Confessions of a Tooth Fairy Failure

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Confession time: I am a Tooth Fairy Failure (TFF).

At this point, I’ve forgotten about leaving Tooth Fairy treats more times than I’ve remembered, AND two of my three kids know that the Tooth Fairy is ME.

It’s only a matter of time before #3 learns the truth. 

Things my big kids also know: I usually forget to 1) take the tooth, 2) leave a treat, or 3) both. Let’s just say that they’ve gotten a few too many trips to Jerry’s due to my mom guilt from forgetting they lost a tooth. For the record, if Jerry’s is wrong, I don’t want to be right, anyway. 

I tried. I really did, y’all. I started so strong with little notes and “fairy dust” and sweet thoughtful gifts. I consulted Pinterest. I took advice from seasoned moms. I got books about losing teeth and everything. I mean, my son even sported the lost tooth necklace. I was totally rocking this Tooth Fairy gig.

Then I had more kids.

Those kids collectively lost more teeth – some within the same week.

It was a downward spiral from there.

If you’re currently in the early phases of child tooth loss, take heart – you can totally win at parenting, but it is important to recognize the Tooth Fairy Failure Phase you’re experiencing. Then, you can develop your strategy. Here’s what mine looked like.  

TFF Phase I. Distraction: The first time my kid reminded me that the Tooth Fairy failed to show up, I scurried into another room to drop off a makeshift prize: “Look, the Tooth Fairy didn’t forget you, silly!” It worked. I preserved the magic, along my identity as an amazing magician and parent.

TFF Phase II. Bait and Switch: The second time, I assured my kid that the Tooth Fairy would come “tomorrow.” Then I hid something in a random spot the next day. “Guess you missed it earlier! The Tooth Fairy would NEVER forget YOU!” I realized that this would likely happen again. And it did.

TFF Phase III. Empty Promises: Yep, I forgot again. I directed my son to the last five bucks in my wallet and realized that I had no shame anymore. I started using the hashtag #shameless a lot more to describe my parenting style. 

TFF Phase IV. Admit Defeat: Offspring lost the FIFTH TOOTH within a week and a half’s time. That’s some sort of record, right? I left a note two days late with cash. My son knew that I was a total sham, but for ten bucks we kept that between us. Update: My daughter is now in on the secret. 

Because I’m totally transparent on social media, I outed myself as a TFF among my friends, and I realized two things: 1) most of my Mom Tribe members are also TFF’s and 2) they are some really creative ladies. {Insert slow hand clap}.

Here are just a few of the “get out of jail free” TFF hacks from these insanely brilliant mamas*:

  • Vacation time! TF is super busy and is getting some much needed R&R. If you get kids to write her a postcard or you leave something tropical from TF (hey there, lei from Dollar Store!), you’re winning all day long.
  • It’s daylight savings time (if you need an extra hour). TF is likely in a different space-time continuum so you can really get creative and use this anytime with a little imagination. Kids are learning creativity, which is never a bad thing, right? Right.
  • Work the seasonal excuses! TF might be stuck in a snowstorm (winter) or hurricane (late summer/early fall). Work this as a teachable moment for learning about weather, seasons, or months of the year. Your kid will be a genius by the time he or she finishes losing teeth. 
  • Need some time? Perhaps your child woke up too early (good if you need a bit more time) or went to bed too late (handy to get kid in bed earlier next night!). Redirect your child to bed. You’re helping your child get more rest, which is helpful for everyone. You’re a rock star. 
  • Scheduling conflicts. TF doesn’t work on Tuesdays. Or whatever day you forgot. You’re teaching your kid about the real world and time management. Pat yourself on the back, mama. 
  • Need even more time? TF heard dog/cat/brother/sister moving around and got scared. She will try again tomorrow when it is quieter. You’re prepping your child for having a roommate in college. You can never start teaching consideration too early.
  • Most Popular (and personal favorite): TF has an allergy to a messy room and cannot visit until cleaned. Bonus points for getting your child to clean and/or engaging in discussion about allergies
  • Tell the truth. Warning: They might still want a gift for tooth loss and/or for not telling siblings. But they’re learning about honesty and let’s face it, that is really important. 

*Also, celebs forget the TF, so if you do happen to forget, remember that this means you are basically living the life of a celebrity. And let’s be honest here: who doesn’t want to live like a celebrity mom?

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Jeanie
Jeanie is a perfectly imperfect mama, transplanted to Cordova fresh out of graduate school. She and her husband, Matt, had no intent on making Memphis “home” – but ten years later, they’re still here (and love it!). They have three saucy gingers, along with three “fur babies”. Between homeschooling and chairing graduate Psychology departments online, life is never boring in the Whinghter house. It’s no surprise that Jeanie fancies coffee, but she also loves bargain shopping and embarrassing her children with her questionable singing/dancing skills. She’s had more #PinterestFails that she can count and has perfected the art of giving a good pep talk (watch out, puberty!). Motherhood has slowly transformed her into the “uncool” Mom she thought she’d never be, yet she’s never felt cooler or more content with her life.