Tooth Fairy…SHH!


We’re at an interesting spot with the blog: Zoe can read.

Zoe also believes in Santa. And the Tooth Fairy.

Now of course I can (and have) put the printed blog books out of our general books area, and Zoe can’t read EVERYTHING yet (nor does she surf the Internet), but still. I wonder if I’ll even remember writing this blog (much less the Santa ones) when it counts.

Regardless, I’d rather seize the moment than lose it forever, and speaking of losing, Zoe offically lost her first tooth.

As a parent, something you learn quickly is that NO ONE actually knows what to do with your children. Every friend has a story of “what’s normal”, every book says something different, and well, Google is a charlatan, just feeding back whatever you’re looking for, period. You trust your pediatrician (or you don’t), do the best with whatever your gut says (or ignore your gut and be right sometimes, wrong others), or just write a blog later about whatever actually happened.

In the spirit of that, I am way past knowing “milestones” for children. With your first child, you track EVERYTHING (I have a date by every single tooth Zoe got in a little book), but with the second, one day you just realize “hey, she has teeth!” Yes, teething can be a clue, but honestly, sometimes a fever or a snotty nose is illness and sometimes it’s just a tooth on its way out.

I know a few of Zoe’s schoolmates have lost a tooth, but some also started Kindergarten reading / writing and others still can’t…

Anyway, the TOOTH story:

Bart and Zoe headed out early Friday to their annual father/daughter trip to the Live Oak Music Festival near Santa Barbara, which involves camping (which pretty much rules out my attendance – though I did go once) and happens on Father’s Day weekend. So imagine my surprise when my husband texts me at 10:06 am on Saturday:

“Loose tooth”

That’s it. After all the horror stories I’ve heard about losing teeth (tying strings to doors, etc), I was sure we had a week or so of her wiggling it around before it mattered. I wrote back a confident “Ha”, as any concerned mother would do.

Apparently she had spent part of the morning wiggling it already, because at 11:27 am, the following exchange happened:


In case you’re curious, FT = FaceTime, because I was so shocked I wanted to SEE HER – I couldn’t believe it! Plus, that looks like a fake shark tooth, right? And if it was a true story, I was not going to miss my kid’s first experience with the Tooth Fairy!

Anyway, tooth gone. Since this music festival is pretty much a hippie fest, and Zoe spent the rest of the weekend telling ANYONE who would listen that she had lost her tooth, a kind lady made her a small pouch out of colorful fabric to keep it in.

She was so excited that when one of the bands had a “meet and greet” after their show, she told Bart she wanted to meet them and proceeded to tell them all about her tooth. The nicer of the band members listened intently, then said, “Keep losing teeth. You don’t need them anyway.” Gotta love hippies.

We had one scare on Sunday afternoon when they got home: She wanted to take her tooth (in the pouch) to dinner, then lost it. Thankfully, she found it in the car after dinner, and we agreed to put the pouch beside her bed for the Tooth Fairy. Don’t get me started about under the pillow. Just trust me that this way was our best option.

About an hour after she fell asleep, when we were exhausted, we decided to discuss how much to give… Not the best time to make such an important parenting decision. But we both agreed on a crisp dollar bill, and I wrapped it neatly in her pouch without doing an ounce of research online about what parents are supposed to do (and that’s an accomplishment).

When she woke the next morning, I was there for her to open the pouch and to my dismay, she was disappointed… She said “The Tooth Fairy only left me one thing.” I asked what that meant, and she was expecting TWO things (two quarters). PHEW. She was thrilled to learn that a dollar is FOUR quarters! What a SCORE!

If you’re curious, I now know that there’s a lot of debate on the subject of Tooth Fairy loot:

  • Kiplinger says:
  • There’s a calculator (US average = $3.19 per tooth!):
  • 32% get $1, while 25% get $5, a lucky 5% get TWENTY, and 10% get nada:
  • Time has a lot of clever ideas:

From that research I learned that a) we are cheap but in the majority, b) we are unimaginative, and c) we are lucky to have such a cool kid.

As Bart said, “You’ve got 19 more to go.” So I guess there’s plenty of time for us after all.


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