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When your tearful six-year-old bursts into your room in the morning sobbing that the Tooth Fairy didn’t come, you’re going to feel like crap, so it’s a good idea to avoid such situations at all costs.
1. Don’t Forget
Make yourself a reminder of some sort. This is especially important when the six-year-old puts her tooth under her pillow after school and then doesn’t mention it again at bedtime. Apparently, our children are not dependable reminders, so be sure to remind yourself. Post-It notes on the bathroom mirror work well.
(Don’t write on the Post-It, you’re sure to get caught. The presence of the note itself will be enough of a reminder).
2. Don’t Be Drunk
It’s hard to remember to be the Tooth Fairy. If you killed a bottle of chardonnay while watching two hours of Game of Thrones after your kid went to sleep, it’s impossible to remember to be the Tooth Fairy. Don’t Fairy while intoxicated. It won’t end well.
3. Don’t Set the Bar Too High
I once “heard” of a drunk Tooth Fairy who got very excited and decided to give her daughter a new paint set in addition to a dollar bill. Not only was it cumbersome slipping a set of paints under the pillow, but now
my her kids expect toys and cold hard cash for every lost tooth.
4. Think Fast
If you screw up your Fairy duties by forgetting, tell your child you will go check out the situation yourself. Then “find” a quarter that your child overlooked. Also, be prepared to think fast if your child wakes and catches you in the act of Fairying. Be ready with lines like, “Are you okay? I thought you were having a nightmare so I came to check on you. Yes, I know, I am the best mom in the world.”
5. Don’t Keep the Bounty
Throw those teeth away. Don’t keep a gruesome collection in your bedside table, because your kid will find it and then the jig is up. Some parents won’t budge on this. Some people keep locks of their kids’ hair, too. If that’s the case, why stop there? Get a jar of fingernail clippings going to add to the collection. No, wait. Don’t. That’s gross. Also, throw away the teeth and hair.
6. Play Dumb
If your child starts asking questions about the logistics of the Tooth Fairy’s operations, don’t pretend to have all of the answers. Feign ignorance. Get a little defensive about it, too. “How would I know? I’m not the Tooth Fairy!” This tactic also works well for covering up your Santa Claus and Easter Bunny duties.
7. Keep a Stash
Have a hidden bank of whatever currency your Tooth Fairy deals in, be it quarters, dimes, stickers, or toys. Not having a stash is one way parents accidentally raise the bar. Don’t find yourself as the Tooth Fairy with nothing smaller than a twenty-dollar bill.
8. Be Stealthy
Don’t try and Fairy ten minutes after you’ve put your kid to bed. Make sure they are well into la-la land. Wear socks, know where the creaky floorboards are, and get your ninja on.
9. Buck Convention
Save yourself a lot of stress. Tell your kid that the Tooth Fairy has instituted new policies in an effort to limit the instances of lost teeth and quarters. Henceforth, the Tooth Fairy requests that all teeth be placed prominently on the kitchen counter. The Tooth Fairy will retrieve teeth from this location and replace them with the appropriate swag. If this won’t fly in your household, at least convince your child to put the tooth in a Ziploc before putting it under the pillow so that it’s easier to retrieve when you get your ninja on.
10. Tell the Truth
No one wants the fairy tale to end, but it’s your child’s job to grow and learn and figure things out. When they do so and the charade is up, don’t mourn the end of an era. Fess up, answer their questions, and appreciate that your youngster is entering a new and equally exciting stage of childhood.
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