The Tooth Fairy Didn't Come...Again

tooth fairy
Jen Groeber

The tooth fairy didn’t come again.

And I sort of wanted to punch her in the throat until her little fairy wings shuddered.

I mean, how hard could it possibly be to show up at a house and throw some coins under my daughter’s pillow? Is this fairy doubling up on families? Moonlighting as a fairy to the Duggars? Because last time I heard, each family got their own tooth fairy—which would explain why some kids get an iPad or a horse under their pillow, and my kids get a dollar. Two dollars, tops.

When I walked into my 7-year-old daughter’s room this morning, she looked absolutely crestfallen. Her three siblings, all within two years of age of her were gathered around her bedside in postures of mourning as if she were a grand dame on her deathbed, and they, her hopeful beneficiaries.

“What’s going on in here?” I clapped my hands trying to clear the vultures by her bedside. “Get moving! It’s a school day!”

“You must have been up late last night,” my daughter said, in a dramatic, accusing voice, lifting her sorrowful face to mine.

All eyes shifted to me, and my gaze circled the room trying to figure out what the game was here. And then I saw the two-page letter my daughter had written to the tooth fairy the night before, still protruding from under her pillow.

“What? I…I was up late last night. Cleaning. Yeah, yeah, that’s the ticket,” I fumbled. “And I heard a noise at the back door. Yeah, like a dog in the compost! But when I looked, no one was there. And you know what? It was around midnight, I think. Damn, fairy. She is a lazy scaredy cat, you know. Man, she is the worst. What a crap fairy she turned out to be.” I nodded vehemently and began to back out of the room.

“It’s OK, Mama. Just go to bed early tonight, OK?”

“Yeah, yeah. OK. But you have to remind me, OK? Remind me to go to bed. And if she doesn’t come tonight, I’ll get you something good instead.”

Effin’ fairy and her lazy ways. I am sick of her crap and her inability to perform the one god-given job she has in the world. I mean, where do they get these fairies? Did she fail as woodland fairy and tinker fairy, get kicked out of Neverland and bring Cinderella a pair of Dickies instead of a ball gown? Because she seems like a sucky has-been to me. And I want to punch her.

The first time the fairy forgot to come it was for my 7-year-old son, twin brother to the toothless grand dame. That morning she comforted him as they stood by my bedside, offering to share her silver dollar. Because in the fairy’s defense, she had come two days before. Twins’ teeth rain down like that.

Come to think of it, there was one weekend when she picked up four different teeth from three children in my family, and one of those nights the Easter Bunny came too. And we were away from home. And she still showed up with two Susan B. Anthonys, a Sacajawea, and a two-dollar bill, and they don’t even make that kind of money anymore. But no one ever remembers when the fairy actually shows up, do they?

And, a little bit, I wanted to point out to my forlorn cluster of children with their accusing eyes that it was a wicked coincidence that both times she got “scared away” and didn’t come, the child in question had left a missive under their pillow asking for her to fill out a questionnaire complete with check boxes and also to draw a self-portrait. I mean, that’s a lot for a lady of the night to manage without disturbing the peace, am I right?

I caught the eyes of my 5-year-old, our youngest. She was standing a little apart from the others with her hand in her mouth gently wiggling her bottom two teeth. She hasn’t lost any baby teeth yet. With three loose teeth, she’s about one ear of corn away from looking like a jack-o-lantern. I think she’s been avoiding it.

Also, I keep telling her she’s not allowed to lose her teeth—because she’s the youngest and once that raining down of teeth begins, I know we will be nearing the end of our days of magical creatures sneaking into our house at night, which has always creeped me out conceptually. I mean, strangers in tights creeping down our chimney or flying in through screens, hopping through locked doors with baskets filled with the kind of straw you can never actually sweep up. Really? But still, these days of magic are numbered, I know.

I’m pretty sure she’ll come tonight. And she’ll apologize for not coming last night, scribble some lame story about seeing people awake and falling asleep on a cloud, all written in her delicate, loopy fairy handwriting. There will likely be glitter involved and probably an extra Susan B. Anthony as hush money for her screw up. At least that’s what she did last time.

And everyone will pretty much forgive her. Money and glitter do that. But I won’t. I will still want to punch that lazy effin’ fairy in the throat, shake her little fluttery wings off. Because there are only so many teeth to be had in this world of ours, only so many chances to bring the magic. And she failed. Again.