Don’t worry, the Tooth Fairy is safe…for now.
Even though my 6-year-old is an evil genius on par with Darth Vader or El Macho, even though she set a trap so shrewd and wily that I almost fell into it, please know that I have saved the Tooth Fairy, at least for another week.
A week ago, Sarah lost a tooth. She was elated and crafted an elaborate care package for the tooth fairy with a note asking for fairy dust to make her fly. If the Tooth Fairy delivered what she asked for, she told us, it would prove she was real. And if she didn’t, well, the conclusion would be obvious.
When Sarah lifted her pillow the next morning, she was met with a sparkly jar of fairy dust and a letter which thanked her for her package and cautioned that the fairy dust wouldn’t in fact make her fly. Also, it said, she must keep the jar closed forever (the Tooth Fairy must have realized that my little daredevil would certainly have jumped off the highest thing possible expecting to fly. Also, glitter…er…fairy dust is really hard to get out of hair and carpets and such).
Sarah was ecstatic and carried her jar of fairy dust everywhere while I spent the next few days fielding angry texts from parents whose children had not received the aforementioned fairy dust.
All was well in the world.
Until this morning, when Sarah marched angrily up to me and said,
“I know that the parents are the Tooth Fairy. I lost a tooth yesterday and she didn’t come!”
“What?” I said, buying time, my brain absorbing her deception. “You lost a tooth and didn’t tell us? You kept that from us?” I was shocked and sad and freaking out all at once.
“I lost a tooth at school yesterday and left another letter for the Tooth Fairy and it’s still there. And I didn’t tell you so you didn’t know.” Arms crossed, she stared me down.
“The parents are the Tooth Fairy,” she repeated. She was calm, cool and unflappable, a jaded detective who’s just solved an egregious crime.
I began to sweat. “No, the parents are not The Tooth Fairy,” I stammered as she gave me a lingering, narrow-eyed stare and then headed back to the living room to watch TV with her brother.
What happened next is a bit of a blur.
Heart pounding, I raced up the stairs and into her room where I found, beneath her pillow, a care package which included a letter asking for a picture of the tooth fairy and $100.
I confiscated the evidence and raced downstairs where I hid in the laundry room and Superman-style, transformed from regular mom to Tooth Fairy. A letter was written in purple Sharpie with elaborate curlicue lettering, in which the Tooth Fairy apologized for being so late.
“It was a very busy night,” she wrote.
She also explained a bit about fairy economics.“If I gave you $100, I wouldn’t have enough for other kids.”
As far as the picture was concerned, she regretfully informed my daughter that she liked to remain incognito given the secretive and delicate nature of her profession.
The letter was tied with a beautiful purple ribbon, $3 was added to it and it was placed beneath the pillow.
I then casually strolled into the living room, hiding my fingers, stained with purple permanent ink.
“So you lost a tooth! I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!”
“Yeah and the Tooth Fairy never came,” she said again, jaded and cynical.
“Huh. Can you show me?”
I followed her to her room where she lifted her pillow and gasped.
“She came!” she cried, unrolling the paper. Then – “This looks like your writing.” Pause. “But you were downstairs the whole time so it couldn’t be you.”
For once, I thanked the power of TV to suck my children in so thoroughly that they cannot hear someone pounding up the stairs numerous times. And with a happy sigh, I hugged my little girl, knowing that her magical world of childlike belief could continue, at least until the next tooth.