How I Earned My Tooth Fairy Wings

775_3733480I didn’t lose my first tooth until I was almost nine. I was eating an orange salt water taffy and it fell out on the stairs. I handed the tooth to my aunt and she gave me two dollars. I was way too old to even consider believing in the tooth fairy. I never considered that it would be any different for my children.

Two weeks ago my son’s bottom tooth started to wiggle. The fairy questions started coming. “How will she know when it falls out? What does she do with the teeth? How does she get in?  Can she go to jail for breaking in?”

He was so nervous about the fairy that he refused to eat for two days and when he finally got hungry enough he ate only soft foods like bananas and then asked not to go to school “in case it falls out there.”

Because, “What if the tooth fairy thinks I live at school and brings my money to the wrong place?”

Finally the big moment happened…actually we don’t know when it happened. I just looked at my son and he looked like a Jack-O-Lantern.

“Where is your tooth?”

“Your tooth?”

“Oh no! It’s gone! The tooth fairy isn’t going to come. Oh no!!! Oh! Oh! Oh!” He was going a little dramatic but it was pretty fine acting I must say.

I had to think fast. “Sometimes, the tooth fairy knows your tooth is coming out and swoops down and catches it in a jar right before you can get it because she is afraid that you will swallow it.”

“Where is my money?”

That is when I began to panic. I do not carry cash. I throw away pennies. My husband was out of town. What was I going to do? Not only did I have to hurry my kids to bed but I was going to have to scramble through old handbags and couch cushions to try to find enough money to give this kid for his first tooth.

I put the kids to bed and started shaking out my bags. I found outdated lipsticks, old receipts, and five pennies. I ran to the couch. Freaking cushions were not removable. I swiped my hand in the creases and almost vomited as I found a bazillion crumbs and an old baby bottle. Next my car. We don’t have tolls on the highway here, so I knew I don’t have much in there. Plus I usually use that money to buy coffee. Luckily, I found a nickel and one more penny. That would do it. The kid was getting 11 cents.

I figured I better write a note too. My kid is smart, so I knew I better disguise my hand writing. I worked for fifteen minutes to write this:


When I heard him snoring like an old man I decided to sneak into his room. I couldn’t figure out how to lift his head to get the envelope under the pillow. And you would never believe how much noise eleven cents makes! I decided to slide the money under. As I started to slide the money, he rolled toward me. I bolted out of the room. I waited to hear three snores again and tip toed back in. I decided to go for a quick “lift and tuck” and did just that.

The money was secure. But fifteen minutes later he must have moved because I heard a “cha-ching” and his pillow and the tooth fairy’s envelope was on the ground.

At this point I started to wish there really was a tooth fairy. Why was this so difficult? Once more I lifted his head and tucked the envelope under the pillow. I scooted his whole body over so nothing

would fall. I didn’t even care if he woke up at that point. My shows were coming on. I had to be done being a fairy.

When I woke my son in the morning he was so excited. “Look at all these pennies! She said to buy a book! Is there enough here to buy a book for my brother too? You were right mommy, she got my tooth!”

“Son, mommy is always right. And what do you think of that fairy’s handwriting? Isn’t special? That is REAL fairy writing.”

“Can you write like that?”

“No! I’m not a fairy, how dare you ask such things!”

And that is how I kept my son believing. Believing in the tooth fairy and that eleven cents can buy you two books.

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Lauren Karpf

Lauren Karpf

Lauren Karpf is the kind of girl who in the nineties couldn’t figure out how to tight roll her jeans or tease her bangs high. She tried to embrace her individuality but instead embraced NY pizza. Now 20 years later, with a husband and two kids she’s still trying to figure it all out. Lauren writes about the realities of being a mom, friend and wife; because everyone knows life deserves a Five Second Rule too.