Getting ready to leave the house, my daughter runs out of the kitchen yelling “Mommy, Mommy. I lost my tooth!” as she proudly displays one of her molars in her hand. “Awww, that’s awesome baby! Look how quickly you are growing up!” I reply. She grins and happily hands over her tooth.
As I’m wrapping it up in a Tissue so that she can place it under her pillow, I’m thinking two things to myself. First, what am I going to start doing with all these teeth? Growing up, my parents kept them hidden away in a box. Sentimental I suppose. Although I can recall the day I accidentally found them. I was both confused (why would the tooth fairy leave them here?) and slightly grossed out. There is nothing pretty about seeing a box full of teeth, albeit some were wrapped in tissue, but still…
The second thought on my mind was “You better not forget to leave money this time!” Yep. I’m guilty. It’s only ever happened once, but I will never forget the morning my daughter woke up and came running into the room looking sad because the tooth fairy had forgotten her. My heart sank, and I immediately jumped into “Mommy will save this” mode. As she jumped in our bed, I gave a signal to my husband to distract her. I calmly got up, grabbed $20 from my wallet (a lot I know, but it was all I had) and asked my daughter if she wanted me to help her look and that maybe she missed it somehow. She quickly jumped up and followed me to her room.
I started lifting her pillows, moving her sheets, and essentially creating enough distraction so that I could discreetly drop the $20 behind the bed. “Have you looked on the floor?” I asked. “Maybe you accidentally knocked it off the bed while you were sleeping?” She crouched down, screamed with delight and happily retrieved her $20. *phew*. Well played mommy. Well played.
After that incident, I swore I would never forget again. Walking to her room today, I reminded myself of that previous incident and once again swore that tonight, I would not forget. That evening I lay down next to my daughter while she happily checked under her pillow to ensure the tooth was still there. And I happily remembered that the tooth fairy would be making a visit, before we both drifted off to sleep.
I must have walked back to my room half asleep because the next thing I realized, I was in my bed, it was 3am and a wave of anxiety came over me. Not again! Up I got, tip-toeing in the dark, trying to recall where my purse was. Walking over to my dresser, stubbing my toe (%#*!) trying to remain calm, but wondering who the heck created this silly idea of a tooth fairy anyway, I eventually find my purse only this time, I wasn’t so lucky. Opening my wallet, I had zero cash. Maybe a few quarters, but that’s it. So I did what any mother would do. I tip-toed to my sons room, and shamefully raided his piggy bank.
Feeling relieved to have found $5, I immediately grabbed it and crawled out of his room, feeling as close to a ninja as I ever have. I quietly approached my daughters bed, thankful that she was sound asleep. I made the switch and off I went, back to my room, wondering when the day will come, that I can give up this whole tooth fairy gig.
Morning quickly came, as I heard the eager footsteps of my daughter approach my bed. She’s grinning from ear to ear and proudly holding up her reward for losing a tooth. I see the look of pure joy on her face and in the back of my mind, I re-commit to the tooth fairy, at least for one more year.