The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


The Tooth Fairy Is Missing Too Many Brain Cells

For weeks my daughter had been pulling, sucking, twisting and spending most of her waking moments trying to get her lower tooth to fall out.

Despite her father’s and my admonishments that her tooth would come in crooked -- Mimi was on a tooth mission.

Daily we checked its looseness, looking for signs of progress that it was tilting forward or back.

“Any day now,” I would say every day.

Not fast enough for highly determined Mimi. She even adopted my mantra that fruit is “nature’s candy,” and would eat bushels of apples, hoping her tooth would embed in a slice.

Instead, she ended up pooping quite a bit. Apples are excellent sources of fiber.

Some days it seemed like her tooth was falling so far forward it was like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Other days it stood straight as a soldier.

Mimi took on excellent habits such as flossing and brushing with regularity.

Still, the tooth remained planted in her gums.

Last week was hard – one of those student conference weeks that meant every day ended at noon, a Marin phenomenon rivaled only by Ski Week. Though in parts of New England the boys are actually allowed to leave school early to go hunting. That has to be an activity held close to Sarah Palin’s heart. (Wait a minute! How did that one get into an essay about my adorable daughter?)

Meanwhile, back in Mimi’s mouth, her tooth was being stubborn. Since part of her college education is already being absorbed by the cash payments to her dentists for all the cavities in her mouth – I’ve allowed her lollipops to push that tooth along.

I CONFESS!!!! I give my daughter candy and NOT just on Halloween. May I share something with you? Suddenly, just the admittance of this – makes me feel better. Perhaps this could translate to one less therapy session?

Back on the tooth ranch, Mimi was growing impatient. After all, she had put in quite a lot of time, easily as much as she does into her homework, into that mouth.

She was having a play date at home and while I was absorbed in front of my computer, she approached me with a large smile. She held her closed fist in front of me and then slowly opened it, revealing the gold within – her tooth.

“It fell out, Mommy. Just like that. No pushing or nothing. I can’t WAIT for the Tooth Fairy to come tonight.”

Tooth Fairy! My extreme happiness for her was suddenly clouded by the thought: do I even have five dollars in my purse – the going rate for teeth these days. What am I saying? This is Marin. Who knows? I can see children being disappointed by crisp $20 bills.

We placed her tooth in a baggy. This took a bit of negotiation, as Mimi is such a free soul she prefers to leave her tooth exposed naked under her pillow. I, blind even with glasses, NEED that baggy. She agreed and I tucked her in with kisses and all the excitement the morning would bring.

But it didn’t.

“Mommy!” Mimi came running into my room in tears. “The Tooth Fairy forgot to take my tooth.” She held up the baggy and incisor.

Oh, shit. She even had evidence. This, I knew, she would never forget.  I had to remedy this tragedy.

I explained to her that you know how Santa Claus is so busy having to drop off all of those gifts, well, the Tooth Fairy has so many teeth to pick up and money to drop off that even she, sometimes forgets.

“It’s not fair,” she said through tears.

“John Kennedy said, ‘Life’s not fair,” I replied.

“What?” she said, scrunching her face. I told her never mind, but that the Tooth Fairy was a lady you could count on. And she wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

The next night I tucked my daughter in, gave her about twenty stuffed animals to hold tight and said the next morning would be a happy one for her.

Come sunrise, a new, five-dollar bill had replaced her baggy and tooth.

But I could see Mimi looked only somewhat happy. “I thought I would get ten dollars because she forgot,” she said. I was happy at least that she was learning her math.

“We’re in a recession,” I explained.

“What?” she asked, scrunching her face.

“Oh, don’t worry about it. Hey what are you going to do with all that money?”

“Toys R Us!” she said.

As if there were any other answer. Oh, and the next time she loses a tooth – I’ll write it down in my appointment book, because as you know -- the Tooth Fairy is not allowed to forget.

By Dawn Yun

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