I’m not a good tooth fairy. I’m a decent Easter Bunny and a great Santa, but I’m a lousy tooth fairy. Maybe it’s the randomness of it all. Christmas has a date. Easter has a very confusing date (really, can’t we nail this down), but a date nonetheless. I could be called upon to be the tooth fairy at any time. There’s no prep. You just come home one day and the kid’s got a new gap in his smile. All you can do is shrug and say, “tooth fairy powers, activate.”
I say I’m a bad tooth fairy because I’ve forgotten a couple of times to get the tooth and leave the money. This disappointed my son greatly and made me feel like a chump. One time I almost got caught and had to go with the “just checking to make sure the tooth is still there” bit. He was a little suspicious but, luckily, I’m a better liar than he is a detective so everything worked out in the end.
As a father we play many roles. I’ve always found tooth fairy the most difficult. There’s not a reason for the season. It’s not a remembrance, there are no cartoons that teach us its meaning, there’re no songs or carols to explain why we do it and I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with the teeth. I just don’t get it. But, I’ve got to do it.
I don’t know if everyone struggles with this as much as I do. But I wanted to write about it, just in case. Because if I can help just one father understand the true meaning of the tooth fairy, maybe, just maybe, he can explain it to me.
Erik always has a plan and he’s sure he would have figured out the whole Tooth Fairy thing eventually. But, when his three-year-old son takes a Frisbee to the mouth, he’s forced to speed things up. Between neighborhood kids with big mouths and unhelpful dentists Erik is going to need to improvise. Will he bend to the pressure of inflation? Will he get caught in the act? And, what do you do with those teeth anyway?