One of the most dangerous areas to navigate as a step-parent is the Land of Fairies. Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy live in a land so densely populated with emotional land mines, there are bound to be casualties.
When you start out your own kids from scratch, you can make up every bit of it. You create the Land of Fairies, and because it’s your world, you know all the rules. When you get a kid ready-made, they already have their own beliefs, but usually the only time they share them with you is when you do it wrong.
Strangely, it is the Easter Bunny who has been subject to the most resistance in my house. But that’s a whole other post. I’m here today to talk about Tooth Fairy Crimes.
When the kids first came to live with us, all of them were still losing teeth, and the three youngest were Tooth Fairy believers. It didn’t take long, given our pathetic Tooth Fairy skills, for them to become skeptical.
The neighborhood we live in is full of parents who
spoil the crap out of their kids don’t hesitate to spend any amount of money on their children. I’m not joking when I say that 80% of the kids in the elementary school have the latest iPhone. We get constant reports of how the Tooth Fairy left someone five dollars, ten dollars, an X-Box, or a pony for one lousy tooth. Someone even has a Tooth Fairy that dusts the windowsills with glitter when she comes. I’m fairly confident there are fewer than five children in that house.
I think that for five bucks, the Tooth Fairy better be contributing to an orthodontics HSA. Two bucks is the going rate in our house, which seems astronomical to me. Two bucks, that is, unless the tooth has a cavity, in which case you get only a strongly-worded note about oral hygiene.
The kids lose their teeth when we’re not around. I have never, not once, been present for the losing of a tooth when it wasn’t forcibly removed by the dentist. Believers don’t understand why they need to tell their parents they’ve lost a tooth because they think the Tooth Fairy has it all under control. You can see where this whole system begins to break down, and why we have yet to experience the Tooth Fairy getting it right on the first night.
One Saturday #5 lost a tooth while we were at work and didn’t tell us. We only found out about it when he woke up sad on Sunday morning.
Our Tooth Fairy backstory has developed over the years to simultaneously cover our asses and throw her under the bus. Feel free to adapt and use it as it suits you (you’re welcome.)
#5: The Tooth Fairy didn’t come again.
Me: Oh, that’s a bummer!
CC: Son, the Tooth Fairy is the most unreliable of all the Fairies.
Me: You know she just barely graduated from Fairy School. She was last in her class.
CC: She totally would have flunked out if Santa didn’t help her cheat on the final.
Me: She never studied for her Fairy tests.
CC: She couldn’t; she was drunk.
Me: That may be why she didn’t come last night. She may have been too drunk.
CC: He. The Tooth Fairy is actually a man, did you know that?
Me: Yeah, he wears a ripped up tutu and you can see his leg hair through his tights. He doesn’t shave his legs.
CC: And his wand is bent.
#5, looking incredulous: How do you know?
Me: Well some nights he just shows up here when none of you guys have even lost a tooth. He smells like cheap whiskey and cigarettes and always asks if I can break a twenty because he never has change.
CC: Then he goes home to his Tooth Room and rolls around on top of his Tooth Pile until he passes out. Whiskey is bad news, son. Remember that.
Me: Why don’t you go put it back under your pillow and try again tonight?
#5 looked skeptical, but took his tooth in its little plastic bag and walked towards his room. Then he turned around.
#5: Do you think maybe the Tooth Fairy will leave three dollars for this tooth because it has blood on it?
He is an enterprising young man, after all.
CC: There’s blood on most teeth when they fall out.
Me: When I was a kid the Tooth Fairy left a quarter.
#5: Yeah, well I think money wasn’t worth very much back then.
JM Randolph became a step-mom in 2006, when her boyfriend at the time got temporary emergency custody of his five (yes, five!) children and she moved in to help out. Temporary turned permanent when they were married in 2008. She and her husband both work as stagehands and enjoy (most days) their houseful of teen girls, one 11-year-old boy and two Puggles. She blogs at accidentalstepmom.com. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jmrandolph.writer Twitter: @JM_Randolph