According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll, the average gift from the Tooth Fairy climbed from $2.10 in 2011 to $2.42 in 2012, a 15.2 percent gain.
“Other interesting findings from The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® (http://www.theoriginaltoothfairypoll.com/news-release/), which surveyed more than 1,200 parents nationwide, include:
- The Tooth Fairy visited nearly 90 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth.
- The Tooth Fairy left cash for kids in 98 percent of the homes she visited. Two percent of children received toys, candy, gum or other gifts.
- The most common amount left under the pillow by the Tooth Fairy was $1 (51 percent).
- Twenty-two percent of kids hit it rich and received $5 for each lost tooth.”
In my maternal family, the Tooth Fairy didn’t appear until my generation. I was the first to receive the quarters for lost teeth. I found this out when I asked my Mom if the Tooth Fairy had visited her when she was a child. She chuckled and said, “Nobody had money to throw around for the Tooth Fairy! We didn’t play those games.”
Generally, children lose their baby teeth between the ages of five and eleven. I never really believed in the Tooth Fairy. What I mean is, I believed my mother was putting the money beneath my pillow. When I placed the tooth under my pillow at night, in the morning the tooth was gone and I found a quarter. When I recently asked my Mom about my baby teeth, she said she had thrown them away right after retrieving them from under my pillow.
My children still have their jar of baby teeth. I guess I’m more sentimental about saving baby mementos.
Getting the money was always a treat to look forward to receiving. Losing the teeth wasn’t. They were either pulled out by the dentist or Slow Poke Suckers; yanked out by pulling on a string tied around the tooth; or they just fell out while I was eating a meal (I was so glad I didn’t swallow them!).
My sister, Laurie, shared a Tooth Fairy story about her daughter, Annette. The two of them had gone to the Disney Store in the mall. Annette was trying to persuade Laurie to buy a toy that Annette wanted. The conversation went something like this:
“Mommie, I really want this toy. It is just what I’ve been wishing I could get. Will you please buy it for me? Pretty Please?”
“Annette, this toy costs more than what I want to spend on a toy. Why don’t you buy it with the money you have saved?”
“Uh! Uh! “No, I can’t spend my money! The only way I can get more money is to lose teeth!!”
Now to my experience of being the Tooth Fairy.
Because Floyd, my husband, and I wanted to be “good parents” we had 50 million discussions about what to do and what not do to with the children. We had eliminated telling the children that Santa and the Easter Bunny were “real” from the “get-go”, but we still had the tree and gave gifts. In December 2009, we pulled away from the “traditional holidays” that weren’t commanded in the Bible.
The Tooth Fairy was in a non-religious class all by herself. We figured it was cute (Here we go!), and that the kids, by the time they started losing teeth at 5 or 6 years old, they would know it was just a game.
So, when Joel lost his first tooth, circa 2003, we made a big deal out of the Tooth Fairy coming that night and Joel would get some money. Well, that night, we slipped a quarter under his pillow while he was sleeping.
The next morning, Joel wasn’t overly surprised, but pleased to get the money. However, at the breakfast table, he made a comment about how little the Tooth Fairy left for him. We said something like,
“Well, you know that’s the going rate for teeth these days. Besides, the Tooth Fairy didn’t take the tooth, we can save it.”
This only produced a shrug on Joel’s face and he went back to eating.
Now Floyd and I were disappointed that the quarter and our midnight ruse hadn’t produced the jubilance from Joel that we had anticipated. So the next time we upped the ante and left $1.00. This brought the jubilance, but somehow I had the feeling I had been hustled by “the kid”.
When Joel was 7 years old, by this time a seasoned Fairy money receiver, he began to overtly talk about knowing that we were the Tooth Fairy. Floyd and I never admitted it, because we wanted to keep the game going.
However, we knew we had to be careful and not get caught at our own game. When Joel lost the next tooth, we debated who would be the best “secret agent” to deliver the
money and escape undetected. We both wanted the challenge. When I figured out that the agent would have to wait until near midnight to make sure Joel was in a deep sleep state, I quickly acquiesced.
Floyd waited until after 11:30 PM and tiptoed down the hall into Joel’s room. Floyd carefully slipped his hand under the pillow and as quick as a flash, Joel grabbed his hand and said,
As I reflect on my Tooth Fairy experiences, I think if I had it to do over, I would not continue to perpetuate this fantasy. Truth and honesty are such a rare commodity that I wouldn’t sacrifice them for a temporary pleasure. This story is not an indictment against having fun with your children, but exposes one type of “little white lie” in the hopes of eradicating all falsehoods from our lives.
A half truth is a whole lie. ~Yiddish Proverb
When you stretch the truth, watch out for the snapback. ~Bill Copeland