I've had several ups and downs with the Tooth Fairy. And that's only with one of my three kids! The other two haven't even started to lose their teeth yet.
The first time my son lost his tooth, he was SO excited about the Tooth Fairy coming for the first time. He was the last person in his class to lose a tooth, and he had been quite despondent about it, and became firmly convinced that his baby teeth were going to stay in FOREVER.
Anyway, the big day arrived!
It was the first time I had to perform 'Tooth Fairy' duty, and I was ready. I had some money all prepared. I was happy; I love to do these things. It would be so much fun!
My son has a double bed with two pillows on it, side by side. That night his brother Ryan was going to try to sleep in the same bed. We will occasionally let them do this if it's not a school night. It never works out, though, and one eventually has to go back to his own bed. That's what happened; Colin ended up sleeping alone.
I had to wait up late to ensure my son would be fast asleep, and then I tiptoed in and put the money under the other pillow, not wanting to wake him.
Well, in the morning I expected my son to be ecstatic that the Tooth Fairy had visited and left money, and I was excited to see his reaction.
He was in tears.
"The Tooth Fairy left the money for my brother instead of me!" he wailed. "And he didn't even lose his tooth!"
The sheer injustice of it all was mind-boggling.
I was nonplussed. I began sputtering, "But...but...it's YOUR bed! In your room!"
He shook his head sadly. "But it was under the pillow RYAN was sleeping on."
"Yes," I agreed wearily, "for about FIVE SECONDS! And it's still your bed and your pillow!"
What a fun, happy memory this was turning out to be.
The next time I was determined to do better. I placed the money directly under the pillow my son was actually sleeping on. (Who knew?)
Anyway, the next morning, again hoping for all smiles and joy, my son once more greeted me with despair.
"The Tooth Fairy didn't come!" he announced sadly, and then, without any melodrama at all, threw himself headlong on the couch face-down.
(I think he had looked forward to this moment for so long that it couldn't possibly live up to the reality. Isn't that the way it goes?)
Anyway, I went to go 'help' him look. Smugly, I put my hand under the pillow. Nothing. I searched around under both pillows. I couldn't find the money either. I began tearing at the bedsheets with a crazed look on my face.
I couldn't exactly yell, "I KNOW the money is here because I PUT IT THERE MYSELF!" Instead, tight-lipped, I just began throwing pillows and blankets off the bed in a desperate frenzy.
Finally after several tense moments I found the money; it had slipped off the mattress and wedged itself between the mattress and the bed frame.
I held it up triumphantly, panting slightly but hugely relieved: "Here it IS!"
My son looked at me with a puzzled expression. "Why did the Tooth Fairy HIDE it in my bed frame?"
I needed my coffee, I really did. I tried to put a cheerful tone in my voice. "That Tooth Fairy, she's pretty tricky!"
Was it all worth it, really?
Next, our neighbours' daughter, whose family has lots of money, told my son that the Tooth Fairy gave her $20.00 a tooth. Then my son was really depressed. "Why does the Tooth Fairy give her more money than me?" he demanded to know.
I opened and shut my mouth a few times but nothing emerged. "Hmmmm......." I stalled for time. "I guess the Tooth Fairy knows you don't need that much money!" I answered finally, exhausted.
My son frowned and looked as if he really wanted to argue with the Tooth Fairy's logic, so I quickly slipped away.
Back to last night. Right before we were putting the kids to bed, I whispered to my husband, "I don't have any change, do you?"
"No!" he whispered back. I only had a $5.00 bill; Jerry only had a $20.00. And neither of those amounts was going to happen. We have a cheap Tooth Fairy, and besides, I wasn't willing to set that kind of precedent. I have three kids who each have 16 baby teeth. You do the math!
Anyway, then we both forgot about the issue in the tumult of putting three kids to bed. My husband went to play hockey.
At 2:00 a.m. I woke up, gasping. "Oh no! The Tooth Fairy!"
I ran downstairs. My husband had fallen asleep on the couch. I woke him up and hissed at him, "The TOOTH FAIRY!"
He looked at me sleepily, grunted, "Oh, right," got up and stumbled upstairs to bed. Thanks, honey! (In the morning he'd have no recollection of our little chat.) I was hoping he'd gotten some change when he was out for the night. So much for that.
Anyway, after reviewing my options, I did what any good mother would do. I stole money from my other son.
Then, in the morning, when my oldest son retrieved the Tooth Fairy's gift, he sighed. "I only got a dollar!"
I just lay on the couch with my eyes closed. "Someone get me an Advil and make it snappy!" I yelled.