There has been a rash of Tooth Fairy sightings around the web lately -- or, more accurately, non-sightings. The kids dutifully slip their baby teeth under their pillows, cuddle down and go to sleep and, in the morning... the tooth is still there.
Used to happen at our house all the time.
The sleep-deprived Tooth Fairy has left the dollar at the breakfast table instead of under the pillow, forgotten to take the tooth away, scrounged around the couch for lost quarters at 3 a.m., left dollar coins that were too big for the kids' piggy banks, and scrawled notes in squiggly handwriting explaining why she slipped up. Each time, the kids gleefully accepted the Tooth Fairy's excuses -- and her (or his) money, of course.
Speaking of which: the Tooth Fairy has gotten awfully expensive. I know kids who get $5 per tooth -- a far cry from the quarter I was glad to receive back when I was a kid. (What's the going rate for teeth in your neck of the woods? At my house, baby teeth are worth $1.)
At No Child Left, Patti Hartigan is torn about the Tooth Fairy tradition. "Iíve had little debates with myself over why we do this," she writes. "They go something like this: We teach them not to lie. But itís magic. We teach them to know the difference between their imagination and reality. But theyíre so innocent. Itís a giant lie, constructed by adults. But it makes them so happy. And on and on."
So, should we cut the Tooth Fairy some slack -- or cut her out entirely? How do you recover from a Tooth Fairy slip-up?
Lylah M. Alphonse is a Globe staff member and mom and stepmom to five kids. She writes about juggling career and parenthood at The 36-Hour Day and blogs at Write. Edit. Repeat. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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