I am a confident woman. I’ve even been described as a “She’s got her shit together” kind of gal. There are a few words that will crumble my self confidence. “My tooth is loose,” brings me to my knees. It’s ridiculous, I know. The feelings of inadequacy run deep with the Tooth Fairy. I’ve been shamed. I suffer from Post Traumatic Tooth Fairy Disorder.

I am the mom who always forgot to put the money under the pillow. I have a problem with this tradition. Why in the hell should anyone get money for a tooth falling out? My friend just put a ten dollar bill under her daughter’s pillow. Ten dollars!

Before my self esteem was damaged by that damn fairy, I was witty and clever. I had to be. I always forgot to put the cash under the pillow. My excuses were indeed clever:

“I thought I heard noises last night. It sounded like a bag of teeth smacking against the wall going down the steps. I bet her bag was too full. She couldn’t even fly; she had to call a cab.” (Creative response)

“Oh, I hope that Tooth Fairy didn’t go out for a late Happy Hour with her other fairy friends. She’s probably singing with the band.”
I was probably living vicariously through the fairy outing. (Need a girl’s night out response)

“The Tooth Fairy probably couldn’t find your room Did you leave the night light on?”
(Shift the responsibility response)

“Maybe she caught a cavity from someone’s tooth. Germs are everywhere.” (Health response)

These excuses lasted for a couple of teeth until they started to think about my answers.

“How do you know what a bag of teeth sounds like hitting a wall?”
What was I thinking? I stuffed toast into my mouth to ponder and answer. This would not be easy. I had four pieces before she got tired of waiting for my answer.

“Mom, Tooth Fairies don’t go to happy hours. Dad says they are all sober and responsible because they fly at night.” Damn husband busting my cover!

“Mom, the Tooth Fairy has been to my room four times. Everyone knows she has a pink flashlight. Dad told me she even has night goggles.”
Since when is he the Dr. Phil of Tooth Fairies?

“Dr Lou said you can’t catch a cavity. He came to school for Dental Day today.” He laughed really hard and said that was the most moronic thing he’d ever heard.”

Did he just call me a moron? I wanted to go pull his teeth out! I’ve spent so much money at his dental office he could build a castle that looks like a molar. Damn him!

Other mothers might slip up one or two times in their life. I slipped almost every time. These are things a parent should remember. They’re important to a little kid. Even when I put the money under the pillow during the day so I wouldn’t forget, they found it and thought it was a partial payment.

So no, I don’t like to hear, “My tooth is loose.” It brings up a tsunami sized feeling of inferiority. I flunked the Tooth Fairy phase of motherhood.

Bite me!


Anne Bardsley is the author of How I Earned My Wrinkles, Musings on Marriage, Motherhood and Menopause. Her recent book Angel bumps, Hello From Heaven hit #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases. She barely survived raising five kids. She blogs at: http://www.annebardsley.com  She lives with her husband in St Pete, FL


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