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The Day The Magic Died Because I Accidentally Murdered It

So if you were around on Friday you're already aware that it took Baby Ike all of an hour and a half to make a complete jackass out of me. Post About Thing Baby Is Not Doing, Baby Immediately Up And Does It, All Casual-Like.


Perhaps his reading comprehension is better than I previously thought as well. 

Highlighting their mother's general incompetence was a theme for the weekend, actually. On Saturday Tracey and Charlie came over for an evening I dunno. Food and baby stuffs. Dogs and Instagramming and YouTube and heavy metal on Pandora. We made slow-cooker jerk chicken and collards with bacon and while the kiddos were eating their frozen mini-pizzas from a box LIKE YEAH, Noah started hollering to me about his cheese falling out. 

I was in the middle of some REALLY IMPORTANT discussion about something that I no longer remember and wasn't particularly interested in pizza-cheese drama, like "Okay dude, whatever, just eat it anyway," but it turned out he was actually trying to tell me that his tooth had fallen out. 

Oh! Yeah. Don't eat that, after all.

Everybody clapped and high-fived and made an appropriately big deal over it. We put the tooth in a little plastic treasure chest he'd gotten from the nurse's office when he lost a tooth during P.E. back in September and discovered that...oh, there was already another tooth in there. He lost three teeth in such rapid-fire succession a few months ago that he apparently lost interest in the Tooth Fairy concept and hadn't put the last one under his pillow. Given the market's high going rate for human baby teeth and our tendency to not ever have any cash in our wallets, I guess we forgot to remind him after a couple days of disinterest. 

But now, of course, Noah was thrilled. Holy shit! Two teeth! Do you know how much money that is, right there? Do you know how many Legos that will buy? Probably only like, five spare blocks, really, since Noah is still a little fuzzy on just how much we've spent on those bloody things, but hey, whatever. It's Legos or college. He's made his choice. 

We put the bounty under his pillow and went right back to our hosting duties, which naturally included making one of our guests put our baby to bed. Charlie acted like I was "letting" him put the baby to bed but HA HA HA. Yeah. Ike went down like a very sleepy rock and did not wake up ONCE, AT ALL, EVER, until almost 9 goddamn o'clock in the goddamn morning. Charlie can come over and put that baby to bed any night he wants to and I'm not even going to ask questions re: whether black magic or bourbon are involved because I AM STILL SO TIRED.

Noah and Ezra woke up a little earlier than that, and I was just slowly starting to become aware of their voices and chatter and Ezra was...crying about something? Maybe? And then Jason bolted upright.



He didn't need to answer, because by this point I was awake enough to hear what the boys were hollering about. 

"TOOTH FAIRY!" They were both shouting. "TOOOOOTH FAIRY!"

"Oh. SHIT." I muttered. "That."

Yeah. THAT.

Noah had managed to open their window (thanks, handy integrated childproof locks!) and they were shrieking in despair at the early morning sky, thus broadcasting our parental ineptness to the ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD.


So we spent Sunday morning coming up with various excuses for the punk-ass tooth fairy, including traffic and weather and maybe there's a pre-dinner-time cutoff for same-day money delivery? (And the more truthiness-based "she probably just made a mistake and forgot.") 

He seemed to get over the disappointment before too long, though I'm sure this moment of shattering disillusionment in both magic and his parents' general trustworthiness will come up in therapy one day as the source of ALL OF THE PROBLEMS, so I figured I best beat the inevitable bestselling tell-all revelations and confess that yeah, we forgot about your tooth and felt really shitty about it. 


Noah, this morning, one tooth poorer but eight damn dollars richer. 



EIGHT DOLLARS! Lucky kid. Inflation has really brought the value of teeth up.

Jenny H

Sadly, this has happened several times in our house. The Tooth Fairy can't remember everything! And also, sometimes the dang Tooth Fairy forgot to go by the effing bank on her way home from work. Why can't she give candy like the Easter Bunny? THAT we have...


I'm gonna need a second job just to fund the tooth fairy. Can I quit this whole parenting thing now?



Count his teeth yet to fall. Put money for each in special hidden box, with envelopes. Whenever you forget, just pretend you found the envelope in the mailbox "because the Tooth Fairy is sick, poor thing, so she had one of her minions mail it" :p


I now have to leave post-it notes for myself to be the tooth fairy. I forgot two nights in a row once...which we attributed to the late hour AND windy conditions. After that I really really just wanted to tell the truth already.


