My mother was the tooth fairy queen. Each kid had their own, and they had names and special places for your teeth. There were elaborate letters and changes in handwriting. She did this for four kids and it was amazing. Sadly for my children, I didn’t get that gene.
The tooth fairy is a giant pain in my butt. I am not organized nor excited enough to keep this one going. While, yes, I still play into the whole Santa thing and the fact that he can get to every house all over the world in one night. That is fantasy, but at least it is a good one. But ugh — some creepy fairy appearing in your room at night and grabbing something that has come out of your germ-filled mouth and taking it with them? Just why?
Yes, I did it for my oldest son. We even got $2 bills because they were magical and only the tooth fairy had them. That lasted for a while. But then, I just kept having kids and something had to give.
My second son, who is now 11, lost a tooth the other night and took it right to the trash. His five-year-old sister looked horrified.
“What about the tooth fairy?” she said in shock.
He looked like a deer in headlights, not sure whether to stay put or run. Being the smart child that he is, he dashed and left me stopped in the road and breathing heavily. My daughter has not lost any teeth yet, but plenty of the other kindergartners have, so here I am, back in tooth fairy hell.
I just starting rattling off information that made absolutely no sense about the tooth fairy finding things in the trash if you accidentally throw it away and sometimes she only likes little kid teeth, which sounds totally creepy, and her brother would still find money under his pillow. What?!?
I have some of my oldest’s teeth somewhere, though I don’t know why. My mom has mine and not once have I said, “Let me have a look at my old choppers, please.” Are we going to make a necklace or a Christmas ornament out of them? Or maybe even one of those terrifying dolls with real freaking teeth? No thanks, not happening.
So what do I do now? My oldest is 13 and barely acknowledges my presence most days and has no teeth left to lose, so he’s out. Son number two puts them straight in the garbage, as he should. And baby boy number three, who is 8, would probably believe in a normal house, but he has figured out that his mother is a lazy bum and a fake. I tossed him a $20 bill one day to make up for the few we had missed. That’s the day he figured it all out. He’s still holding out on Santa, though. So I feel good about that.
But my 5-year-old … she’s going to make me start this crap all over again. Every day I look at that little smile and realize it’s probably not going to look like that much longer. She is going to proudly pull one of those suckers out and present it to me as if it is a nugget of gold. I will hold it in my hand, totally grossed out, and feign excitement and wonder and tell a big lie about the tooth fairy magically appearing the next night.
Now the real question: Would it be weird for the tooth fairy to leave a note asking her to break a $10 and leave the change under her pillow the next night? I kid. Or not.
This article was originally published on