I Killed the Tooth Fairy
-Jamie Allen, DivineCaroline.com
There’s a list that many fathers keep in their mind titled, “Things to Avoid If You Want Your Children to Still Like You When They Get Older.” Aside from the obvious, it includes things like, “When it comes to your child and sports, don’t act like The Great Santini,” and “Don’t dance goofy in front of your daughter’s friends (unless your daughter is being mean to you, then you should definitely dance goofy, especially if there isn’t any music playing).”
And, of course, very close to the top of the list, especially for single fathers, is: “Don’t screw up the Tooth Fairy. Whatever you do, DON’T SCREW UP THE TOOTH FAIRY! When children submit faithfully to the cruel myth that forces them to put their bloody tooth under their pillow and then fall asleep expecting payment for this service, make sure you get the tooth and replace it with the money! And don’t forget! Set your alarm! Set three alarms! Have your friend call you at 3 a.m. and ask, “Did you remember the Tooth Fairy?”
Well, I forgot the Tooth Fairy.
I am a horrible father.
But it’s even worse than that. I forgot the Tooth Fairy with my nine-year-old daughter, and she doesn’t really believe in the Tooth Fairy anymore. You know what I mean? So, when she says, “The Tooth Fairy forgot,” she’s saying something else entirely, something much more direct and personal. She is saying, “You, Dad, forgot.”
I am a horrible father!
“It’s just one in a long series of disappointments she will experience with her father,” a friend of mine told me, smiling glibly.
To which I wanted to reply, “But it wasn’t my fault! Well, it sort of was. Let me explain.”
My daughter lost her tooth one morning during the mad, tooth-brushing rush to school. There was blood and toothpaste and water. But no tooth. The tooth went down the drain!
I said, “No worries. We’ll write a note to the Tooth Fairy and she’ll still give you cash. Now, let’s get to school! We’re late!”
Half the reason we were still doing the Tooth Fairy ritual is because my son, aged six, still believes and so we had to keep up appearances. The other half of the reason we were doing it is because my daughter loves getting cash.
That night, it was hectic. We forgot to write a note. I’m certain that if we had written a note that night, I would have remembered to exchange the note for the money, but that’s beside the point.