15 November 2011

The Mistaken Generosity of the Tooth Fairy


suburban master bedroom

Scene opens with sunlight streaming through miniblinds, softly illuminating rumpled bedding and a couple engaged in quiet tête-à-tête (that means conversation)...
you will need to imagine the people

Enter stage left, bursting through the door without knocking is broadly smiling child, Girl, about 9 years of age, in pajamas.

GIRL:  Mom! The tooth fairy came!     Girl is excited because the resident TF frequently is sleeping on the job.

WOMAN:  That's great, honey! What did she leave you?    Woman gives Man sly wink and a nod...she is, afterall, the TF.

GIRL:  (exploding with excitement) TWENTY DOLLARS!!!!!!

MAN:  (choking)  Wow......  (Man looks at Woman simultaneously questioningly and disapprovingly). That's some tooth fairy.

WOMAN:  (who has been speechless until this moment and shaking head "no" at Man, finds her voice) What??????? TWENTY dollars?  You're not serious?     Her incredulity is genuine.

GIRL:  (nearly shrieking with delight) Yeesssssssss! TWENNNNNTY dollars!!!!!!!! Wanna see it?

WOMAN:  (still struggling to find words she can use in front of Girl) Ummmmmm...yeah... let me get up and you can show it to me.

Girl scampers out of the room. Woman gets out of bed to follow her, not scampering. Man looks at Woman with the disgust and contempt reserved for only the most over-indulgent of parents.

MAN:  (chuckling, thankfully for Woman) What the f*** were you thinking?

WOMAN:  (stopping at doorway, turning around to face Man) I did not give her a twenty. I swear it was a five.

MAN:  A FIVE? I still ask, what were you thinking?         Man is now laughing uproariously.

WOMAN:  I wanted it to be special because she lost two teeth in 24 hours, and I know she was super bummed about the last time.

MAN:  Still....

WOMAN:  I cannot believe I gave her twenty...I swear it was five.   She is visibly dumbfounded.

MAN:  (shaking his head and still chuckling) The numbers on the bill are usually a dead giveaway, babe.

WOMAN:  It was dark. I was already in bed and almost asleep when I remembered...I went downstairs in the dark and got the bill that had the Lincoln Memorial on the back...that's about all I could make out. I can't believe I gave her a twenty. That's not right. The five is the one with the Lincoln Memorial on the back, right? Right?

Woman exits stage left, off to see proof that the tooth fairy does indeed suffer from night-blindness or is an idiot or something.


What was I supposed to do? Was I supposed to say, "Whoa, sistah... that wasn't supposed to be a twenty. Give it back and let's try again"? That would totally blow my cover. Baby X still believes.

Am I stupid? No. Am I over-indulgent? No. So what happened?

It was dark. I was tired.

It is easy to see the difference between this...

and these...

But look at how similar those three bills are...especially in the middle portion.

Buildings with columns. Easy to get confused, right?

Look at what happens when you fold them...it's even trickier to tell them apart...

And when you fold them again (which is what I did in the dark), they are almost the same...

easy to mistake windows for columns in the dark :P

I was so excited to have remembered before the disappointed child walked into my room in the morning. That is such a horrible feeling...for both parties.  And it happens often :(  Fortunately, I am really good at covering up tooth fairy forgetfulness.

I took my little, old-fashioned, columned building folded up into a little square and swapped it with this...

and went to bed.

And I gave us all a tooth fairy memory we will probably never forget!

What's your best or worst tooth fairy memory?


This is one of my favorite recent posts...I'm sharing it at...

come on over and link up a favorite post, too!

And I didn't mean to give her a twenty! 
To clarify...our going TF rate is usually a dollar :)


  1. LOVE this post - I can't tell you how many times I've bolted upright in bed at 7am because I forgot...

  2. Wow!!! I feel robbed from my youth, I though a dollar was alot!!! Inflation has been horrible, by the time I have youngins, it will cost me $50!!!

    Must delete this post from my memory banks, or at least make sure the s/o never sees it

  3. This was hilarious!!

    My favorite tooth fairy story was when my niece heard that OUR tooth fairy hands out more money as more teeth are lost. For instance, the first tooth was worth $1. The second tooth, $2, the third tooth $3 (our tooth fairy wasn't exactly sure how many teeth kids lose when she made up this policy). Anyways, this niece had felt her TWELFTH tooth was a bit loose so she planned it all out to spend the night at our house and although the tooth was probably not due to come out for another couple of weeks (this was one of those BIG ones in the back!!), she worked it and worked it and made a bloody mess of her mouth, but eventually she experienced success...and my wallet (ahem...the tooth fairy's wallet) became MUCH lighter that night. $12 lighter...and she's not even my frickin' kid.

  4. My first kid, when her first tooth was super, super loose, she was freaking out about it actually coming out. But I was tired of this janky, dangly tooth, so I told her if she lost it on a weekend, the toothfairy would pay out DOUBLE.

