The Day I Almost Killed The Tooth Fairy

The Day I Almost Killed The Tooth Fairy

The Background

I have two kids in the tooth-losing stage of life. And so, since February, I’ve pulled six teeth. It has been sweet to watch my second grader’s pride that he FINALLY started losing teeth, and his gummy smile is pretty adorable. My fourth grade daughter is on her second round of teeth coming out, so she has certain expectations about how much her goods are worth, and how much this whole Tooth Fairy thing works.

The Story

So how did I almost kill the Tooth Fairy? It’s a fair question. I’m not a cold-blooded murderer. It was an accident, in fact. Here’s what happened…

I pulled my daughter’s tooth late in the evening on a Tuesday night. It was a Tuesday after a long day after a long weekend in a long season. What I’m saying is I was tired. So as soon as she got her mouth comfortable and drank some water, I sent her to bed. As soon as she was tucked in, I fell into bed, exhausted. My plan was to exchange the tooth for the cash the next morning when I went to wake her up.

That seemed like a fine plan. But that’s not what happened. What happened was the worst thing that could happen. What happened was that my usually deep sleeping 10-year-old woke up before I’d even made it out of bed. She came downstairs livid because the Tooth Fairy had not come. “My tooth is still under my pillow!” she cried.

Before I’d fully opened my eyes or had a firm grasp on what she was saying, I told her to go back to bed and close her eyes. I followed immediately behind with some dollar bills, and I clumsily, loudly, obviously, took the tooth from under her pillow and left the cash. She opened her eyes, horrified. “Mom!,” she exclaimed. “I still believe in the Tooth Fairy! I still want to believe!” At that, I was now fully awake, realizing the huge mistake I had made. At that moment, I’d killed the Tooth Fairy, and with that a small part of my daughter’s innocence.

What was I thinking? In short — I wasn’t. I was still asleep. But as soon as I realized the error of my exhausted ways, I started thinking about how I could backtrack. I left my daughter in her room to gather her thoughts since she was visibly upset. And I retreated to my room to try and fight back my own tears and guilt and my mistake.

Within a few minutes, she came to my room and sat on my bed. She asked me why I would do what I did (exchange the tooth and the money in broad daylight). And I only had one explanation to offer: I did what I did because the Tooth Fairy is a ditz! She forgets where she’s going all the time, and we’ve lost so many teeth in our house recently she thought there was no way she’d need to come to our house in New Orleans again. I shouldn’t have lied to cover her tracks, but I didn’t want her to look bad for her lack of attentiveness. Yes I lied — don’t judge me.

And with some hesitation, my girl accepted my gift of deception, for now. Because she’s still a kid and she still wants to believe. And with that…the Tooth Fairy came back to life!

The Impact

The whole moral of this story is that I’ll let my little girl hold onto her belief for just as long as she wills herself to, even if I have to bend the truth a little to help her hold on. Soon enough this fantastical belief about fairies coming in the night to change your old teeth for new dollars will disappear, and all sorts of other beliefs and worries will take their place. Today I’ll be thankful that I only almost killed the Tooth Fairy. She’s one tough lady!

Sarah Brichetto
Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Sarah moved to New Orleans in 2009 after graduating from the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!) and is proud to call New Orleans home. She is a CPA and the Finance Director at a local real estate development company. Sarah lives in the Freret neighborhood with her husband, Matt, and their three kids: Elizabeth, Paul and Isaac. You can often find them roaming the neighborhood streets, taking streetcar rides, or enjoying one of the many local parks. In her non-existent free time, Sarah loves to try the newest local restaurants, cook, read, and write.


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