By Sue Murphy
My granddaughter called last week to tell me that she had lost her first tooth. It wasn’t lost, actually, just relocated from her mouth to a plastic zippie bag that would be placed under her pillow in anticipation of the arrival of the Tooth Fairy.
She was very excited about the prospect of such a visit, but some kids are not. The son of a friend stated, wide-eyed, that he most certainly did not want a fairy flying around his room while he slept.
That’s understandable. Think about it. We constantly monitor security cameras and video doorbells and require a passcode to open and close our doors, but we’re OK with celebrity strangers entering our homes while we sleep as long as they leave us gifts. Is this really a healthy attitude to foster? At least Santa and the Easter Bunny confine themselves to the living room. They eat a cookie or a carrot, deposit their chocolate and presents, then, laying a finger aside of their noses, go quietly off into the night. Apparently, however, the Tooth Fairy wants to come into your room while you sleep and put her hand under your pillow. You can see where that would be unnerving for a child.
And who is this Tooth Fairy person anyway? Does she have references? Is she bonded and insured? Do we even know what she looks like? I’ve never seen a single picture. A lot of red flags there.
And here’s the really eerie part: when she leaves, she takes your tooth with her. Unlike Santa and the Easter Bunny, she’s not leaving you gifts out of the goodness of her heart. She’s making a trade. Why? What does she do with the teeth? If she’s been collecting them for decades, she must have quite a stash by now. If she laid them end to end, they would circumnavigate the globe. If she stacked them on top of each other, she’d have a Trump-sized tower. As building materials go, teeth are both natural and sustainable but they’ve also been in someone’s mouth. That could be a deal breaker for a buyer, even one who’s committed to living off the grid. When the Tooth Fairy decides to retire and downsize, no Realtor would touch the place.
Besides, this tooth-trading business can’t be a good deal for the Tooth Fairy at this point. When I was growing up, she would leave you a dime or a quarter, but that was back when you could buy something with a quarter. I’m guessing now that kids expect a fiver or a gift card. Does the venture still make financial sense?
It may be time to look for a new line of work, but I don’t know how her skills would play in the job market. “Previous Position? Tooth Fairy” No, but thanks for playing.
Maybe she could get a position on a hotel maintenance crew where putting your hand under someone’s pillow would be a usable skill. She’d just have to remember to wait until the person left the room.
I don’t know. I can’t worry about it. All I can do right now is make sure that my grandchildren’s teeth are properly cleaned before she comes and leave a note letting her know that the tooth will be on the coffee table in the living room. We’ll leave out a cookie or a carrot or a toothbrush, whatever would make the girl happy, but the pillows are now off limits.
Magical breaking and entering is a parent-approved gift of childhood, but you have to ask yourself … why?