Our oldest son lost his first tooth the day he turned six. Four years later, I still remember so clearly how that little tooth, so white and tiny, caused such a whirlwind of excitement and emotion.
Our son was a mixed bag of thrilled and surprised, flashing his gap-toothed smile around and then asking a little worriedly, “Do other things fall out like this?”
His little sister was in absolute awe, tugging his arm and peering into his mouth and sighing about how she couldn’t wait until her own teeth fell out.
And my husband and I just looked at this proof of time marching on and our little guy growing up and wished things would just slow the hell down.
But emotions aside, it was also a chance to put a Pinterest pin into action. I had stumbled across the most perfect tooth fairy printable months prior, pinning it my “Kiddos” board, and I happened to have all the supplies on hand that night – double-sided tape, cardstock, and a working printer (hallelujah).
After printing, cutting, folding and taping, you end up with two envelopes and a little note. One is addressed to the tooth fairy, and your kiddo can write a little message on the note.
The other little envelope, printed in a cheery yellow with suitably magical stars and a wand and a sign-off from the tooth fairy herself, is where you stash the cash. I even sprayed the bill – a fiver because, I’m telling you, we were all besides ourselves that our kid was old enough for this business, my husband included – with hairspray and dusted it with a bit of fine glitter.
It was perfect in every single way.
But now I ask myself, what the hell were we thinking? In hindsight, this is painfully obvious. Kids don’t just lose one tooth, you know what I’m saying? And we have four kids, which means we’ll be keeping up this elaborate (and expensive!) charade for years.
I got smart and printed, cut, folded, yadda yadda, a couple of these things. But when our daughter lost two teeth in a span of three days, and we were out of envelopes and dealing with a broken printer, I thought the jig was up.
Fortunately, we convinced her that the envelope the tooth fairy had left the money in, the yellow one, was the perfect spot to leave her second tooth in lieu of a note.
Fast forward now to our oldest, age ten, handing me a tooth a few weeks ago, a smile on his face and a new hole in his mouth. We put it in a little bag and got on with the day, and I forgot all about it.
Until the next morning, when my son came in our room, bag – and tooth – in hand.
“The tooth fairy didn’t come,” he said, with an intent kind of look.
I stared back, and he smiled, shaking his head.
“I knew it!”
I came clean, admitting that yes, it was us leaving him money, and no, there was no magical little fairy fluttering into his room and dealing in tooth-related transactions. He laughed and I told him that was pretty smart, setting up that little test like that.
On his way out the door, he turned back.
“Do I still get five bucks?”