    And she did, she managed to lose her tooth on a Saturday.

    And the next one.

    And every.freaking.one after that.

    So did #2. ALL of them.


  5. Overly generous, far-sighted fairies rock!
    The fairy is expected here tonight as a matter of fact. Consider her warned on mistaken bills.

  6. That was freaking hilarious. At our house the tooth fairy gives $20 for the first and $5 for each subsequent tooth.

    Just think of how broke I'll be and we're doing it on purpose ...

  7. This story had me laughing so hard! I can only imagine your husband's face!!

  8. too freaking funny! I love it! This is something I would do and my husband would get all crabby at me for being over indulgent and spoiling the kids.

    We had a tooth fairy pillow when I was growing up. It was in the kitchen, you put your tooth in when you went to bed and in the morning there was a quarter! Magic!

  9. LMAO! That's totally something I'd do. I can't tell you how many times the TF has forgotten to arrive around here...

  10. Our tooth fairy has had to leave a note the night after the tooth was originally under the pillow to apologize for missing it the night before. All teeth net $1 whether they are pulled by a parent, child, or catastrophic injury. $20 x 5 kids ... I'd be broke.

  11. This truly made me laugh! So funny! I never got more than $1, usually a quarter!

  12. I don't think I ever got more than a quarter per tooth.

    Thankfully I can't make your mistake since we have $1/$2 coins and multi-coloured bills. :)

  13. That is awesome!! Tooth fairy didn't make it once at our house... then with a double loss we too compensated with a $5. Luckily though we didn't suffer from night blindness. :)

  14. What a fun memory you have accidentally made. My daughter just showed me a very wiggly tooth. I'll have to pay her in quarters just to make sure I don't give her too much. Just teasing! Anyone could have made that mistake. I actually bribe my kids to sell me their teeth at a slightly higher rate than the tooth fairy pays so that I don't have to sneak in at the chance of kids waking up. (That has happened more times than I can count.)

  15. This is the best story! Something I would totally do.
    I tell my niece that twenties are what the TF gives all the time. I do that to screw with the inlaws. Oops!

  16. My kids are all grown up but the tooth fairy has been forgetting to come for years! This is a great story!

  17. The tooth fairy forgot to come one night....I felt like a total A**!!!

  18. hahahah i love this! i wish my parents made this mistake at some point.

  19. Maybe you can tell her that the tooth fairy would want her to put that away for something super special - like a new pair of winter boots. :) Seriously, I've fogotten more times than I care to admit. Luckily, a couple times it was on a weekend and I said that the TF must not work on weekends. Other times, I've slipped it under the pillow at 5 AM as my husband left for work. Always a risky move though. The other day my daughter was going through a drawer on my dresser (jewelry box drawer) and almost found my stash of teeth. Yikes!

  20. Hee hee hee... thanks for making me laugh with this one! I could imagine all the thoughts churning in your head when you realized for the first time you had indeed been mistakenly generous :))

  21. This story is too cute :) We only got a dollar from the TF and sometimes my mom left gems instead. I loved it though!

  22. I wish I had you for a mom, but chronologically that could never happen. Maybe you could loan me a 5 sometime, in the dark of course. lol

  23. this is what i say: this story that you will get to tell her later is well worth $20 to me!!

    this made me laugh!
    I dont have a funny story really I wish I did..I like good family stories like this one. The only one I got is Will and the son of my good Scotish friend who is also 7 discussing loosing their first tooth with another friend who has an american mom. All 3 lost their first one the same week so the 3 boys started to share what they got from the TF...they came back to announce to us that the Canadian and Scotish TF is better than the American one!!! ha ha!!!

  24. So funny! My kids would be jealous for sure!

    in your defense, they DO look alike and I think you should give yourself props for remembering!

  25. hahahaha! Awesome.

    A few years back a friend taught me the "Are you sure the tooth fairy forgot? Maybe it just fell behind your bed...." trick. You send the child back to their room to search for the $, snag it quickly from your wallet, conceal it craftily in your hand and go help them search. As you are searching, ta-da! You find it! "Oh there it was! funny that she forgot the tooth...she much have been in a hurry....."

  26. that is hilarious! Keep giving 20's and your kids will start pulling permanent teeth :-).

  27. So funny! Our tooth fairy never accidentally gave a $20, but she always had so many reasons she didn't come. You left your light on or your tv on, you weren't sleeping in your bed on your pillow, she doesn't work weekends, too many other kids lost teeth that night...

  28. LOL - love this post and the style it is written in! I came over from the Found The Marbles blog hop and so glad I did, really made me chuckle. My little boy has just started the 'tooth losing' stage, but it is def much easier dealing with English money - the dollars do all look too similar, UK money is different sizes and colours - but he is on coins at the moment anyway (in Peppa Pig she gets a 'gold' coin, which we can pass off as a £1 or £2 coin - yipee!). Lynsey (http://lynseythemotherduck.blogspot.com)

  29. In the UK bank notes are different sizes, and different colors. 5 is the smallest and blue, 10 is a bit bigger and orange, 20 is bigger still and purple, and a 50 is huge and pink. Much better idea!

