Tooth Fairy, I Know You Don’t Usually Do This, But…

Ella is a reader. She has always loved books; I think it’s because she likes to know things, and because she’s capable of imagining herself as part of the story.  I watch her out of the corner of my eye, when I read to her at night, as she mimics the expressions of the illustrations or silently shows the emotions of the page with her eyes and mouth.

Books help define her.  They help her make sense of the swirling universe around her. It’s what she looks to for knowledge about who she is and what she should be.  That’s why, when Junie B. First Grader loses a tooth, it sets off a tension inside.  You see, despite being a first grader, just like Junie B., she is the only person in her class who has not lost at least one tooth.  Something else about Ella is, she likes to fit in.  So when all of her classmates have lost teeth, and even her books have lost teeth, that makes her feel left out.



The next night before bed, as I was about to brush her teeth, she stopped me with an announcement.  She gripped a tooth between her thumb and forefinger to show me as she beamed, “It wiggles!”

No, it doesn’t. But I didn’t have the heart to tell her.

“A little bit!” I failed to match her level of excitement. It sounded more like a question when I said it. We finish brushing and head back upstairs to read the next chapter of the tooth book.  Junie B.’s tooth comes out and she has “issues” with the tooth fairy.


A day later, the discussion turned again to teeth.  The tooth fairy fascinates her. She wants her to visit.  Having a beautiful, magical creature who is willing to pay good money for a tooth only increased her desire to achieve this milestone. I sense her growing unrest. It’s time I step in.

“I have the tooth fairy’s number. Maybe I’ll give her a call.”

“You have the tooth fairy’s number in your phone?!”

“Yes. I’ll show you.” I frantically enter a new contact named Tooth Fairy, no picture of her though because she never lets anyone see her.  (The tooth fairy’s number is 555-867-5309 by the way, in case you need this, too.) “I’ll call her after you go to bed, but don’t expect anything tonight.  This is pretty short notice.”



The very next night she asked me before we could even get to the next chapter in her book, “Did you call the tooth fairy?” Her eyes shone at the thought.  “Yep!” I simply left it at that, and opened our book.


I called my wife in the morning to remind her to have Ella check under her pillow. There Ella found a dollar bill, and this note:

Dear Ella,

I usually don’t do this but I wanted to tell you how great a job you have been doing on taking care of your teeth.  Because you brush them every day, they are all sparkly and clean. That’s why they are so strong and haven’t come out yet. But as you grow, they will come out! Here’s a reward for taking such great care of them!

Love, the tooth fairy 🙂




8 Replies to “Tooth Fairy, I Know You Don’t Usually Do This, But…”

  1. Okay, that is awesome Lee. Really. It certainly will happen in due time. Lukas has lost 3 now so we are experts of course. lol. Just don’t believe her if she tells you Holden got $100 for his tooth. 🙂


  2. Lee. that’s a great post. My daughter’s still a few years away from this, but I’m gonna have to keep it in mind. She was quite late for her baby teeth to come in, so I imagine it will be similar with her adult teeth.


  3. I would never have thought of this. Of course, I did forget to put the money under my then-5-year-old daughter’s pillow once, a fact I remembered only when she woke my wife and I up by coming into our room in tears. I salvaged that one by telling her the Tooth Fairy must have been confused, since sometimes she puts her lost teeth in a box (she calls it a “fairy door”) on her dresser and sometimes she puts them under her pillow. While she was talking to my wife, I put the coin and a note in the place she didn’t check, and—voila!—crisis averted.


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