Help! How Much Does the Tooth Fairy Pay?
My daughter is 5 and a half and can’t wait to loose her first tooth. She’s been talking about the tooth fairy for months now. While both my husband and I received our token 50c decades ago, I hear the price has gone up – more than inflation I believe. My daughter came home the other day, stating that Zoe had received $5 for her tooth and that Ryan had received $10. What? Any advice on how to handle expectations? Or am I being cheap?
My kids lost their first tooth early. In fact, they were the first in each of their classes. I set the precedent for the tooth fairy. Talk about pressure! My kids were in preschool, so I couldn’t count on them to be evasive when questioned how much they got.
I remember when I lost my first tooth. The tooth fairy left two shiny quarters under my pillow. Such joy! Such happiness!
Then I found out that when the girl up the street lost her tooth, the tooth fairy left her an entire package of goodies—a new toothbrush, some stickers, cash and the gift I coveted most of all, trident gum.
I was robbed. What did I do to deserve such a snub from the tooth fairy? The girl up the street was a bossy brat. I say that because that’s what I thought at the time. Yes, yes, now I understand there are no bad kids, just bad choices, but back then, she was just a nasty kid.
Once when I was over her house I asked her, “Do you mind if I use one of your crayons?” She said, “Yes.” When I went to reach for one, she said, “I said, I DO mind. That means you can’t use it.” The rest of the play date, I just had to sit there watching her color. How could the tooth fairy leave her a whole bag of stuff, while all I got was two lousy stinkin’ quarters?
So when it came my time to play tooth fairy, I had some, er, complicated feelings. I’ve never been a huge fan of tricking kids about things like the tooth fairy, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I remember before we had kids, having a passionate conversation with Dave about it.
“You’re just lying to them, man. You’re setting them up for a life time of hurt when they find out nothing’s real, man.” Okay, so I didn’t say man. The rest I did. I was in my early 20s and far too serious.
After a chat, Dave and I decided to leave a dollar or two. The kids seemed happy. And I made my peace.
One thing I did at the outset was tell the kids that there were many tooth fairies and not all tooth fairies were equal. Some didn’t retrieve the tooth the first night? They must have been on holiday. Others left the money in the wrong spot? They needed to repeat the training classes. What about those that came during the day when the kids were at school? Those fairies worked the day shift. And if one left a different amount than they did the previous visit? The tooth exchange rates must have fluctuated. You know the market these days…
It also helped explain why some kids in the neighborhood were left different things like gold dollars or, yes, trident gum.
So to answer your question, you’re not cheap. Those other tooth fairies are just showing off.