Tooth Fairy, you’ve got some explaining to do

We’ve had a lot of Tooth Fairy action in our house lately– three teeth lost in the last two weeks (two for Connor, one for Seamus). This led to a frantic scramble last Tuesday after the kids went to bed. You see, the “Tooth Fairy” had only twenties in her wallet (she has the same ATM issues as the rest of us), and the “Tooth Fairy” was home alone with the kids and couldn’t go get change, and despite a long search, the “Tooth Fairy” could find smaller bills in neither laundry-basket jeans nor abandoned purses. No, all the “Tooth Fairy” came up with was a lone five-Euro bill in Mr. “Tooth Fairy”‘s underwear drawer, left over from some business trip.

And so “Mrs. Tooth Fairy” left the five Euros under the lucky boy’s pillow, with a note explaining that she had just flown over the Atlantic and didn’t have time to hit the currency exchange. Since my children are blissfully ignorant of the falling dollar, I gave Connor five bucks for five Euros, and he seemed very happy indeed.

Still, I know, I KNOW. “Five DOLLARS? Boy, the Tooth Fairy is pretty fancy at your house!” I can hear you and my grandmother clucking your tongues right now, and according to this CNN story, the average going rate for a US incisor these days is about $2.60. But it was what I had on hand, and honestly, if I got a dollar per tooth back when we were celebrating our nation’s Bicentennial, I think we should all face facts that inflation has touched most things in these many intervening years.

Even after I pulled out this massive Tooth-Fairy save, however, I was not off the hook, since the kids all of a sudden wanted to know ALL ABOUT the Tooth Fairy. “Mommy, why does her want our teeth?” Maggie asked, and hell if I know. Maggie was also very concerned about just how the Tooth Fairy had gotten in to our house, and that stumped me too, until she decided that it was probably through the holes in our kitchen window’s screen. (Sure, screens can catch mosquitoes, but the Tooth Fairy is apparently really small.)

Still,  I feel like we have to get our act together on this, as a people: what is the Tooth Fairy’s deal? I have previously complained about what a lousy backstory the Easter Bunny has. How are we supposed to keep our kids believing in a giant bunny who brings candy if we have no explanation for

  • where he lives
  • why he’s giant
  • how he gets into our houses
  • how he carries enough candy for every kid in the whole world in one basket. I mean, Santa can fit a hemisphere’s worth of bikes and sleds in a single sleigh, but he’s got eight reindeer pulling it. We’re supposed to tell our kids that a rabbit is CARRYING all this loot himself, and like, HOPPING while he does it, and I just don’t see how that works.
  • why eggs? Rabbits don’t lay eggs. Where’s he getting them all? Are the chickens on board with this?
  • oh, and this last one: why a bunny? Why candy? Why does he CARE?  

There aren’t enough Rankin/Bass stop-motion animators in the WORLD to make a lick of sense out of all that.

And now there’s a fairy that wants to take all our children’s jawbone enamel detritus, and do who knows what with it. It’s creepy at best. Besides, if Maggie’s right, and the Tooth Fairy is smaller than a mosquito, that means she’s flying around with teeth that are like 25 times her size. HUNDREDS of them. Can she fly with her hands full? Does she carry a tote bag? Hell, is she a she?
Have your kids asked you any very-good-questions like these? Did you have any very-good answers?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaime August 12, 2011 at 2:45 am

Actually, I asked the questions, and my nephew gave me the answers.

My nephew, Andy, lost his second tooth in January (he was six at the time).  Upon
losing his first tooth and waking to discover a $2 bill beneath his
pillow, he declared that the next time he was going to set a trap for
the Tooth Fairy, because he wanted to see what she looked like.

So I called him.  “Did you see her this time?  You said you wanted to set a trap for her last time.”

“Yes, I saw her!”

“What did she look like?  I never saw her when I was little.”

“She has a flowing, sparkly dress.  The sparkles come down all around.”

Well…
I’ll spare you the dialogue.  The Tooth Fairy’s dress is yellow, as are
her wings (this surprised me, as Andy’s favorite color is not yellow). 
She also has long blonde hair (which, he pointed out, does NOT look like his four-year-old sister’s),
and a wand with a tooth at the end of it.  She carries a machine with
her into which she puts the tooth and then out comes the money.  Which I
thought was extremely clever.  I mean, what a fantastic
explanation for what the Tooth Fairy does with all those teeth!  But
then he told me that the tooth also comes out and she keeps it, so I’m stumped.

But it was as good of an explanation as anything else I’ve heard.

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Anonymous August 12, 2011 at 3:07 am

Jaime, your nephew is a genius. I love the tooth in/ money out cash register idea. Totally using that should the  need arise.

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The Tired Mother August 13, 2011 at 10:07 pm

I tell my kids that The Tooth Fairy uses the tooth to make Fairy Dust, so that Fairies can fly, but she can only use the ones without cavities (I figure if she serves any purpose at all, in addition to driving me crazy, she should at least serve as a plug for good dental hygiene!)

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm

That is a GREAT ANSWER. Only teeth without cavities. Of course I’m the one who is most half-assed about those… they’re baby teeth, they’re gonna fall out soon, cavities? Whatevs. (Much to our pediatric dentist’s chagrin)

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Randychong August 14, 2011 at 8:44 am

I was the absolute worst tooth fairy ever. I often forgot about leaving money and would tell my kids that the tooth fairy must have been too busy to get there that night and to try again tonight.. I gave Kennedy half dollars for all my kids’ teeth, so I never got sucked into the inflation issue. When I knew they had a tooth loose it was fine. I would pick up a couple of coins at the bank. It was the occasional tooth that would fall out without warning that messed me up. By then they knew that the tooth fairy left only half dollars. What to do…sneak into their piggybank and “recycle” one that had been put there from a previous lost tooth. One time my son asked if I was the tooth fairy. I answered “Do you think that with everything else I have to do that I have time to fly around at night collecting teeth?”. I told them that they paved the road of fairyland with teeth as cobblestones.

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Anonymous August 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Love it. Cobblestone teeth. Kind of like how we use broken glass in our blacktop these days, very ecologically astute.

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