Family Life

On Being the Tooth Fairy

We’ve been waiting months for Tee’s tooth to finally come out. Literally months.

Tonight her tooth was basically just dangling there, and I was finally able to convince Tee it would be worse to swallow it in her sleep than to let me give it a tug. After a few tears and half a dozen false starts – “Okay, do it now. No, wait!” – she eventually agreed to let me pull out her tooth.

The last time she lost a tooth, I forgot and had to write an apology note from the Tooth Fairy (it had glitter glue on it and everything), so I was determined not to forget this time. I tucked Tee into bed, kissed her good night, and put on Gray’s Anatomy while waiting for her to go to sleep. I stuck my head in a couple of hours later and she sleepily murmured, “Mommy?” “Just checking on you,” I whispered and gently closed the door.

An hour later, I figured she had to be asleep by now. I slowly eased the door open and silently crept into her room. I slid my hand under the pillow and gently pulled out the little drawstring bag she keeps her lost teeth in. Tee rolled over and without really thinking about it, I dropped to the floor.

Crap. Why did I do that? Why didn’t I just tuck her in and leave again? But I was now committed to the sneaky approach.

So I laid there, clutching my toonie in my sweaty hand, waiting for her to fall back asleep so I could put it under her pillow. I could hear her moving around as I tried not to breathe. (Wait, are those my measuring spoons under here?) After a couple of minutes, the absurdity of the situation hit me. Here I was, lying on my daughter’s floor in the middle of the night, trying not to sneeze and contemplating how hard it would be to roll under her bed. I started to shake, trying desperately to keep the giggles in.

Maybe I could wriggle on the floor to the door and try again in a few minutes. But then I thought, what if she wakes up and sees someone crawling around on her bedroom floor? She’ll have nightmares for months, and I’ll be the terrible mom who traumatized my daughter pretending to be the Tooth Fairy. I was stuck. More stifled laughter.

Then I heard the bed creak, and a little voice say, “Hi, Mommy. What are you doing?” (Well, I guess she’s not scared.)

Umm. How am I supposed to explain this?

“Oh. I was, uh, just checking the bed frame. ” (Really? That doesn’t even make sense.)


“Um, I didn’t want to forget.” But I still couldn’t stop snickering. I hurriedly leaned over to kiss her and stealthily (or so I thought) slipped the toonie under her pillow.

I swear I could hear the smirk in her “Good night,” that followed me out of the room.

The next morning, Tee couldn’t stop laughing as she told her dad all about finding me lying on the floor, and catching me holding the tooth pouch, and didn’t I realize that she’s known for months that Mommy is the tooth fairy? (I guess the glitter glue wasn’t as convincing as I had thought.)

Next time I’m just going to hand her the $2.

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