Monday, February 22, 2010

Playing the Tooth Fairy

A couple months ago, Ray was eating an apple and walked up to me and said, "Mommy, you know what hurts?"

"No, what hurts?"

"My tooth." She then started wiggling it.

Ack! She's only 5 1/2! Isn't that early? Did the apple knock it loose??? I'm not ready for this yet! I thought I had more time! All of these thoughts ran through my head at the same time.

As the weeks passed by, the tooth slowly became more loose and Ray was having fun showing me every day how much more it moves. And, I spent more time freaking out about how to play Tooth Fairy.

I polled all my friends on Facebook, in real life and on The response was varied. One Facebook friend said that the Tooth Fairy gave her daughter $20 for the first tooth.

$20?!? Really?

Another friend said she gave $10 for the first tooth and $5 for the rest. That still seemed high to me.

And another friend told me that you can't be a cheap Tooth Fairy, because the kids compare. I said, "Who cares?"

And, one wise friend told me to remember that whatever you start with, you are stuck with, so don't over-achieve!

Ray's Godmother bought her a sweet book about the Tooth Fairy (which can be found here) to help calm her fears and a Tooth Fairy doll to store her tooth overnight. Ray was so excited and felt like such the big girl. Her friend, Em, didn't lose her first tooth until she was 6 1/2. She was going to be the first one of the kids in her class to lose a tooth! Fears? Non-existent.

On Superbowl Sunday, that tooth fell out.

I didn't know what to expect when it happened. Tears? Shouts of joy?

She spit it out into her hand, placed it gently on the table, and said she needed a bandaid because her mouth was bleeding. No fanfare. No jubilation. Just stating a fact that her mouth was bleeding and she needed it to stop so she could finish lunch.

Go figure.

In the end, the Tooth Fairy brought Ray two quarters and a personal note telling her how proud her Tooth Fairy was of her for being such a brave little girl.

I was worried about being a cheap Tooth Fairy, but like I expected, it wasn't about the money. Ray woke up, excited to see what the Tooth Fairy brought her. Ray latched on first to the note. "Look, Mommy, she wrote me a note!" The money was secondary. She enjoyed hearing the quarters clink into her piggy bank, and that was about it.

I was proud of my girl, all around. For being brave. For being proud. For enjoying the basic things in life and putting more value on a handwritten note than the money.

I like being the Tooth Fairy.

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