When my oldest lost his first tooth, I actually shed a few tears while looking down at that tiny tooth in my hand. I couldn’t stop thinking about how big that tooth had looked when it first popped through his gummy smile when he was only 5 months old. It seemed so surreal that time had passed so quickly, that my baby was already shedding evidence of his infancy.
I actually looked forward to being the Tooth Fairy that evening.
Ha! How naive I was! I had no idea how panic-inducing it was to creep into my sleeping child’s bedroom, to root around feeling for a tiny tooth UNDER THE PILLOW where my child’s head is laying, finally find it, and replace said tooth with a coin. All of this without waking the precious cherub up? Too much stress for me!
Who came up with this ridiculous idea anyway, seriously…who? I tried to research the origins of the tooth fairy and it was all very vague, but this brief history is pretty good.
Needless to say, I did it all wrong, and promptly came up with a plan B. I got out my sewing machine and sewed a pillow in the shape of a tooth. It had a small, coin-sized pocket on the front where my children could put their tooth. I felt like I had cracked the Mom-Code on this whole Tooth Fairy thing.
However, even with the magic Tooth Fairy pillow, I still failed.
The Tooth Fairy in our house leaves golden dollars, so I’d have to actually go to the bank and get them. I got quite a few at a time, but they don’t always have a lot. Eventually, I would run out and have every intention of getting to the bank to get more…you know where this is going.
To fix this problem, I had to raid my children’s piggy bank for previous Tooth Fairy loot, and that feels low. Like, I’ve hit mom fail rock bottom.
Oh, and there were times when I have simply forgotten to go in and trade out the tooth for the coin. Yep, just fell asleep. Whoops.
But my best, and latest, fail is this: I took a picture of the note my youngest left for the Tooth Fairy and posted it to Insta/Facebook because it was so darn cute.
Well, the next time I brought up Instagram to document his brother’s football game, guess what picture was showing on my phone screen? And guess who was sitting next to me looking over my shoulder? All the quickness of my scrolling couldn’t stop him from catching a glimpse.
He was so confused. “Mom! That was my note I left the Tooth Fairy! Why is it on your phone?” Uh, oh! Caught! I tried to brush it off, but I don’t think there is any recovering from that one. We’ll see. He did confide to his older brother that he thinks I am the Tooth Fairy, so the jig may be up.
I’ll never forget when my oldest put two and two together about the Tooth Fairy.
I had spilled the beans about Santa a few months earlier, and we were at the bank making a deposit. The teller commented on the number of golden dollars the boys had. My son replied, “Yes, the Tooth Fairy gives us those when we lose our teeth.” The second the words were coming out of his mouth, he just looked up at me and bugged his eyes out, silently realizing that I was the Tooth Fairy as well. I will never forget that look. It was quite hilarious.
Tooth Fairy Tips and Tricks
If you are a new mom and haven’t started the whole Tooth Fairy thing yet, here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way:
- Don’t start! (Just kidding…kind of)
- Leave a note the first time a child loses a tooth. Tell them you are proud of them. They are doing a good job brushing (or maybe they need to work on brushing better?) Leave a bonus for the first tooth lost. My kids got a bonus five dollar bill.
- Use a Tooth Fairy pillow, or some other method other than having the child put the tooth under their actual pillow. I’ve even seen a hanging pillow you leave on the doorknob so parents don’t have to go inside the child’s room at night!
- Leave something special. Have a stash of unique coins (I use golden dollars) that your child only gets from the Tooth Fairy. (Note: remember where your stash is.)
- Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t forget to “make the trade”.
- Be sure to throw the tooth away so they don’t find it later and wonder where it came from!
The Tooth Fairy is another tradition I will not be sorry for my kids to outgrow. Yes, I said it. I am that mom. However, I will say I’m glad my kids participated in the magic of it all.