Fairy Fail

Charlotte with her first missing tooth and her not so perfect mom


I fail often. As I ponder the areas of my life that need improvement, I am well aware that one of my greatest failures in life is the act of being the Tooth Fairy. Yes, I suck at it.

The thing is, who came up with the brilliant idea that we should wait until the children are sound asleep, creep into their bedrooms, find the tiny little tooth that is hopefully placed in an easy to reach area, then quietly replace the gross tooth, (I’ve never liked touching the teeth that have left the body)….all while not waking our angelic sleeping child and frightening them as they open their eyes to see mommy or daddy in shock staring at them in the middle of the night, and yes possibly scarring them for life?? Talk about creepy.

I first understood I would never be a charming little tooth fairy about 15 years ago, when my eldest decided to challenge the tradition of being left a boring old dollar. I remember getting a quarter when I was a child. I still only give a dollar. I am probably behind on the whole inflation thing. Anyway….

As it usually goes in my house, I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic, realizing I had forgotten my fairy gig. Also as usual I had no cash laying around. Hmmm…..perhaps I should install debit card machines in their rooms? I went to the trusty canister in the kitchen where we dump change, and I scrounged up four quarters. Cool – I’ve got this. I’m the best mom.

So I drag my groggy self to my daughter’s room, hoping it all goes smoothly so I can get back to bed. I find her gross, little tooth in the little pillow with a pocket….but there’s a note. The note reads, “Dear Tooth Fairy, I do not want money. Please leave me a special little treasure to remember you by.” Perfect. You of course know what I did next – what any wise married woman would do. I woke my husband. I’m not the type to let a man snore away as I solve serious issues all on my own in the middle of the night. Our daughter’s self esteem, sense of self worth, confidence, and the ability to function as a healthy human being, could be depending on it.

Long story short – he wrote a cute little note in tiny writing on a tiny piece of paper, signed, Tooth Fairy. I went digging through a keepsake box and found the tiniest little sea shell. My daughter loved it and has gone on to lead a healthy life, all thanks to that almost traumatic evening.

This little story came to my mind as I desperately yanked a ziplock with my current six year old’s tooth in it, out from under her arm last night in bed. She is the sixth child in our family and the baby. So yes, she settles for a ziplock and doesn’t know cute “tooth” pillows exist. Poor thing – clinging to her ziplock bag. I may have to order a pillow today.

By the time I replaced her tooth with a dollar, I had woken her with my shenanigans. Being the excellent, experienced actress I am as the Tooth Fairy, I pretended I found the bag on the floor. She was very excited to see her ziplock now had a dollar in it, and didn’t question why mommy was peering over her bed in the middle of the night with a strange look in my eyes as I handed her the ziplock and told a white lie. Another child’s self esteem saved by my lies. Just trying to make the world a better place.

The list goes on with my tooth disasters. I have forgotten my middle of the night tooth duty more times than I have remembered it. Usually the next day I just tell them the Tooth Fairy has a drinking problem.

I’m joking! When they aren’t looking I sneak a dollar under their pillow and tell them maybe they should check again. Works like a charm, but not sure how those children will turn out in the end.

The joys of motherhood. I’m just thinking……wouldn’t it be easier to just give them each twenty bucks upfront when the whole tooth falling out process begins?