For starters, some parents are just changing the rules and making stuff up, unbeknownst to other parents, who are then forced to reckon with these new developments.

Magic Fairy Dust

One of my son’s classmates was visited by the tooth fairy and she left magic fairy dust behind.


The classmate had said it was magic fairy dust that…wait for it…granted wishes, and that she’d then wished to give my son and a couple of other kids their own wishes.

Maybe this makes me a terrible parent, but I’m not one to play along and say “yeah, totally, now you have wishes because the tooth fairy left magic dust behind” so I flat out told him that’s not a thing.

Then, less than 2 weeks later he lost a tooth and I committed the same crime that I’d previously railed against — sort of.

The Canadian Tooth Fairy?

My son lost his tooth right before Memorial Day weekend (we live in the US, but I’m from Canada). He’s got this little tooth-shaped pillow thingy that you hang from the bedroom door. You leave the tooth in it, the tooth fairy comes, she leaves the tooth (how kind of her) and she leaves a little something in return.

We hung the pillow that night but then forgot to leave any money, so hurray for that parenting failure!

My son was bummed and didn’t understand why she hadn’t come. I had the idea of telling him that because it was a holiday weekend, it took the tooth fairy a little longer to visit us.

He accepted that logic as it seemed to make sense. After all, holiday weekends are busy so of course she’d be a little behind schedule.

That morphed into something else, when I decided to leave him a Canadian dollar coin (a loonie).

“Oh, that’s why it took a little longer. The Canadian tooth fairy filled in, and it’s a long way to California from Canada.”

Oh no! I’d just done the same thing the “magic fairy dust parent” had done. I’d completely added something new to the tooth fairy mix, which of course nobody else would know about.

BUT, I assumed there weren’t really that many kids in our area who had a Canadian parent (and who themselves were Canadian, by virtue of that parent) so it was a relatively harmless tale.

Losing the Lost Tooth

This past week our almost-first-grader lost one of his upper front teeth (big ol’ gap up there now) while eating breakfast. We promptly put the tooth in a Ziploc bag and placed it on the table.

We went about our days and that night when it came time to put the tooth into his little pillow thingy…the tooth was nowhere to be found.

We’d lost our son’s lost tooth! The way we do it, and who knows if this is the “correct” way, is that the tooth fairy leaves the tooth instead of taking it.

If “she” took it, then no big deal. I’d tell my son I put the tooth in there and then it would be gone when he checked. But he’d be expecting that tooth (and a little cash) to be there when he woke up.

My wife and I literally dug through garbage to find that friggin Ziploc- bagged tooth. That day was trash day, but luckily I had emptied it before breakfast. So if that tooth had been thrown away, it’d be in that trash can.

After a few minutes of sifting through various manner of rubbish, we found it! Whew, crisis averted…almost.

When the Tooth Fairy Has No Cash

That evening, before even realizing that the tooth had been thrown away, we realized that we didn’t have any cash to put in his tooth pillow. I assured my wife that she could go to sleep and I would take care of it. I figured there would be something laying around, or at the very worst I could grab some coins from the car.

That night I slept in our guest room because she had to get up early the next morning to work her weekly shift at the local barre studio (and also because having an entire bed to yourself, in a cool room, is awesome). Someday I’ll write a piece about how sleeping in separate beds has saved our marriage…ok, slight exaggeration but it’s awesome.

Ok, back to the story. I totally forgot to put money in the pillow and I woke up at tooth hurty in the morning (get it?), quickly realizing I’d not done my fairy duties.

I didn’t want to go into our bedroom and start digging around for money, especially since my wife had to be up in a few hours and I know hard it is for her to get back to sleep if she wakes up mid-night.

That left downstairs or going out to the car. Oh, but the kicker is that if I opened our front door, one or several of our dogs would start barking. I couldn’t take that chance.

Aha, I’ll go out the side door in the garage and then out the gate beside our house, I thought. Nope, couldn’t do that either because our au pairs’ room is right there and that door is super squeaky. Didn’t want to wake them.

Tooth Fairy Meets Robin Hood

The only option I had was to sneak into my son’s room, take a $1 bill from HIS wallet and use that. I know, I know. I took from the “rich” and gave to the poor…kid who has no idea I did that. We’ll get him another dollar.

So I slowly open his bedroom door, which has a slight creak. But he doesn’t wake up. I didn’t want to risk having him catch me in the act so I snatched the wallet and left the room to do my dirty work.

Once the dollar was placed into his tooth pillow, I had to put the wallet back where I got it. If I didn’t, it would be just my luck that he’d get the dollar from the tooth fairy and want to put it into his wallet. I had to return what I’d taken.

Once again, I slowly crept into his room and put the wallet where I’d found it. Please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up…whew, success!

The Next Morning

Our son slept in, so I easily could have put the money there when I woke up. Then he came downstairs and hadn’t even checked to see what the tooth fairy had left him.

When he looked in the pillow, he seemed unimpressed by my 2:30am origami skills. I folded it up like thi…oh wait, I have no bills. I could ask my son for one, but then he’d ask why I need it and I can’t very well tell him I need to fold it into a little square now can I?

How many more teeth does this kid have? Can we just pre-pay him and have the tooth fairy leave him the opposite of an IOU?