Like most people, we’ve had the same tooth fairy since my children first started losing their teeth several years ago. When I was a kid, I used to think that there was just one tooth fairy who serviced the entire tooth-losing population of the world.
But now that I’m a mom, I’ve come to realize that actually, there’s a whole network of tooth fairies. Each one gets assigned a certain geographic area, and whichever tooth fairy you get is your tooth fairy for life (or, I suppose, until you stop losing teeth). I’m not exactly sure how they zone these areas, though, because we have a different tooth fairy than our next door-neighbor, which has always been a source of puzzlement for us. But, I guess there must be some sort of political gerrymandering that goes on in Fairyland with regard to these things.
Anyway, our tooth fairy is a lovely fairy named Molarie. Or at least, she used to be lovely, when my kids were younger and losing their incisors. But now that we’re into canines and molars, Molarie seems to be slacking a bit. For example, last week, my daughter lost a tooth, and it sat under her pillow for three days before Molarie finally showed up with some cash. I know this because I was out late on all three of those nights, and when I got home there was no trace of Molarie in my house. When she finally did come, she made up some lame excuse about having a “ripped wing,” and wrote a whole sob story about how she smashed into a window that she thought was open but that really had a very fine mesh screen on it that she didn’t see. Yeah, right.
Frankly, I think Molarie’s been hitting the sauce. Which wouldn’t surprise me, because she’s had kind of an attitude lately, as well. Take this excerpt from one of her more recent letters:
“It’s come to my attention that you think that I am not real. I have to tell you, this is kind of insulting. I spend a lot of time and energy being the tooth fairy, and nothing annoys me more than when kids think that I don’t exist. Just FYI, I don’t get paid very much to schlep your heavy teeth back to Fairyland. And I don’t get medical benefits, either. But I AM REAL. Just because you can’t see me doesn’t mean I don’t exist. Can you see air? Can you see gravity? Can you see the Easter Bunny? No, no, and no. But they’re all real. (Just kidding, the Easter Bunny isn’t real.)”
I mean, ugh. Talk about a guilt trip. She’s like a Jewish mother. And believe me, I would know, because I am a Jewish mother. And, to make matters worse, she’s totally inconsistent with what she pays. Sometimes it’s two dollars, sometimes it’s three dollars, sometimes it’s just one silver dollar, which she seems to think is worth more because it’s a coin instead of paper. It’s like, she just opens up her wallet and leaves whatever she has, with no forethought or planning whatsoever.
I hate to say it, but it sounds like we’re not the only ones who’ve noticed that her performance hasn’t been up to snuff lately. In her last letter, she hinted that she’s worried about losing her job: “I’ve used up almost all of my sick days this year, and if I miss a day of work again, they might demote me from tooth fairy to garden fairy. That would be really bad, because I am terribly allergic to pollen.”
Bad for her, maybe, but I don’t think anyone in our house would be all that upset if Molarie were to be replaced. I know for a fact that my daughter is hoping that we get assigned the next-door neighbor’s tooth fairy. Apparently, she pays ten bucks for a tooth, she always shows up on time, and she never leaves a note. But, then again, I told my daughter, I’ve heard of tooth fairies who leave toothbrushes and floss, or apples, instead of money. In which case, we both agreed, Molarie’s not so bad after all.