Oh, yes, been there. Our tooth fairy has left long, involved, apologetic letters about naughty goblins swiping her sacks of teeth earlier in the night and having to chase them down, thereby throwing off her whole schedule. (This would be when the kids were all into Spiderwick books.) Also, she's also been known to switch out tooth for money mid-morning. Time zones can be tricky, you know.


My concern is not in the forgetting but in how the tooth fairy is going to handle the tooth-money exchange with my incredibly light sleeper, SPD defensive kid...but he is only 3...I have a few years...Maybe by then the tooth fairy will automatically deposit money in the bank account...


Eight dollars! My kids get $3 for the first tooth, and $1 for each tooth after that. You're being gouged!


I still remember the time the Tooth Fairy got caught in terrible thunderstorms and couldn't get to my house...two nights in a row...when it wasn't raining anywhere near us.


(For the record, $8 was for two teeth, plus guilt-related interest. The tooth fairy is usually cheaper.)

Ms. Huis Herself

My 7yo also forgets to put her tooth under her pillow, or wants to wait until she shows it to Grandma, and then neglects to tell us when she finally DOES put it under her pillow. The first time it happened, there were tears...until my husband told her the tooth fairy must have gotten tired of checking after so long. They used window paint markers to write her a note on the window so that she would notice it and know to check under the pillow. :)

(At our house, the tooth fairy leaves $1, but it's one of those fancy golden dollar coins! The tooth fairy has recently purchased a roll of these special coins, so she doesn't run out when they're needed.)


OK, this is why I decided that with my third I was not going to play the invisible people game anymore. No Santa, no Easter Bunny, no Tooth Fairy. And any other mythical people who owe my kids rewards. I'm still going to participate in Santa and all of that, but I'm just going to be HONEST up front and let him know that the Santa Game is a fun game that every one plays at Christmas time where every one plays pretend that there is a man in a red suit who delivers presents at Christmastime. And then I will just tell him all the stories like I normally would and we will play pretend, too. I was devastated when I finally had to come clean to my older kids about Santa and won't do it again. It's easier just to let them know the truth.


E's had some teeth-related traumas (swallowed the first two, needed a crown at one point and then a spacer)--those definitely drive up the price. Although when the crown was extracted (painful experience), the handsome prize may have been due more to the tooth fairy realizing there was only a $10 in her wallet and it was a bit late to go to the store.


This is how I found out about the tooth fairy, too. Only my parents were three days late. Then I guess my mom felt terrible because the next day I got a letter from the tooth fairy explaining that she was in New Zealand and couldn't make it, along with a 2 dollar bill, which blew my mind. It was on fancy paper and not in my mom's handwriting, so it totally renewed my belief, despite just having been told the truth. I still have both the letter and the two dollar bill.


Oh, Amalah, so sad I don't know you IRL - I would have told you about this by now

Answers all of your questions, like why sometimes there's more money than others, and why she forgets sometimes (apparently my children lose their teeth on busy nights quite frequently...)


My parents failed to remember to tooth fairy it up once as they were having a dinner party. The next day the tooth fairy brough an awesome BASKET of things. THe only thing I really remember was a book on tape, but it was a whole basket. I thought it was awesome and hoped that the tooth fairy would overlook me again!


Our neighbor's son was the first to lose a tooth. He lost two in one day, and all his parents' had on them was a five dollar bill. They set the going rate for the entire neighborhood. So far, the tooth fairy hasn't forgotten a tooth, but she did almost get caught with her arm under the pillow.


I cannot even tell you how many letters from the tooth fairy my daughters have received...sometimes because I have forgotten and sometimes because the stinkers were NOT going to sleep and I finally had to give up for the night. My oldest knows the score and I cant wait for my youngest to figure it out. I dont really care for the secret, invisible person thing.


I have had to steal money from the tooth loser's very own piggy bank for the tooth fairy. Twice! I paid it back, though. Probably.

Virginia B.

The Tooth Fairy has a secretary in Brooklyn. I have had to call more than once to remind her about a forgotten tooth pick up. She's a very busy fairy, ya know.

And the phone call totally works as long as your kid isn't paying too much attention when you dial the number.

Lisa V

My 9 year-old knows about the tooth fairy. However, we agreed we would keep putting money under his pillow for lost teeth. He lost three molars in a month. The tooth fairy thing kept slipping our minds. He had teeth under his pillow for something like 10 days. Finally one morning he comes down to breakfast and says "I'll trade you two teeth for two bucks."


