Tooth Fairy Fatigue

A nifty tricky for parents struggling with tooth fairy duties.
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"Mommy, do you think we have the same tooth fairy as Caroline?" asks Julia. Caroline is Julia's friend who lives down the street.

"Probably," I answer.

"But her tooth fairy always comes the first night she puts out the tooth."

And there you have it — my 8-year-old daughter may still believe in mythical figures, but she knows incompetence when she sees it. For the record, our tooth fairy has a spotty on-time attendance history. He has been known to take a few nights to get to a tooth, and his list of excuses (which I must pass on to a baffled child) is long: locked doors, noisy dogs, snow storms, restless children, and missing teeth.

Oh, the fairy means well — but let's face it, the job is harder than it looks. Can we really fault him for a certain ineptness in locating rice-sized teeth in the nine seconds it takes for our children to wake up?

"That's weird! The tooth fairy left me money, but my tooth is still here," Julia says the morning after our tooth fairy had an exceptionally close call. I shoot Dave a look.

"Oh well. I'll just put it under the pillow again." She flashes a toothless smile at her plan as beads of sweat form on my husband's face.

Is our fairy in over his head? Definitely. Disgruntled? Don't ask. Ready to hang up his wings? You bet. But with about 68 teeth to go, that isn't happening any time soon.

Luckily, the beleaguered sprite got a break from the elf of ingenuity, in the form of a nifty Christmas present from a thoughtful friend. It was a Twinkle Toof by Toysmith — a three-and-a-half inch glow-in-the-dark plastic box, shaped like a giant tooth and lined with black velvet, with a special hinged compartment for the child's tooth. In a dark room it almost looks like a light bulb — a boon for our hit-or-miss fairy, whose performance has improved immensely.

So if the kids in your neighborhood are waking up with tiny teeth where quarters should be, do an online search for "Twinkle Toof" — and tell 'em the Tooth Fairy sent you.

Having tooth fairy trauma at your house? Click the comments link below to talk about your frustrations — and solutions.

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