How quickly things change! The day before yesterday, Connor was despondent. And then yesterday was one of the greatest days of his life so far:
Connor is nearly seven, and this was the first tooth he has ever lost. He was the only kid left in first grade who had not yet lost a single baby tooth, and when I tell you that was eating him up inside I am not exaggerating. He had been wiggling this one loose for some time, and by last night at dinnertime, it was hanging by a thread. A blue one. It made me gag just to look at it. Daddy was at the Yankees game, and my stomach churned at the thought of having to pull it out. Thankfully, just one bite of Annie’s Bunny Macaroni did the trick, and Connor had become a man!
I ran and checked my wallet while Connor called the grandmothers. I had two ones, and a ten. Ten bucks seemed a little steep; two seemed insufficient. I went directly to Facebook and posted to all: “What’s the Tooth Fairy paying out for a first tooth these days?” Here, a smattering of the responses I quickly received:
–three gold Sacajawea dollars
–100 shares of Bear Stearns
–$5 for first teeth and/or center uppers, which are particularly exciting
–$5 plus one tube of High School Musical toothpaste
Good suggestions all. But it was 7:30 pm and I had neither shiny gold coins nor stock certificate nor glittery Crest around the house. Heck, I didn’t even have a fiver. So I asked Connor, trying to appear casual.
MOMMY: What have kids at school been getting from the Tooth Fairy?
CONNOR: Ten dollars.
MOMMY: Wow! Really? Are you sure?
CONNOR: (pondering) Well. Emily got one dollar, but she also got a coloring book.
He returned a few minutes later to elaborate:
CONNOR: It was an animal coloring book. And Emily likes animals more than anything.
And more, a few minutes later:
CONNOR: I think Emily’s coloring book was so good that like, the animals were almost going to COME TO LIFE, it was so good.
I certainly didn’t have one of those lying around.
And so I sneaked into Connor’s room last night, heart pounding lest I be discovered, retrieved the teensy tooth, and left the ten. Connor came running into our bedroom at 6:02 a.m. to show me.
CONNOR: Mom! The Tooth Fairy brought me ten dollars!
By now, I was certain that had been completely excessive.
MOMMY: Wow! That’s a lot of money. That’s probably just because it was your very first tooth that you lost.
And then Seamus popped his head around the doorway.
SEAMUS: Nope. It’s ten dollars every time, Mommy. When am I going to lose a tooth?
Looks like I better get looking for that magical coloring book, or else I’ll be out several hundred dollars by the time this is finished.