We were sitting at the table eating dinner when out of the blue the kid asked what would happen if she lost a tooth when she was at my house. She was concerned that the Tooth Fairy wouldn’t know how to find her. I explained that, as part of the process with her social worker, the Tooth Fairy was informed of her change of address – as were the Easter Bunny, Santa, et cetera.
This prompted a question to the kid about how much the Tooth Fairy leaves her. The kid quickly explained that she would always leave her tooth under her pillow and when she woke in the morning there was $5 or $10 in place of the tooth.
$5 or $10 for a tooth?! You’ve got to be kidding me!
All of the sudden I found myself telling the kid that, in this volatile global economic environment, the Tooth Fairy was likely to start paying less for teeth; after all, the market wouldn’t be able to bear the higher cost of teeth for long. (The fact that the kid pointed out not one but four loose teeth made this statement even more vital.)
I also had to inform the kid that because we lived in an extremely rural area off the main roads, we needed to make it easier for the Tooth Fairy to get in and out of the house quickly. So, any lost teeth would need to be placed in a glass of water on the dining room table for the fairy to find*. That way, the Tooth Fairy can come in, grab the tooth, leave some money and skedaddle. Having to sneak in and carefully remove the tooth from under a pillow is very time-consuming, you know.
When I was a kid we got a quarter. Yep, two-bits, that was it; maybe more on a rare occasion that I’ve forgotten about. Of course, when I was a kid a Jolly Rancher stick was only 10¢ and a candy bar was about a quarter. I haven’t seen Jolly Rancher sticks in ages (do they still make them?) and candy bars are nearly a buck these days. So, I can see how a tooth would also claim a higher price tag.
But how much is a tooth worth?
A quick search online gave answers ranging from a letter telling the kid how proud the Tooth Fairy was that the tooth was in such great condition (lame!) to $20 or a video game (outrageous!). So, I did what people do in this age of social media: I asked my friends on Facebook.
Luckily, it seems that most of the responses I got were within a $2 to $5 range – leaning more heavily toward $2.
Anyhow, that first conversation with the kid was about four weeks ago – and she finally lost the tooth the other day whilst I was in England. She told the family she was staying with that she would take the tooth back with her because she’d rather the Tooth Fairy come to my house. (How sweet.)
So, when we got up this morning the kid went to see what the Tooth Fairy left. And wouldn’t you know it? $2 was at the bottom of the glass ($1 in quarters and a Sacajawea dollar). There was also a ‘scratch and sniff’ tooth brush and a pack of fun flossers left behind. I guess that might have been a hint to the kid…
Now, about the rest of those loose teeth. Guess I’ll have to make sure the Tooth Fairy is prepared for them, too!
* I don’t know why, but we always left our teeth in a glass of water. Some kids left their teeth under their pillows. Others just on the kitchen table. Feel free to tell me how things go down in your home!