By Marie Hunkele, author of The Lunchbox Memoirs
I think I commit, on average, about 1.3 Mommy Fails a day. But what I’m famous for, are the EPIC Mommy Fails. Take the Tooth Fairy, for instance. When my oldest daughter lost her first tooth, I had no idea what the going rate for a tooth was, so I posted the question on Facebook. The answers I got stunned and horrified me. Did you know that the average Tooth Fairy forks out $10 dollars for the first tooth and $5 for every tooth after? Are you freaking kidding me?
Truthfully, I was only prepared to offer coins. Four quarters to be exact. And that was pushing it for me. Frankly, I don’t care if the cost of a tooth has gone up since I was a kid. If I have those kinds of bills just lying around, then I’m keeping them. At any rate, my kids don’t seem to be interested in money and spending yet, and I’m not about to encourage it. So, I got this clever idea that the wonderful Tooth Fairy would deliver 4 quarters and a beautifully laminated keepsake card for every tooth lost. The card would have a picture of the child and her sweet gap-toothed smile, as well as the date and number of the tooth lost.
Pretty creative, huh? I thought so, until my husband said, “Do you realize how much work you are creating for yourself?” Work? What are you talking about? I am a graphic designer! I’ll just make a template on my computer and every time she loses a tooth, I can just crank one out! Well, that is what I said, and then my child experienced a mass exodus of teeth. Then number two started losing teeth. All of a sudden I found myself unable to keep up. I would forget to take the picture of the gap-toothed smile, or someone would lose a tooth at 10 at night when I just did not have it in me to make that special card. My child actually got a note from the tooth fairy once, apologizing for not delivering the keepsake card because the tooth fairy’s fairy printer had run out of ink! So needles to say, I had to figure out a way to make this little tradition disappear.
If you are a parent of girls, you may be familiar with the Pinkalicious series by Victoria Kann. We are huge fans and highly recommend all of the Pinkalicous books.
Silverlicious tells the tale of how Pinkalicious loses her tooth, but not just any tooth. Her sweet tooth. So she writes the tooth fairy a letter asking her to bring her something sweet until her new sweet tooth grows in. She unexpectedly gets a visit from Cupid, the Easter Bunny, and one of Santa’s elves, none of whom bring her anything sweet. Eventually the real tooth fairy comes to visit. She teaches Pinkalicious that sweetness comes from within, and she leaves Pinkalicious with 3 chocolate coins wrapped in silver foil. I love this story, at least I did until I realized how much it inspired my children to aim high when it comes to the Tooth Fairy. Recently, my 6 year old lost her 2nd tooth, and this is the note that she wrote and put under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy:
Oh, I’m sorry. You can’t read kindergarten/upcoming 1st grade scrawl on rainbow scratch paper? Allow me to translate:
Dear Tooth Fairy,
Can I please have a necklace that can turn me into a pink mermaid and also 4 chocolate coins?
How much do you want to bet that the tooth fairy wrote back saying this?
There is no such thing as a necklace that will turn you into a pink mermaid, but here are 4 quarters. Incidentally, I am the Tooth Fairy, not Santa Claus, so please stop asking for such impossible things.
Sparkletina, the Tooth Fairy
PS – Chocolate will make your teeth rot.
Ok fine. I did not write that. However, I…err, the Tooth Fairy, did write this:
Then I pawed through my emergency birthday present stash (you know you have one too) and found a dollar store necklace that I had used as a goody bag prize for her birthday party two months ago. Praying that she would not recognize the necklace, I stuffed that, 4 quarters and a little bag full of chocolate chips under her pillow. Chocolate coins were something I did actually have the foresight to stock up on. Only, I could not remember where I hid them. No clue at all. After all, it was 3 in the morning. All I could find were chocolate chips.
Joy was super excited about the necklace, coins and chocolate chips. So excited, in fact, that as we were getting ready to go to the pool later that day, she turned to me and said excitedly, “I can’t wait to try out my new necklace. It will be SO fun to be able to breathe under water, just like an actual mermaid!!” And then her older sister said, “Oh me too! Can I try it too? Please?” Suddenly, visions of my children dying a watery death started racing through my mind. How did I let it get to this point? They weren’t actually supposed to believe that the necklace would work. Commence desperate backpedaling…
I don’t know where I’m going with this. This post has already exceeded my self-imposed 5 sentence limit. Thanks to Silverlicious and my own visions of grandeur, the Tooth Fairy became something she was never meant to be! Whoops! My Bad! I have now decided that the next tooth will cost me $5 and a whole heck of a lot less grief. And that book, Silverlicious? Well, let’s just say we plan on making that book disappear, just like the Tooth Fairy keepsake cards.
SHOW ME THE MONEY!