy really needs to step up his game.