Having older children join our family, and not having gone through the loss of baby teeth with my eldest son, the first tooth fairy visit was approached with some degree of trepidation. Actually, if I’m honest, I was crapping myself!
Now I’m not small at 6ft 3in and possibly on the ‘unhealthy’ side of 15 stone, so how on earth was I going to help the tooth fairy on her quest? What if they wake up when the tooth fairy is doing her business? Was the best approach stealth, commando style across the carpet, or a brazen march across the room on the pretence of a tucking in? And if I should make it, what on earth is the going rate for the tooth fairy?
I’ve watched my fair share of Mission Impossible films (several times each, if I’m honest – one of my guilty pleasures), but Ethan Hunt I am not. In the end, I wimped out and my better half took on the quest, being considerably braver (and much fleeter of foot) than me. Thankfully it was successfully completed and much joy was had the next morning in hearing the story of how the visit had been received.
However, as more teeth have been lost by all three, lessons have been learnt and a strategy refined. I would recommend the following for anyone that still has this developmental ‘joy’ to come:-
- Decide on who is to be mission team leader. We usually find ‘rock, paper scissors’ works best for this.
- Place the tooth in an envelope, wrapped in tissue paper (see point 5), making sure you have another identical envelope to hand. This will enable the tooth fairy to make a swift and silent ‘switch’ – no fannying about trying to get the tooth out of the envelope, dropping it on the floor and spending the next hour cursing as you comb the carpet for that priceless white gem…
- Make sure the envelope containing the tooth is place BY THE SIDE of the bed NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, under the pillow. Just….DON’T! Minimises the chance that the beloved will roll over onto the tooth!
- THE TOOTH FAIRY DOES NOT CARRY A PEN. Do not allow notes to be written to the tooth fairy. Ignore this at your peril – you’re only setting yourself up for years of having to write really really REALLY tiny notes, in the same pen, the same handwriting and not making that most basic of errors…..repeating yourself. As cute as it may seem, RESIST THE TEMPTATION, it’s a pain in the arse. I’ve been there and it took a lot of fast talking to get us out of the hole we’d inevitably created for ourselves when we forgot to help the tooth fairy write a note back (there may have been more than one glass of wine involved that night!).
- This one’s really important. AS SOON AS THEY HAVE GONE TO BED, GET THE REPLACEMENT ENVELOPE TO A PLACE WHERE YOU WILL NOT FORGET IT…. It will save that 3.30am ‘oh shit’ moment…again, wine was involved in learning this lesson.
- In the unfortunate event that you are out and about when a tooth decides it’s had enough of being inside, don’t worry – see point 1 re tissues. Hopefully it won’t get misplaced on the way home, but if it does, DO NOT PANIC – simply roll up some tissue paper and place it in the envelope, put it by the side of the bed and and make the appropriate reassuring noises. My brother-in-law made the mistake of wrapping it in a napkin in a restaurant, fairly early on during a meal out. Needless to say it got neglected and was cleared by the waiting staff at the end of the meal. Despite the protestations of his wife and our gentle encouragement to forget it, he was adamant that he was going to retrieve it. An hour later, going through the kitchen’s bins, the napkin and tooth was located, but at the cost of a great deal of sanity (and two further rounds of drinks!). As lovely as the sentiment of that first tooth is, IT’S JUST NOT WORTH IT!
- If you’re lucky enough to be going away and there is even an inkling of a loose tooth, pack envelopes…..just in case.
- The going rate in our house is £1.00 per tooth, regardless of what Martha, Carrie, Max or Gus (or Tom, Dick AND Harry for that matter) are getting. End of conversation….
The above strategy was developed and refined after a few close calls and it works. If anyone has any improvements or alternatives (other than shooting the Tooth Fairy), I’d love to hear them! Has the Tooth Fairy ever forgotten to visit? What fairy story was created to cover her misdemeanour?