Thorin has a fairly traumatic history of tooth loss. In those situations we did not engage the services of the Tooth Fairy mostly because the Tooth Fairy is light and fun and a little bit exciting. None of these situations were any of that. Thorin did however twice at the dentist office following a painful procedure get an Avenger action figure handed to him while still in the chair.
A week or so ago he lost his first tooth in a normal way. He got to go through all the typical stages: he noticed it was loose; he went yelling to Ward and after being assured it was fine it was all he talked about; he pushed the tooth forward with his tongue and drew it back in place several times an hour until day four when it fell
out onto the waiting palm of his hand. He marveled at it. It was a complete and perfect tooth. There was much exclaiming on our part. It was after several years of dental hell a wonderfully typical moment.
“So the Tooth Fairy will be coming tonight!” I said.
There are decisions you make as parents that you have never considered until a thing happens. Like how much does the Tooth Fairy put under the pillow?
Ward and I had the briefest of conversations in the kitchen over coffee before Thorin got up. He was asleep in our bed. (Don’t judge me.)
“So, how much do we put under his pillow?” I asked.
“Two dollars?” Ward offered.
“Do you have cash?” I countered.
After checking my wallet I determined the Tooth Fairy could leave a one dollar bill or a five dollar bill. We both thought five dollars seemed excessive for the Tooth Fairy.
I put the dollar bill under his pillow. As I came out of his room I bump into him.
“Go check your pillow to see what the Tooth Fairy left for you!”
He turned to go back in our room. (Not funny.)
“No. Go to your room. The Tooth Fairy doesn’t know you sleep anywhere else.”
He came running out twenty seconds later with the dollar bill and a quarter?
A quarter? WTF? My first thought was – “Is there really a Tooth Fairy?” And why is this one paying 1962 benefits?
Even though we were thrown by the quarter Thorin was not. Money is money.
I took a brief survey on Facebook and later on Twitter on how much does the Tooth Fairy leave? The outcome is that Ward and I have a Tooth Fairy who is a real cheapo. Like a Tooth Fairy from the 1970’s was one observation. The average amount – from my very unscientific survey – was $5.00 per tooth.
I decided to look online. What I discovered is today February 28th is National Tooth Fairy Day. If you are working today assume your state does not recognize it as a holiday.
Nationally the average pay out by the Tooth Fairy in 2013 was $3.50. Some families pay more for the first tooth and a lesser amount for subsequent losses. Overall 42% of Tooth Fairies pay one dollar. I felt less like a cheapskate. Some Tooth Fairies leave personalized notes. That is sweet but I have a hard enough time keeping cash on hand. I could see having to write a check on some occasion in the future.
Aside from learning we are on the low end of Tooth Fairy racket I learned Thorin is tight with a buck and practical. I saw shades of this at Christmas when he had $50.00 – from combined cash gifts – to spend on whatever he wanted. It came down to two movies and a Super Man action figure or a Woody from Toy Story doll that talked. After walking up and down the toy aisle several times he decide more was more and went with three items over one.
His Tooth Fairy money sat on the kitchen table for a few days. What would he spend it on? When he would pass it he would rub his hands over the top and say, “Moneyyyyyy.”
Later in the week he and I were at the grocery store. There is an old fashioned spinning book rack that inhabits the paper goods aisle. It is filled with The Little Golden Book series. Thorin is a fan. And I am too but not that day. He came running with a Sponge Bob book.
I said, “No.”
He said, “Yesith.”
I said, “No.”
He opened the book not to any page but the publisher’s page and ripped it.
“Hey! I have to buy that now”, I informed him.
“Yesith”, he said handing it to me.
This could not go unaddressed.
“You will be using your Tooth Fairy money for this book. Yes? Do you understand?”
“Yesith”, he said calmly.
He then took his index finger and pushed it against a tooth on the bottom right of his mouth easily wiggling it back and forth. All of sudden his teeth are a money making proposition.
Happy National Tooth Fairy Day!