Tooth Fairy Tales

Quite a bit happened today, not all of it good, so I think i’ll focus on one of the pure, joyous moments of childhood and parenthood: the loss of a tooth.

This was Annabelle’s third tooth. Sophie insists she has loose teeth that are going to fall out “in 15 minutes” but so far, only AB has got the toothless grin going. Not so toothless, not yet. She’s got a wiggly top one, but this was her third bottom in a row to fall out (rather, be tugged out, from all accounts of what went down in the classroom).

She was beyond ecstatic, anticipating the arrival of the much-celebrated TF, which doesn’t just stand for tooth fairy. 

When Annabelle’s first tooth fell out, I consulted with my Mom Brain Trust, Trish and Deborah.

Trish, the parent of two tween/teen types, gave me her drill: A dollar for the first, two for the second, and so on. Of course you must give silver dollars. (I hope a reasonable facsimile counts; the bank didn’t have REAL silver dollars the day I went to lay in a supply, a few months back. These are some sort of Susan B. Anthony thing. Or was that the $2 bill? Anyhow.)

Deborah’s daughter, Anna, filled Annabelle in on the rest, namely that everyone has her own individual tooth fairy, whose name will be revealed the night of the first visit. Anna’s TF is named Yoko. (If you know Deborah, you’re nodding right now, saying to yourself, “Of course Anna’s tooth fairy is named Yoko.” Deborah’s that cool.)

I forgot about the name thing, The Night of the First Tooth, and had just finished sealing the card (a very special first tooth card, given to me at least a year before by my friend Cyndi Coon, whose designs are to die for, and set aside for this very occasion) when Annabelle appeared in the kitchen doorway, announcing she just couldn’t sleep til she’d written her tooth fairy a note, asking her name.

I’d already signed the card “Love, T.F.”, so I struggled to come up with an appropriate name, which I added to the outside of the envelope. It’s not cool, but Annabelle loves the name Tabitha Fairchild (after all, the child is named Annabelle) and she speaks of her, once in a while, even when she doesn’t have a loose tooth.

This evening, though she should have been prepared, it took Tabitha a good half hour to locate those aforementioned dollar coins in the depths of the kitchen cabinets, and even longer to answer what has turned into a ritual list of questions that are getting harder, I notice. Tonight’s included:

What did you mean when you said you were older than the moon and the stars? (A lady never reveals her exact age!)

Are you fancy or casual? (Very fancy, of course.)

Do you have pets? (A buck toothed bunny rabbit.)

What do you look like? Why can’t I see you? (I really can’t be seen since I’m magic, but close your eyes and imagine a collection of sparkling diamonds with wings, and you’ll be close.)

Do you use the door or the window? (Neither!)

Now I must practice the most terrifying task of parenthood, the Removal of the Tooth from the Bedroom. How will I not get caught? I’ve also got to leave the envelope with the note, along with instructions to look under Izzy’s food bowl for another prize (since the cat recently lost a mouthful of teeth herself), the dollars, and a new hair accessory, because if she’s anything, Tabitha is stylish.

I’d say wish me luck, but I know that tonight I couldn’t be luckier. Best I can tell, this is what it’s all about.


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