So, it turns out that our tooth fairy suffers from forgetfulness. She’s 1 for 3 in our limited experience with her. Leia was not overly surprised by the latest fairy failure last night. I’d like to think she’s learning valuable lessons about how unfair and unreliable the world is …But the truth is, the world already provides enough of those lessons. If the tooth fairy is something we are going to do, then we should step up.
That means a tooth fairy system – a process we can put in place which, once triggered (by the falling / pulling / yanking out of a tooth), kicks into gear and each step thereafter takes care of itself.
But before we design a system, we should allocate blame for the current failure. It’s always important to establish fault in a marriage – actually, its only really important when you feel you’re not the guilty party. If you were to blame, then it’s more important to find the brush and the carpet. You can probably guess where I believe the blame lies.
This latest fairy failure began with an excited daughter running around the garden parading a gap in her teeth, as well as the offending tooth. Getting ready for bed took on a whole new meaning as there was a tooth to clean, and some pictures to leave out for the tooth fairy. I was completely unaware of all of this, as I was putting Yoda to bed. Rather than making tooth preparations, I was having a number of debates with 4-year-old Yoda, initially about whether he was bigger than a baby dinosaur, which then morphed into why dinosaurs were scared of back-hoes.
After losing the debate, I emerged from Yoda’s bedroom at the same time as my wife emerged from Leia’s. She made some comment about the tooth fairy being expected tonight and that I should set a reminder on my phone. I know, ‘Why wouldn’t she set a reminder on her phone?’ is what you are all thinking right now. Which is a totally fair question. Mrs C has a very loose connection with important possessions like phones, and wallets and keys – more on this another day. She generally knows their location within a one block radius. Kind of like first generation apple/google maps.
Anyway, by the time we had taken care of the post-kid to bed chores (feeding dogs, tidying up a level of kitchen disorder that should be impossible for 4 small children to create) we did what we do most nights and collapsed in weary heaps in the lounge. My wife had managed to locate her phone from the void, whilst mine was in the lounge. Where I left it.
To be honest, by this stage I’d totally forgotten about the tooth. Given my wife had located her phone, now was the appropriate time to set a reminder. After all, she was the one putting our little cherub to bed and had, therefore, spent a fair bit of time helping our daughter set up a ‘prominent location’ for her tooth. (After the tooth fairy’s first fail, the tooth fairy had to write an apology note in teeny-tiny writing that my wife ‘found’ behind the bed apologizing for being unable to locate the tooth.) Given Mrs C’s investment of time in this venture, it is abundantly clear who should have taken responsibility for arranging the tooth fairy’s visit.
Blame well and truly established, its time to move on to a solution.
So, what does a ‘tooth fairy system’ look like. Well, let’s start instead with what it needs to accomplish. No. 1: the tooth fairy needs to show up. No. 2: she also needs to ‘show me the money’ – No. 3: she must exit the room without being spotted.
I think it’s also helpful to look at where ‘we’ (I say, ‘we’, but we all know who I really mean…) went wrong today. First, at the moment of tooth loss or at bedtime being the very latest, we should have set wheels in motion to remind us later – ie. Phone alert.
Also, since getting to our bedroom from anywhere in the house involves walking past our kids’ bedrooms, it would be easy to set out a memory trigger as a last resort reminder. For example, taking a stuffed animal from the relevant child’s room, and setting it in the middle of the hallway should make either of us question why an animal is in the hallway…
So that’s it, our reminder system, with built-in fail-safe to trigger the rich ninja tooth-fairy:
- Set up a phone alert as soon as the tooth is lost – and there needs to be clear responsibility. So, whichever parent finds out first about the lost tooth, takes on responsibility for the phone alert
- Whoever is putting the relevant child to bed, must put a reminder in the middle of the hallway to act as a reminder trigger in case the phone alerts fail
Of course, we’ve not yet talked about the navy seals like incursion into enemy territory to locate the tooth, replace it with hard currency, and commando crawl outta there without being spotted. That will have to wait for another day. As will the discussion on tooth inflation.
Have a read of some Hilarious Tooth Fairy Tweets/Fails here for some light entertainment/excuses as to challenges of the tooth fairy…
Image Credit belongs to Canadian Dad https://twitter.com/CanadianDadBlog