Tooth Fairy can be costly
Social distancing continues as does the spread of the coronavirus. Money is short. Purses empty faster than they fill. Waists might be expanding with the couch lifestyle but financial waist-belts have to be pulled in.
First tooth falls
Then came the loose tooth.
‘He’s too young – 5- surely’? Losing milk teeth can start at early as 4 years old.
Duncan was not concerned at all about the wobbly tooth. He made a video call to me every day to show the progress. Seeing him wiggle and bend the tooth towards a virtually horizontal position was not a scene made for the faint hearted.
Then one day it came out. Duncan was delighted.
‘This makes me feel very grown up’, he said to Mum as he held the tooth in his hand.
He looked with glee at the gaping hole. With Mum’s help Duncan made a video call to me to show off his prize. As they talked he started work to help the next tooth along its exit route.
‘You’ll make your mouth sore’ I said
‘But Nan I have to put my teeth out for the Tooth Fairy.’
The Tooth Fairy price
Now it was Mum experiencing the cold chill. How much is the going rate for a tooth, she wondered? She dare not ask. It had to be a coin.
A quick search on her tablet and she found that that most people give £1 with those in wealthier areas upping it to £2. While a single pound did not sound too bad she had to think about the fact that Connor had 50p and there were two more to come.
Could inflation among tooth fairies be as much as 100% in such a short time? To stick with 50p seems mean, to extend to £2 sounds costly.
As typically eight teeth fall out in this first phase she would have to pay out nearly £25 for the remaining three boys or almost £50 if she went for the £2 option.
Then the reality of less work, an unknown future flooded through her mind. Mum could not take the risk of starting on the ££ route in the midst of a global pandemic.
Tooth Fairy sends a message
Luckily the Tooth Fairy decided to write a helpful letter to Duncan.
Thank you so much for such a beautiful tooth! My apologies that I have not been able to provide you with the expected financial remuneration for such a well brushed tooth. The current economic climate caused by the Big Bad Bug has forced me to seek alternative methods of showing you my appreciation. I hope this will suffice. I do look forward to many more superbly clean teeth. You are top of my list.
Love and Sparkles
The Tooth Fairy.
Mum breathed a sigh of relief. This strategy taken by the Tooth Fairy may cause mayhem but it may work.
Money or gift?
The next morning Mum suggested Duncan check the tooth pot under his pillow. By it was the letter and a very small box of lego (acquired free on offer!) which was picked up with huge smiles and a shriek of delight.
The letter and lego had worked. But now there are years of letter writing ahead and the stash of tiny gifts acquired at less than £1 each needs to grow! If Duncan keeps wiggling his teeth it better grow fast.
Beware the letters
A warning from one friend who started down the letter route. Her daughter replied to every letter and wanted to build a relationship with the Tooth Fairy. This became a complex entanglement she could have done without.
- Don’t feel you have to give money for a tooth- the tooth fairy is very 21st century
- Plan ahead with alternatives
- Managing expectations needs to start as soon as any child in the class or family loses a tooth.
- Be consistent with all your children…some of whom may not even be born yet!
- Give what you can afford and explain your decision in its context to help acceptance.
- If the Tooth Fairy writes, ask her to make it clear there are no replies…just like Banks when they email you about your money that they hold.