At a Fourth of July barbecue last week, one of the kiddos in attendance lost a tooth during dessert. Upon hearing the celebratory news, another kid let out a deep sigh.
That’s the sigh of a kid with all his tenacious little baby teeth, I thought. (It was.)
There is something really special about the tooth milestone. Turning the pages of my kids’ elementary yearbook and hitting the first-grade page with all the toothy little grins makes my heart melt a little. I mean, when your kid starts crawling it’s thrilling, but also you’ve now lost the ability to plunk them down in one spot and expect them to stay there. First solid foods means cleaning high chairs. First steps are also first falls. And I don’t even want to think about the pre-teen and teenage firsts that are around the corner. But with teeth, the only thing you’re really losing is maybe the ability to pronounce the letter s. And there is, of course, the tooth fairy tax.
All in all, I’m a pretty terrible fairy surrogate. Not only am I cheap (the value of baby teeth is severely inflated, in my opinion), but I’m also forgetful. Mornings are my jam; in the evenings I’m worthless, and I’m likely to forget there is a gross leftover body part under my kids’ pillows that I’m supposed to somehow extract and replace with nonexistent cash (do kids Venmo these days?). My one shining moment was when I bounced into my kids’ room wearing my daughter’s fairy wings, to bestow the (gloriously remembered!) treasure on my sleeping child. My oldest was awake and thought it was hilarious.
If you are inclined to reject the whole money-for-teeth business, you could slip these lovely reads under your child’s pillow instead:
The Tooth Fairy Wars by Kate Coombs and Jake Parker began a total obsession with trapping the tooth fairy at the Asby house. Our kids wrote (slightly disturbing) stories about destroying the tooth fairy, planned elaborate traps, and generally had a blast with this pretend play. You’re welcome.
The Tooth Mouse by Susan Hood and Janice Nadeau is beautifully illustrated and a fun introduction to the Tooth Mouse tradition in France.
Check out Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat, which features a cat AND a mouse.
Speaking of milestones, join April and Esme: Tooth Fairies on their first tooth expedition.
Okay, so Tallulah the Tooth Fairy CEO is on order at my library, which means I am on the hold list and haven’t read it yet, but it LOOKS fantastic.
And finally Josie’s Lost Tooth, for kids like my little friend at the BBQ, who feel like everyone else is losing their teeth first.