My little one lost another tooth last night and is now a verified gummy bear. It's also given her a short-term lisp, adding to the strange cuteness of the gappy smile. But having just come from her room, where my husband is ever-so-quietly searching for the bagged tooth which has fallen off the bedhead into the mess below, I’m reminded just how arduous a task playing tooth fairy is, and of all the things that can sometimes go wrong...
1. The tooth disappears: This must happen to everyone. The kid is so excited, they take the tooth to school, to grandma’s, on the trampoline, into the dog’s kennel and before you know it, it’s gone! I even know a few kids who swallowed the damned things before they came out. What to do, what to do? Every self-respecting fairy knows. You write a letter, explaining how you lost the tooth, how sorry you are and why you still deserve the cash. It’s like asking for a payrise when you haven’t met budget, except in this case the kid will still get paid.
2. The tooth re-appears: The fairy, upon entering the room, cannot locate the tooth. Without night vision, silence slippers or other stealth enhancing tools (they’re reserved for super-heroes), fairies can only fluff around in the dark trying not to sigh or grunt too loudly in exasperation before leaving the money anyway. What do you say when the kid wakes up and yells “I got my money but my tooth’s still here!??” Because you slept with it darling, in your hot little hand, and it got lost amongst the sheets and you were lying on it – princess and pea like – and the poor fairy didn’t know what to do. FAIL!
3. The fairy forgets to appear: This isn’t just a fail, it’s a monumental F*-Up. How you could possibly forget to sneak into your kid’s room at mid-night and drop off a few dollars? Honestly. After waking at 6am to squeeze in half an hour of exercise, making the lunches, hanging a load of washing, folding another one, double drop off, working a few hours, back to school for pick up, afternoon tea, dance class, signing permission slips, Premier’s Reading Challenge and that thing you call dinner, surely lost teeth are at the forefront of your mind. Lazy selfish fairy! Santa would never do such a thing!
4. You get caught: They woke up and saw you hovering over the bed. You can’t pretend you popped in for midnight kiss, because instead of your usual loving face, you have a demented blurry-eyed look that says ‘I wish I didn’t have to get out of bed for this crap,’ accompanied by an awkward squint as you search in the dark for the tiny tooth which the child has hidden under his/her pillow. Your face is enough to scare the bejeezus out of any kid, until they realise it’s you, and then they want to know what the hell you’re doing and why you look so weird. Here are some top excuses:
1. Woken by allergic reaction to fairy dust
2. Trying to photograph fairy in action and blinded by light as she disappeared
3. Severely wand-slapped by vigilant fairy who thought you were trying to make off with the dosh
5. The kid sees you and doesn’t tell you till morning: The game’s up buster! You won’t be needing that pink tutu anymore. That cheeky so-and-so must be about 8 years old to pull this one, and probably has no teeth left to lose, so doesn’t even care. The problem is, he/she is will probably tell their siblings who the tooth fairy is before Wheat-Bix O’clock. At this point, it would be wise to slip the empty mouthed prat a $20 note to keep their gummy trap shut, after all, you do love wearing that tutu.
To end this lovely fairy tale, it should be said that #2 woke up today as pleased as punch and shouted “Mum, Dad, come upsthairs, I have thomething really excthiting to thow you!” She showed her $2 coin and the letter I wrote with my left hand telling her my fairy name and those of my fairy friends, because this is the kind of detail every little girl wants. And we all lived happily every after.