    (You totally can't take it back, but wow, I'd be bummed too!)

  30. That tooth fairy is going to have a lot to live up to! Good Luck! I would so do something like that.

    stopping by and following from the blog hop!


  31. yikes, i hope she doesn't lose any more teeth?! she is going to be expecting $20 every time!

  32. Good God, you're loaded! Look at all those bills! (-:
    That was a really funny post. Once my father accidentally gave a violin player a tip of $100 bill which he thought was $10 and the guy would not leave him alone - for years and years. That was a big mistake, with a lot of musical fallout - we were badgered by that violinist for years at our table in the restaurant! So - maybe you will get a discount for the next few teeth?

  33. What an awesome memory she's going to have! Going to be hard to beat next time though...

  34. I agree with you mistakes like this will happen as those bills look similar. The important thing is your daughter is happy so don't worry. This happy memory will remain pleasant in her heart forever. Well, next time you can be careful when give a little surprise to your daughter.

  35. Wow, seeing the bills all lined up like that makes me say you are declared innocent ;) I will have to remember to stick to coins for the TF deliveries!! I always got silver dollars and thought that was the coolest thing ever. I think I'll stick with that so I don't ever fork over a 20!!

    At least you remembered. I'd say you're doing a great job, TF!

    Thanks for sharing this with us at Rub Some Dirt On It!

  36. Hilarious! A few weeks ago, the TF in our house completely forgot to show up. My 11 year old only plays along at this point, so she and I had a few good laughs about how the tooth fairy got lost. The problem happened because I only had a $1 or a $5 and meant to get $ from hubby, but forgot that too. I ended up putting $2 (our going rate) IN COINS on her bed while she was eating bed while she was eating breakfast. She wasn't amused and kept saying the TF owed her some sort of penalty payment. Too funny. Thankfully, she doesn't have many more to lose.

  37. That's adorable! I totally forgot once, but luckily it was after my son knew that the tooth fairy isn't real so he just told me that I forgot! My in-laws kind of killed it for us because he lost his third tooth during a sleepover at their house. Did she call to ask how much she should give him? Send a text? Nope. She just gave him a $20. Now he wants to lose all his teeth at THEIR house.

  38. Btw, this was my favorite post of the blog hop!! Thanks for coming back every week and feel free to grab a featured button in my sidebar! :)

  39. Whoa! Twenty dollars?! You gotta be kidding me! =D When I was a kid, I only received 1 dollar from my tooth fairy. =| How I wish my tooth fairy was generous like her too!

  40. I love this! My son has lost two within about a week of each other. the first he lost while playing and we never found it. The second he swallowed while brushing his teeth, again never found it. The TF had some nice notes from Mommy but only left him a $1 each time. He's honestly lucky he got that, I, I mean she never carries cash!

  41. Oh, hell yeah, that's a tooth fairy moment for the ages! Our tooth fairy was a little stingier with her loot, but that's okay. I hope little girl doesn't expect that out of the TF every time!!!!

  42. OMG! Laughing! Have forgotten so many times and our kid's have recently starting to plead for $5 from the tooth fairy!

  43. This is the most awesome post. Wish that happened to me. The most I got was $1 per tooth and that was when they were pulled out. If they just fell out, 25 cents :P

  44. hilarious! Some of the comments are as well. I always have to cover up for the tooth fairy!

  45. Too funny! Last spring my DD lost a tooth while we were at her school's Spring Camp - on the last day. By the time we got home that night, after stopping at a friend's house for dinner in the middle of the 4 hour drive, it was quite late. We put her to bed and collapsed in front of the TV...only to wake up the next morning, stiff and sore, to our poor girl crying that the Tooth Fairy hadn't come. Oh, sh--! Cut to parents beating their heads against the wall whenever she was out of the room. Gah!

    So, that night I - I mean the Tooth Fairy - wrote a long letter of apology, invoking location confusion, in miniscule handwriting on fake parchment and rolled it into a little scroll that I - she - crammed into her tooth box that night. Our girl was a happy camper the next morning and thrilled with her personal note. Phew! Crisis averted!

    This last fall, we were at her school's Fall Camp and one of her friends lost a tooth. The same thing happened to them. Poor little guy was heartbroken. Well, his mother is about 100 times more creative than I am and you can read about it here: http://snickerpants.com/blog/?s=tooth+fairy
    Scroll down to the bottom to start with Part 1.

  46. I wish my parents would've had a harder time seeing the dark.

  47. This is too funny!!! Just saw that you were named one of the BlogHer Voices of the Year!! What a thrill to see the name of a blogger I love to read!!! Congratulations!!! This is a great post!!! xo

  48. Congratulations on being named BlogHer Voices of the Year! So exciting to see an "old" friend on the list!!!! LOVED this post.

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