I don’t know if there’s one tooth fairy that covers the globe every night, or if it takes a whole battalion of them to make the rounds, but I have a hunch it’s the latter, because when I was a child, the tooth fairy never failed to deliver. I’d snuggle in to sleep at night, careful not to disturb the newly-displaced tooth under my pillow, and then wake in the morning to find a shiny new quarter had taken its place. It was there every time. It was magical.
But the tooth fairy assigned to my children is either dreadfully distracted or just plain slow. Or maybe there really is only one fairy and she’s become senile after all these years. Either way, she repeatedly forgets to visit in a timely manner, and more than once, I’ve had to cover her back. A disappointed child comes down for breakfast with news that the fairy was a no-show, and I have no choice but to go upstairs, rustle the covers, and “find” the missing dollar at the foot of the bed.
“It was there all along,” I say, “You just didn’t look hard enough!” And the gappy smile is restored.
Stupid tooth fairy.
Then there was the time I decided to save myself that scene and just sneak in and leave the dollar myself. If she happened to show up, the child would get a bonus, but either way, I’d be spared the morning charade to cover her fairy tail. Little did I know, the child had chosen that very night to fake sleep and, “see if the tooth fairy was really real.” So I was busted, and she refused to believe in the tooth fairy after that, no matter how hard I tried to convince her of the truth. I’d been burned once too often by our scatterbrained tooth fairy, and I was simply trying to get the jump on her this time around.
Stupid tooth fairy.
Our fourth and final child is losing teeth these days, and after all these years of practice with my family, one would think the fairy has it down by now… but no, it has actually gotten worse. I must be ever more vigilant to see that she doesn’t forget, or more creative in the way that I “find” that dollar the child has so carefully searched for and not found.
And I’m tired. Stupid, stupid tooth fairy.
Fortunately, the child is working on his pre-molars now, so it won’t be long before our fairy can retire. She can fly off to the fairy retirement community and weave baskets out of toothpicks, make clay toothbrush holders, or do whatever retired tooth fairies do.