There are people out there that live for the Tooth Fairy magic. Tiny envelopes with miniature notes, official tooth fairy receipts, fairy dust and glittery coins, cute little scented handsewn pouches.
I’m not one of them.
There are also people out there googling “when is the best time to tell a child that a mythical creature is a lie?”
I don’t want to be one of them.
Mia just turned 6 when she got her first loose tooth, and it only meant one thing.
The day will come when I have to turn our house upside down at the most inconvenient time to scramble for some cold hard cash in just the right denomination. I have plenty of friends that supply me with a wealth of real-life Tooth Fairy horror tales…
The truth is, I wasn’t sure I wanted to let the winged creature into our home.
Prouder than ever, Mia gently wiggled that tooth all day long every day.
Time was running out, and I had no game plan.
I couldn’t remember our kids ever asking about or mentioning the Tooth Fairy anyway. Maybe they had no idea…???
It must have been purely coincidental that the TV show my kids watched the following morning was about none other than the whole Teeth Business.
Excitedly, Mia ran to me, saying “Mommy, there was this girl on TV, AND she had a loose tooth, AND it fell out, AND she put it under her pillow, AND the Tooth Fairy came and took the tooth and left a PREEESEEENT for the girl!!! Can we do that, please? Pleeeeease?! Can we have the Tooth Fairy come to our house as well???”
She skipped across the room with glee and wiggled some more.
Great. She knows.
In all fairness though, I suspect that the identity of the gift bearer didn’t matter as much. I bet she would have been willing to close her eyes super tight at night and have the gremlin drop by with a gift.
Crap. If only I had listened to my every-so-often-frugal husband. There could have been no TV at this point and no Tooth Fairy.
Think, think hard!
I candidly suggested that we could…wait? And see what happens???
Here’s the thing.
I’ve never been too fond of the widely beloved holiday characters.
The idea of strangers, mutated animals and other creatures sneaking into our house at night through the chimney and through closed windows and locked doors creeps me out
Santa Claus is one of them and so is the Elf on the Shelf and the Easter Bunny. I wasn’t quite sure what to think of the Tooth Fairy just yet.
There she was, standing at our doorsteps, pacing nervously…
Don’t get me wrong. I love fairies. My kids love fairies. The woodland kind.
I didn’t grow up with the Tooth Fairy. It’s just not something that was done in our country. And it was OK, we did fine.
Losing teeth was a natural phenomenon that everyone went through.
I think the first lost tooth might have gotten a Hip Hip Hooray, but celebration of every single lost baby tooth definitely didn’t happen.
I want my kids’ lives to be as magical as their imagination allows them.
I really do.
And I support their whimsical ways and creativity wholeheartedly.
But I can see a difference between healthy and natural pretending and mass perpetuating of a fictional, commercial character.
The tooth came out much quicker than I had planned for.
Because of course it did.
What do I do?
What do I tell her??
What will she say???
She freaked out.
She didn’t even realize at first that the tooth was out. She expected it to hurt. She said it hurt. A lot…!
But it didn’t.
So she felt confused.
She freaked out again when she realized that it’s really out.
Then she freaked out when she could no longer feel the tooth with her tongue.
And then she freaked out one last time when she went to look in the mirror.
And then she exclaimed, “Mommy, I’m NOT giving my tooth to the Tooth Fairy! No way!!! I changed my mind! I want to keep it. It’s SPECIAL!!!” That’s her thing. Everything is special to her.
My little girl decided that she was going to hoard all of her lost teeth in a special box that has her name engraved on it.
Phew… So all this time I was worried for nothing…?!
I smiled and slammed the door in the Tooth Fairy’s confused face.
To celebrate the milestone of the first lost tooth, we went to the book store and bought books that Mia had picked out. She also got her special bubble gum at the health food store next door (the irony).
Mia thoroughly enjoyed the spotlight, but when it was almost bedtime, she started feeling a tad guilty for not wanting to share her tooth with the Tooth Fairy. I think she suddenly remembered that someone may come knocking when she falls asleep, demanding to have the tooth handed over.
But it was hers, and she wasn’t going to part with it, right?
So I leaned over and whispered motherly wisdom into her ear, completely bursting the magical glittery bubble and telling her who really collects the teeth and leaves the gifts and money.
She seemed relieved.
I also told her that maybe – if she wants to believe – the Tooth Fairy might still come at night to check on her.
I had also asked her not to spoil other kids’ surprises. (We’ll see how that goes, but so far so good.)
We’re not planning anything special for the following loose (and lost) teeth except for a lot of love, excitement, and support.
ETA: 4 lost teeth later, the gift-less Tooth Fairy occasionally flutters around while I have one less thing to worry about. See? I love fairies. 🙂
If you are on the Tooth Fairy’s list, how much is a tooth worth these days?
The word on the street is that there are high-rolling Tooth Fairies out there that pay as much as $20 for a tooth???