Pete Gilbert">

The Mystery of the Missing Tooth Fairy

A few weeks ago we were in Michigan visiting family for the weekend when First Born lost a tooth. The only cash I had on me was a five dollar bill, so that night the Tooth Fairy brought her a five instead of the usual one dollar bill.

The next morning she woke up estatic. I made an offhand comment about how the tooth fairy pays more on the road than she does at home at home and that was the end of the discussion… temporarily.

Yesterday, when my daughter got off the bus, I noticed a plastic tooth holder on a string tied around her neck. It could only mean one thing…another lost tooth. She showed me her tooth, told me the story about how she lost it during math class, and that was the last she mentioned it.

After she got home from school, we had plenty to do to keep us busy. We played for a while, she did her homework, we went to her siblings’ karate class, then I took her to swimming. When we finally arrived home at 8pm, I put her brother and sister to bed while she showered, then had a snack and got herself ready for bed. Finally around 8:30 I read her a bedtime story. After all three kids were in bed it was time for me to finish cleaning kitchen, wash dishes that had been abandoned hours earlier, do some general tidying up, move the damn elf, and go to bed.

All that to say, it was a busy evening, so busy in fact, I completely forgot about the lost tooth. Until this morning. At 6:15am my daughter came into my room, woke me up and sadly announced the tooth fairy forgot about her.

Oh, boy. How was I going to get out of this one? I can’t remember exactly what I said (I’d been awake for approximately fifteen seconds), but I’m certain I partially blamed the Elf on the Shelf. It was an excuse First Born bought, partially. She said she had a dream the Elf and the Tooth Fairy met, became boyfriend and girlfriend and forgot about my tooth. OK, I thought, that’s reasonable…strange, but reasonable.

As she was walked out of my bedroom she made a comment that made me think she’s onto the whole Tooth Fairy charade. She said, “I’ll save my tooth until next time we go somewhere, she pays more on the road than at home anyways, remember dad.”

I was speechless.

-Pete

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