Saturday, November 17, 2012

I Bet The Tooth Fairy's In Debt Up To Her Eyeballs

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:

"Dear Mom
Please tell the tooth fairy thank you for the quarter.

Looks like receiving a quarter isn't so bad, after all.


  1. Hey, at least you remember to put a quarter under her pillow, one time mom forgot about my tooth and either you or Kelli wrote me an I.O.U.

    Also, TEN DOLLARS A TOOTH?! What?! Clinton and I agreed on a quarter a tooth as well, maybe a dollar if they let me pull it...

    1. I guess I would be willing to give more if the extraction was particularly traumatic.

      And oh, I laughed about that IOU.

  2. Rob came up with a great way around this for us. The tooth fairy never left money. The tooth fairy left little charms, shark teeth, shiny rocks, quartz crystals, pretty shells, etc. Once, we were caught by surprise and Rob left a $2.00 bill under Em's pillow, and she was terribly disappointed.

    And the other kids at school? Were very impressed!

    I completely agree about the whole $10.00-a-tooth thing. That's simply crazy. I can see inflation bringing the typical amount from a quarter to a dollar, but even $5.00 seems like way too much to me.

    Good luck with the next tooth :-)

    1. I like the idea of little trinket-gifts. Adelaide not-so-slyly suggested that the tooth fairy could leave one of golden coins wrapped in gold foil, but I just couldn't stomach the thought of giving her sugar just when she has new teeth coming in.

  3. I think our kids' tooth fairy gave 50 cents a tooth. We are done with that in our household. Whew!

    When I was a child, my parents instructed me to put the tooth in a glass of water on the bureau. The next morning, the tooth fairy had left a coin (I don't remember how much) in the glass. Our tooth fairy continued this tradition for our kids (much easier for the tooth fairy to find the tooth) and the kids were fascinated with the refraction of the light in the glass, making the quarters look bigger than they actually were.

    Those people who live where the tooth fairy gives $10 a tooth also think it's okay to buy McDonald's Happy Meals for the entire class as a birthday treat for their kid. You are ahead of them - they will be bankrupt soon, AND they are teaching their children to expect too much.

    1. Happy Meals for entire class? I take it you've been there. Sometimes I'm afraid of my own future.

      Leaving the tooth in a glass of water is brilliant. Adelaide insisted on putting her tooth IN her pillowcase with the first tooth, not just under the pillow, and man, was that a pain. Knowing me, however, I'd knock the glass over, make a mess, and cut myself on broken glass. Still, I think it's a neat idea. I wonder where your folks got the idea?

  4. What's a tooth fairy? Giving money for nasty dirty little teeth? What a strange custom. ;)

    1. Oh my goodness, does your family not do the tooth fairy thing? Why did this never occur to me? There doesn't have to be a tooth fairy, does there?!

    2. LOL--my poor, deprived children!

  5. We give a dollar a tooth. And thank you for this post- or reminds me to go downstairs and play tooth fairy! ;0). Never would I want to or be able to give$10!! Wowsers! I would love to five trinkets, but then I would actually have to be organized!

    1. I know- I have a feeling I'd be wandering around the house, looking for neat little things, and making the kids settle for things like rocks from the driveway. Come to think of it, our boys would probably be excited to find rocks under their pillows.


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