When this happens in our house, usually when I go in to look for the money, I will find it - inside the pillowcase (silly fairy), on the floor (the kids must have knocked it off), behind the headboard (put in your own clever excuse here).....


This totally happened to me when I was a kid. Though I grew to wish it would happen, cos if my tooth was still under my pillow in the morning then double the money would appear under my cereal bowl at breakfast! Parental guilt is a wonderful thing ;-)


once the tooth fairy gave me a subway token (my parents' explanation: "she probably decided to take a cab home since it was so late, and so she didn't need the subway token!").

Then one time the tooth fairy gave me a $20 bill (my parents' explanation: "the tooth fairy definitely meant to give you a single but it was dark in your room....maybe you should give that back for us to return it.")


sb - I laughed out loud at your comment. The giving the $20 back to return is priceless!

We've forgotten more than once. And we don't put the tooth under the pillow. It goes in a cup on the bed side table. Remembering to leave the money is enough without having to fight them off while trying to get under the pillow.


Once, my aunt lost a tooth late at night after my grandparents had already gone to bed. The only person still awake was my dad - her teenage big brother. She told him, went to bed, and my dad realized he was the only one who knew she had lost a tooth! So, he played tooth fairy for his little sister. The best part is that she had started to wonder if the tooth fairy was really Grandma - so this really confused her and kept the magic going another few months!


When my children were small, I forgot my tooth fairy duties a few times and became adept at sliding the money under the pillow while saying, "Are you SURE the tooth fairy didn't leave you anything? Did you feel ALL the way to the corner of your bed?"

My favorite tooth fairy story--when my son (now 17) was little, the tooth fairy left 50 cents. Once he figured out the tooth fairy, he commented that one of the ways he knew it was ME was that most of his friends got more. So when his younger sister lost her first tooth, I slipped her a dollar. She came running out of her room the next morning, shouting to her brother, "Look, look, the tooth fairy left me a dollar!!" and he said, "You're lucky. The most I ever got was 50 cents." Later that day, I slipped him $10 hush money and said, "this covers the additional 50 cents per tooth. Don't mention it again!!"

It took FOREVER for my daughter to figure out about the tooth fairy and I was glad when the charade ended. (This is the kid who believed in Santa until she was TWELVE, had to be told the truth and then cried for a couple of hours over it. She's a smart kid, but has a vivid imagination so the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa all seemed plausible to her . . . fortunately, she figured out the tooth fairy part long ago.)


You need to perfect your "climbing around the bed looking for the tooth fairy money you are sure is there (while clutching it in your fist) maneuver". I can't believe how many times I've found the money between the bed and the wall! And, to explain the uncollected tooth, I explain that she's met her quota and didn't need any more teeth.


I feel your pain.

My son lost his first tooth at 10 pm on a Friday night. I was a simgle mama at the time and (of course) had no cash on hand. But for the emergency pizza $20.....which the Tooth Fairy left. For years, when conveying this story, JT would explain that the Tooth Fairy must be real because his mama would *never* leave him $20. As for me, I would avoid eye contact.



Good for you for coming clean! Ohhh you make me smile! I'm going to be screwed because my oldest is a light sleeper. I once went in to check on her when she was 3, and she sat up as soon as I walked in (at 11pm) and asked why I was in her room. I'm going to have to be creative when it comes to the tooth fairy...


Ok, none of you have used the explanation we have at our house. The Tooth Fairy promptly leaves the room (and tooth) if you fart while asleep. Thus, it may take several nights for her to make the exchange.

Andrea @ The Penny-Roach's

So glad to know I'm not the only horrible mother who forgot about the tooth fairy!


My mom forgot about my tooth once, and I was totally devastated. The next night, in addition to a dollar (instead of the usual quarter), I received a handwritten note of apology (on a tooth shaped piece of personalized stationary) explaining that she'd had a cold the night before and just couldn't make it. Years later, and long after I knew the truth about the Tooth Fairy, I found the note...wouldn't you know, her handwriting looks JUST like my mom's. I still smile when I see it, nearly 30 years later.

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My older kids finally started playing tooth fairy for the younger ones because I was so bad at this. Sigh. Just throw another dollar in the jar to save for future counselling.


Once when I was little my turd of a younger sister drew the tooth fairy a picture and put it under her pillow on the same night I had a newly lost tooth under mine. When we woke up we both had money under our pillows. After that the tooth fairy was dead to me.


