The Tooth Fairy is retiring from this home. My tween lost her last baby tooth this weekend, and thus the Tooth Fairy's days of exchanging teeth for cash in the dark of night have come to an end. So, I'm hanging up the Tooth Fairy wings, throwing myself a retirement party and looking back on the parts of this job that I won't miss.
1. Inflation. To the parent who was paying $10 per tooth, I say, "Bite me." (Yes, I know, bad pun.) What happened to getting a couple quarters? I realize that prices have gone up since I was a kid, but seriously, I'm not shelling out a Hammie (the term for a $10 spot that my kid picked up in summer camp), but even $5 per tooth rate, the going rate in several families in this area, is brutal. At 20 primary teeth, you're talking $100. Ouch. Apparently the national average the tooth fairy pays is $3 per tooth.
And how do you explain that the Tooth Fairy pays different rates at different houses? I tried to say that there were different rates for molars and incisors. I don't think she bought it.
2. The need for small bills. The first time she lost a tooth, I was completely unprepared. It was as she was brushing her teeth before bed. I was a single parent, meaning no chance to run out and break the sole bill in my wallet - a $20 bill. Crap! I'm not giving the kid a twenty, even though I know parents who do. Even though there is the above-referenced inflation, we're more in line with the average American pay out in this house. That requires small bills, not always readily available. But when they lose that first tooth, lots of quarters are exciting, right? Right?
3. The logistics. Trying to reach under the kid's pillow without waking her is tricky. And stressful. And I usually caused some horrific crash no matter how neat and orderly her room was. A friend said she was thinking of getting one of the pillows with a pocket for the tooth that hangs on the door to the child's room. I could not say, "Do it! Buy it!" emphatically enough. As a rookie parent, I had no idea the angst that it would have spared.
4. Perpetuating the myth. When my child was in first grade, my child had the following conversation with her good friend.
Friend: I know for sure that there is no such thing as the Tooth Fairy.
My kid: That's not true. There is so!
Friend: Nope. She doesn't exist.
My kid: How do you know?
Friend: I Googled it.
My parents did not face this Google problem. From then on out there was the fact that my kid knew that the Tooth Fairy wasn't real, but she wasn't about to cut off a revenue stream by admitting it. I also think she took some strange glee in presenting the challenge of not waking her.
Now that our days playing/paying Tooth Fairy are over, I'd say we're on to bigger adventures to celebrate our retirement, but we need to stay home and save. Our kid's mouth full of permanent teeth means braces. Why isn't there a fairy that leaves money under the pillow for that?
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Filed under: Parenting