Yesterday, my friend Laura's 8-year old daughter, Noelani, wrote the following letter...
Toothfairy where have you been? Have you been on vacation? I am very upsent [sic] that you did not take my tooth last night. I hope you take my tooth tonight.
Her signature was in cursive, which meant serious business, and the letter was accompanied by a portrait of the Tooth Fairy, and a large arrow pointing to the place where her tooth had been hidden THE NIGHT BEFORE. Now that slacker Tooth Fairy had NO excuses.
Of the two adults living in Laura's home, the Tooth Fairy is...not Laura. I will say no more. And apparently, this Tooth Fairy fell asleep and forgot all about his duties. And this was not the first time. (I sigh and shake my head sadly...)
After hearing this story, I realized that this terrible parental failure is something that I have long lived in fear of.
About 16 years ago, I was in Austin, staying with my friend Flavia and her family. Her daughter Katie, who was then about 6, lost a tooth and expectantly put it under her pillow, awaiting the arrival of the Tooth Fairy.
Unfortunately, I was a rather bad influence, and Flavia and I somehow stayed up really late drinking wine, and totally forgot to perform our Tooth Fairy duties. The next morning, we were awakened by a confused and crushed Katie. We made many excuses for that silly Tooth Fairy, but I'm afraid that Flavia felt TERRIBLE.
I have never forgotten this. And when it came time for Jude to lose teeth and for the Tooth Fairy to start making regular appearances in our home, this is something that worried me tremendously.
Then someone gave me an excellent piece of advice to avoid this tragic oversight. I think it was one of you, faithful readers, but I honestly can't remember who it was. So please forgive me for taking credit for it.
Every time your kid loses a tooth, puts it under their pillow and falls asleep dreaming of a magical fairy spiriting away their discarded denticle and bestowing them with tremendous wealth, walk straight to the bathroom. Take your toothbrush, and put it someplace...odd. The windowsill or...on top of the toilet.
This peculiar placement is now your Tooth Fairy reminder.
Then when you go to sleep, no matter now distracted or sleepy or drunk you are, assuming that you are the kind of person who always brushes their teeth before they go to bed (and please tell me that you ARE), you will find your strangely placed toothbrush and remember to go in and swap out that sweet little tooth for a wad of cash.
Consider yourself helped. And since this has definitely worked for me, I am hereby submitting it to...
Go visit We Are THAT Family and check out other stuff that works.