8 Bucks?! Wow inflation was good to him, lolol. Andrew's max has been 2 bucks per tooth, lol and that's up more than 50% from what I received, lol His older sisters... who are all 9-1/2 yrs older or more were equally jealous as they only received 50-75 cents per tooth... lol

Oh and My girls were also subject to that damned tooth fairy being caught in traffic, down with the flu, and off visiting her sick relatives... lol so don't sweat it... ha ha ha.


Ohhh, the image of them yelling out the window to the Tooth Fairy is so awesome.

Plano Mom

Holy Cannoli, grasshoppers. The Tooth Fairy couldn't come because he wasn't sleeping soundly enough. Sometimes you've got to go to bed a few minutes earlier so you're not restless in your bed when she gets there. She's got way too many kids to see to wait for you to settle down.

Plano Mom

Oh, and you're welcome.


At our house, the Tooth Fairy doesn't fly in the rain or wind. Thankfully it's often rainy or windy that first night, because we forget ALL THE TIME.


Does this telling the internet thing work for sleeping through the night? Please say it does. I know it certainly works in the reverse. Just in case it does-my 6 month old does not sleep through the night and is trying to kill me.


I feel so sorry for my tooth fairy. I was/am a tosser and turner. I don't know how the tooth fairy ever found my teeth under the pillow without waking me. Once, I thought the tooth fairy did not leave me my QUARTER. My mom said she was sure it was there. I ended up taking my bed apart and the quarter was between the box spring and the frame!


I missed this until this morning, but just had to let you know. I usually blame my kids when I've forgotten tooth fairy money before. "Did you check between your mattress and the top of your bed? Are you sure? Here let me check..." Money is palmed in my hand. Push in between mattress and bed. Pull out hand to show money. "I guess you just didn't look hard enough." I am a mean, mean mommy.


I've never commented here before..but I read you religiously and I think I love you.

Anyway, I thought I'd share this story with you to make you feel better about the fairy situation.

A friend of mine remembered the tooth fairy duty late late one night, I think after she was in bed. She groggily stumbled to her purse, grabbed a bill, shoved it under her son's pillow, and went back to bed. He woke up, came into her room, and said, "Ah....Mom?" and handed her the bill, which had F**K written on it in giant letters. He was 10 at the time, so he knew what that word was. Try explaining that one!

Big D & Me

We totally forgot last time and there was hysteria with our 6 year old in the morning. We told him since it was storming the night before the TF couldn't get here. He only sort of bought it. Our guilt only got him $2 but gave him years of leverage over us in the bad parent department.


I still have the silver dollars the "Tooth Fairy" left me many, many moons ago. Little did I know that the "magic money" that was left was taken from my own birthday stash of silver dollars. My Mom would go and get another one and replace it back to the "stash". (She said she always forgot until the middle of the night) I thought about doing that for my daughter when the time comes, but now the rate of silver is a lot higher than it was when I was a kid. LOL!!


The toothfairy game ended when my mom tried to give me children's Motrin and accidentally dumped out a bottle of my baby teeth. Turned out that little jar was also great at holding my teeth. . .whoops

(I always got silver dollars are .50 pieces :) )


Our dentist gave the kids a business card for the Tooth Fairy. It has her voice mail number on it. When a kid loses a tooth, they are supposed to call the Tooth Fairy hotline before they go to bed and let the Tooth Fairy know to make a pick-up that night. After all, the Tooth Fairy can't be expected to automatically know which kids lost teeth that day!No phone call, no money from the Tooth Fairy. Check with your dentist to see if they have something like this. (It won't totally help you with the forgetting to leave money, but it does give an extra right-before-bedtime reminder that I have found helpful.)


Our Tooth Fairy can't be trusted to be on time. Or to be consistent with the amounts. Sometimes teeth are worth a dollar, sometimes they are worth ten dollars. And we have to deal with a "needs to know everything" child, who wanted to see pictures of the Tooth Fairy. For some reason, I decided that the prettiest Tooth Fairy-looking person I could think of was Glinda, the Good Witch, from the Wizard of Oz. I'm still waiting to get busted for that one.


My kiddo hasn't starting losing teeth yet, but I think after reading these posts, I'm just going to start a new tradition. Maybe some sort of special bag that he has to hang on his door with the tooth in it. Then I'd have a handy reminder *and* I won't have to dig under his pillow and risk waking him up.

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