Last week our Master 5 had his first wobbly tooth and somewhere in the back of my mind I made a mental note that the Tooth Fairy, (who has been off duty for a while since Master 7 lost all his baby teeth fairly early), would have to make a reappearance soon. On Sunday it finally happened and my son proudly showed us his tooth and placed it in a special tooth-shaped container he had coincidentally just received the week before for a school incursion. But, then he left it in some random part of the house.
It wasn’t until the next day that I realised that Master 5 hadn’t put his tooth out for the Tooth Fairy to take. As he had never lost a tooth before, I explained how he should put it in a glass of water on his bedside table that night. We also found out that day that my husband had to leave at midnight to go overseas on business, so all at once my mind was racing with what I needed to prepare for the following day, my only work day, and how much time I’d need in the morning to get everyone ready for school and creche in good time.
While focusing on all these tasks, I committed a parenting fail and forgot to exchange Master 5’s tooth for a gold coin. I was kicking myself the following day when he saw that the tooth was still there and I found myself inventing a story that lots of kids were losing teeth lately so the Tooth Fairy was probably very busy. I thought about the pouring rain and thrashing wind the night before and said that the weather probably didn’t help either and I was sure that she would visit tonight. I can’t tell you how much it broke my heart when I saw how upset he was, and how he thought it was maybe because the Tooth Fairy didn’t like him.
At work many of the other parents could relate to having forgotten their Tooth Fairy duties as well and reassured me it would be fine. It also opened up an interesting discussion about how much money is left for a tooth these days; I had always thought it was a coin that was left but some of the teachers said some children received as much as ten dollars! As if things couldn’t get any worse, I forgot once more that night as well, but as Master 5 had made his way to my bed sometime during the night, it was his helpful brother Master 7 who called out to him at 6 am that the tooth was still there.
I told my toothless little man that I would go and check myself, (I’ve never got out of bed so quickly!), and rushed to sneakily exchange the tooth without anyone seeing. I went back to my bed and told him that indeed the tooth was still there, but that the Tooth Fairy probably knew he usually got up at 6.30 so if he waited till then, I was sure she would have visited by then. I really told him this because I wanted him to be the first one to find his tooth. When the clocked ticked over to 6.30, he raced to his room and called out that yes, the tooth was gone, but he was disappointed as he thought he was going to get five dollars. Then as an afterthought he said, “I suppose I’m just glad she came!”
So perhaps it was a lesson for the both of us in the end. Have you ever had a Tooth Fairy or parenting fail?