We are the worst tooth fairies. Ever. Worst ever. I think we really are the worst ones in the history of people being tooth fairies. I know some of you are thinking that YOU actually get that distinguished title, but I am pretty sure it is we who win. I see comments all the time on Facebook about my friends claiming to be terrible tooth fairies. Let me assure you. We may have successfully exchanged tooth for money on the first night ONE time in our 10 years as parents. One. And that is being generous and assuming we surely pulled that off once.
Kaitlyn recently lost a tooth. She excitedly put her tooth under her pillow. The next morning–nothing. Oops. Not the first, second, or even third time this has happened. Luckily, it was a Saturday night she had put it under the pillow.
“Oh…the tooth fairy doesn’t work on Sunday. She must have run out of time before it turned midnight.”
Sure, that makes sense.
Then the next night, we forgot. Again.
“Last night was Sunday again!”
This went on for a couple more nights…except it wasn’t Sunday anymore. We had no explanations that made sense. Kaitlyn started to get very sad. We eventually made it, but not without making a little girl wonder why the tooth fairy wouldn’t come.
We have many-a-time slipped into the room at 6 AM in an feeble attempt to play tooth fairy then. Um, that doesn’t work by the way. The child wakes up and wonders what you are doing digging around under the pillow. We have “looked first” to see if the tooth fairy came since we were “so excited.”
Just last week, Kaitlyn lost a different tooth. I helped her pull it out. I went to the sink and rinsed it off and lost it DOWN THE DRAIN. But in reality, that has only made my life easier because no tooth equals no child wondering when the tooth fairy is coming.
Brayden quickly was on to us. Very quickly. We just started secretly exchanging his tooth fairy money for the tooth as soon as the tooth came out. Oh yes, it is true.
Where did this tooth fairy thing come from anyway? I have been doing some reading around the good old reliable internet and found that the history is spotty and varied. It seems the tooth fairy as traditionally used in the United States is some merger of a couple of different mythological characters from various parts of the world.
I totally get the benefit of a tooth fairy. Pulling a tooth out hurts and it is scary. The child’s mouth bleeds quite a bit. Having a fun thing to look forward to like a visit from a tooth fairy can definitely boost the courage of children and make them more willing participants in the tooth-loosing process.
But, to be honest, I just really like the “Here Brayden, you get a dollar” approach we have going and I am ready to introduce Kaitlyn to that secret club. Sidenote–I have always felt we are very generous with our one dollar per tooth payment plan. I would even say overly generous since I was paid a mere .25 cents. But apparently the national average three years ago was $3.70, and that figure goes up each year so we are no doubt terrible miser tooth fairies. A recent figure puts it closer to $5.00. Which just further bolsters my claim as being the worst tooth fairy ever.
I enjoy the magic of childhood. It is fun for them to believe in make-believe characters and my husband and I have no problem with that. I don’t blame anyone who does (and I certainly am with you on the tooth fairy!). Why are we doing this to ourselves? Couldn’t we just say, “Hey child! Look at you pulling that tooth out. Let’s have a special dessert tonight!” or even, “Here is a dollar! Don’t spend it all in one place.” Then we can save ourselves the sneaking into rooms and trying to remember to play tooth fairy before falling asleep at night.
Do you do the tooth fairy? Are you successful? What do you pay? Any funny tooth fairy stories?