The Tooth Fairy

All-Knowing, No Matter What
By Kathryn Lenn

The Tooth Fairy has been the subject of many of our favorite shows on Disney Junior as of late. One show depicted a tooth loss-ee losing said tooth, as it was stolen by another to receive the gift from the Tooth Fairy. Another reviewed the loss-ee being upset that the Tooth Fairy had not shown after his tooth was lost, and how they go to find the fairy and realize the problem was that it wasn’t under his pillow.

It’s hard enough for the Tooth Fairy to get around to all the houses with lost teeth, but then to specify to children that it “needs” to be under their pillow for them to receive the prize. When I was a child, we put our teeth in a glass of water, and the next morning, there would be shiny quarters in that same glass.

Now, this Tooth Fairy is not into digging under a sleeping child’s head to find the tooth that has, no doubt, migrated in slumber toss-and-turns. This Tooth Fairy would rather have it hanging in a receptacle of some sort around the door knob where it can easily be swapped without disturbing the sleeping child.

Two different shows depicted the Tooth Fairy in two different ways, so my child is now convinced that the Tooth Fairy brings presents and coins when a tooth is lost. I told her that is not how it works. I told her that when I was a kid, we got just coins. My husband chimed in that it was the same for him. She responded with, “No, guys. Its presents and coins. Both.”

So, not only does the Tooth Fairy need to stealth-mode into the room to retrieve the tooth, but then they need to leave presents and coins. Lift the pillow once to retrieve that nasty little tooth. Then, lift it again to put presents and coins underneath.

One day Cecelia jumped herself right out of her bed—over the rail, on the ground—and crying commenced. Since then we’ve talked about not jumping on her bed, because she may fall off. The message then morphed to, if she didn’t actually fall out of her bed, she may hit her face on her guard rail and knock her teeth out. That message was given a few times. She responded to me one day saying she hoped she knocked her teeth out so the Tooth Fairy would come to her house.

Well, you can imagine my shock as she connected those dots. Don’t worry, though, Mom is just as smart. I replied with a new “fact” that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t come if you lose your tooth from not listening. Her eyes widened as she asked me how the Tooth Fairy would know. I told her the Tooth Fairy was like Santa; all-knowing, no matter what.

Another day, as I’m folding laundry in the basement and listening to Cecelia play with her Barbies. She has her Anna doll jumping on the bed as Elsa tells her, “Stop jumping on your bed! You will knock your teeth out from being bad and the Tooth Fairy won’t give you anything. The Tooth Fairy doesn’t come for naughty teeth.”

The Tooth Fairy Committee met and discussed that coins or presents may be given for lost teeth. There was also a note that the threat will remain, but we may request an exception from the Tooth Fairy if it was an accident.  And, as for the pillow, we will invest in a tooth pillow that hangs around the door knob. We are doing our best to simplify processes wherever we can, as well as save some “coins and presents,” while still keeping childhood fantasies alive and well. In the meantime, we will put our energy into getting her to brush the teeth she still has.

Katie Lenn is navigating motherhood and adulthood, and finds it therapeutic to share her life’s mishappenings by writing about them.