What to do when the tooth fairy forgets to show up

There are so many things I didn’t plan on doing when I became a parent. But sometimes society has other plans.

I didn’t grow up getting presents from Santa or money from the tooth fairy. Neither did my husband. Sure, we received many Christmas presents but they were always from people we knew. No biggie. I don’t think I missed out on anything by not being lied to about the existence of Santa Claus. So we planned on not playing the Santa role at Christmas with our own kids, as well.

But when people started getting into my children’s heads about the “right jolly old elf” and the mysterious tooth collector, my plans got tossed out the window.

We don’t want to be the ones to burst their bubble.

This week, my seven-year-old lost his tooth while at school. So he received a cute tooth holder on a key ring to store it in. I thought, “Wow! He’s growing up!” It didn’t cross my mind to start scrounging up my change to pay him for this milestone. But of course, he reminded me. And so did the daycare teachers. I’m sure his teacher and the principal would have reminded me too, if I saw them.

Black and white image of a tooth holder on a key ring

So we went home and he asked if he could make a sign for the tooth fairy so she’d know where to look for his tooth. Of course, I said yes.

We took pictures of his tooth holder as well as pictures of him and his sign. He was so excited about the impending visit.

Sign for the tooth fairy

The problem is, she didn’t come. And the next morning he was devastated. With tears streaming down his face he came to me clutching the tooth holder. He said, “It’s still here!” and my heart sank. The night before, I thought I should wait a bit before attempting to take the tooth and deliver the dough so as not to get busted.

Then I fell asleep on the couch. And that was that.

That night before he went to bed, I assured him she would find his tooth. I assured him it was okay that his tooth was in the tooth holder. She would find it. She knows where to look. She does this for a living!

Grasping the tooth holder he said, “It’s because it was in here.” I thought, “How are we going to get out of this one?”

Then he told me he kept waking up to check if it was still there. That was my out! I told him she wouldn’t come if he was awake. And he believed me. Phew!

We decided to plant the money under his pillow before we left for work that day. Then, we told him not to go in his room because she wouldn’t come if he was in there.

When I picked him up from his after-school program, the first thing on his mind was the tooth fairy. “Did she come?” he asked.

I told him I didn’t know since I had left for work before him. When we arrived home he burst through the door to check if the tooth fairy had paid a visit.

Luckily for us, he found the money and was thrilled. He received five loonies! A generous tooth fairy, I say.


I can’t wait until one of his classmates bursts his bubble because all this deception is exhausting!

Image courtesy Grace Maala Telphia