Okay, other parents. I have an accusation to level at you.
That didn't come out right. What I meant to say was: What the heck are you doing to me?
No, no wait. Let me try again: Why? WHY?
Why are you giving your kids so much every time they lose a tooth?
Adelaide lost her second tooth earlier this week. She was excited because she lost it at school (her goal), which meant she got to visit the school nurse and get a tiny plastic treasure chest in which to place her tooth.
That evening before bed, she reminded Derek and I that she would be placing the tooth under her pillow (she's aware that he and I jointly perform the role of "tooth fairy").
Derek put a quarter under her pillow that night. Tooth fairy obligation completed.
Around 2 or 3 am, Adelaide apparently woke up, found the quarter, got up and got dressed, and made her way downstairs, where she poured herself a bowl of cereal and ate it. She read a book for about an hour. She now says she had thought it might be early morning, and she was waiting for the sun to come up. (What can I say? Kids are weird.)
While reading, she lost the quarter somewhere in the rocking chair.
By this time, she realized that it must be the middle of the night, and went back to bed. She was upset about losing the quarter and "cried so many tears that I completely soaked one side of my pillow, so I flipped it over, then the other side became soaked with my tears, and I couldn't use my pillow at all."
We found the quarter the next day, and joy was restored.
Until that afternoon, after school.
"Mom, why does my tooth fairy only give me a quarter when I lose a tooth, when other kids at school get a dollar- and some kids get ten dollar bills!?"
"Uh, I honestly don't know why someone would give their kid TEN DOLLARS for losing a tooth."
"You mean you don't know why the tooth fairy would do that?"
"Right. The tooth fairy. Whatever."
Parents, did you know that the average kid loses twenty teeth during their childhood? Now let's say you have, oh, say three kids. Let's say you give them a dollar per tooth. You're shelling out $60 in tooth fairy duties. THAT IS CRAZY.
Maybe you don't have a problem with giving your kids $60 for something they have no control over. To be honest, a dollar a tooth doesn't sound completely unreasonable to me. You know what does sound unreasonable? Ten dollars a tooth.
At one point I began to doubt the veracity of Adelaide's "some kids get $10 per tooth" statement. Surely that couldn't be right!
I conducted an informal study among a group of my friends. Most of the responses were that they give a dollar a tooth. A couple of people give $5/tooth. Evidently I'm a cheapskate. I am okay with that.
Then I asked Adelaide if she could tell me who it was that gets $10 per tooth. (I may or may not have become a little obsessive over this topic.) She gave me two names that made sense: they both have parents that have... let's say a history of spending extravagantly on their offspring. I guess they have no problem with giving their kiddos $200 (that's per kid) for teeth they're ultimately going to throw away.
So it really wasn't too surprising when Adelaide asked why she only gets a quarter. And maybe we could have bumped it up to a dollar (HAHAHA- if you believe that, you don't know us at all). Instead, my reply to her was, "If you don't want a quarter, that's fine. The tooth fairy doesn't have to bring you anything at all."
Her face fell, and she walked away.
Five minutes later, Adelaide handed me a note. It read:
Please tell the tooth fairy thank you for the quarter.
Looks like receiving a quarter isn't so bad, after all.