When my 6-year-old daughter recently lost her tooth, I had to make a mental note to myself.
Don’t forget to be the tooth fairy.
Last time, my husband and I were lying in bed one morning, when we heard my daughter scream.
“The tooth fairy didn’t come!”
My husband and I looked at each other.
Oops. We forgot.
We were not like the 70% of parents who said the tooth fairy has never forgotten to come to their home on the night a child loses a tooth.
After we forgot, I had to sneak into her room, grab the tooth, and leave money under her pillow when she briefly left her room. I didn’t want to go through that again.
It Happened Again
The tooth fairy is a fantasy creature that visits children in their sleep.
According to tradition, when children lose their baby teeth, the tooth fairy comes and gets the tooth, which is usually kept underneath the child’s pillow. The tooth fairy exchanges the tooth for money.
More than 80% of households with children receive a visit from the tooth fairy. Since the tooth fairy is not real, parents take on the role of the tooth fairy.
The morning after my daughter lost another tooth, I was up early in the morning with my 1-year-old son trying to nurse him back to sleep.
My 6-year-old daughter burst into the room, waving the plastic Ziploc bag with her tooth.
“The tooth fairy didn’t come!” she said.
Oops. I forgot again.
I came up with a quick response. I told her the tooth fairy would come later. She left the room as I thought of when I could exchange her tooth for money.
Does She Already Know?
The whole situation was weird to me. When she previously lost her tooth, she wouldn’t go to sleep that night. She was afraid the tooth fairy would come to her room.
Finally, we told her that the tooth fairy didn’t exist. We told her that Mommy and Daddy are the ones who act like the tooth fairy. Then we showed her a previous tooth that we confiscated.
We also told her not to tell her 4-year-old sister or anyone in her kindergarten class about the tooth fairy because it was a secret.
Did she forget that we told her about the tooth fairy? I don’t know. She could still want to get money from the “tooth fairy” or she really doesn’t remember.
This article said that if a child learns too young that there is no tooth fairy, they may still want to believe that the tooth fairy is real. Maybe that’s what’s happening.
In case she really did forget, I didn’t want to remind her. We were desperate the night we told her and wanted to get some sleep. So, we decided to continue to be the tooth fairy — when we remember.
A Chance To Try Again
The morning I forgot to be the tooth fairy, I had a chance to fix it. My daughter was playing in my room. It was a good time to sneak into her room.
When I got into her room, I wasn’t paying attention and banged into one of her noisy toys on the floor.
Then as I grabbed the Ziplock bag with the tooth, she came into the room.
“What are you doing, Mommy?”
“Nothing,” I said.
I thought quickly and held up the Ziplock bag in my hand.
“The tooth fairy still hasn’t come yet,” I said.
I put the tooth back under the pillow and went back to my room, waiting for another opportunity.
One More Chance
My daughter wanted an apple for a snack. I went downstairs and cut up an apple for her.
Then I came upstairs and quickly grabbed the tooth and put money under my daughter’s pillow. I ran to my room, hid the tooth, and casually started working on my laptop.
When my 6-year-old was finished eating, she ran upstairs and went straight to her room.
“The tooth fairy came!” I heard her scream from her room.
A smile came to my face. My work as a mother has been completed for the day.
Next time she loses a tooth, I will set a 10 p.m. alarm on my cell phone to avoid all of the shenanigans. The reminder would say, “Be the tooth fairy.”