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Who Invented the Tooth Fairy Anyway?

“Do ya think the tooth fairy can make it tonight? It’s been three nights already.  Just put the money in the case… “ - Stephen, age 9


The tooth fairy sucks.  She does, simply because everytime she blows off my kid, I’m left holding the bag.  Bad momma.   


I replay our convo in my head, “Do ya think the tooth fairy can make it tonight?  It’s been three nights already.  I'm leaving you my tooth in my magic-dice case.  Just put the money in the case. I don’t want you "finding" it when you are "making my bed".


Stephen’s rhetoric reminds me that I am deficient at a small handful of essential tasks.

He is losing faith in the nature of childhood - the lazy tooth fairy, the stagnant Elf-on-Shelf, the absent Easter Bunny, the waning Santa - basically all traditions-in-a box, etc.   


He's on to me.  My guilt is heavy.  Do I tell him it’s simply third-child syndrome?  But he's entering 4th grade.  He's still my baby.  Surely, I can act interested in his loss; we can keep playing the tooth fairy game - so why not prolong the magic?  Only a few more teeth left...  


I'm curious.  Who is this defunct said tooth fairy and what exactly is her predicament?  I did some fancy research@


- 74% believe the tooth fairy is female, while 18% believe it is neither and 9% believe it could be either. (I'm not certain who they interviewed - kids or parents)

- Most believe the fairy to be “tinkerbell- type” with wings and a wand; others a mouse, or bunny.

- the belief in the tooth fairy provides comfort to children for the loss of their tooth, especially if it is  painful or traumatic.

- mommas value a child’s belief in the fairy as a sign that their “baby” is still a child. 

- parents find comfort in their child’s belief in fantasy; they are not grown up.

- the majority of children have positive outcomes of believing in the tooth fairy.

- the reward left by the fairy varies by country, economic status and the amount the child’s peers report as well as the condition of the tooth.

- less money is paid for a decayed tooth.

- Visa Inc. found the American child on average receives $3.70 per tooth.


This data is statistically significant or insignificant depending on whether you have established if she actually exists (I believe she is a she, displaying Tinkerbell properties, and spreads fairy dust around the heads of sleeping children).  It's not obvious to me whether or not she exists.   


When Stephen tucks his tooth in a magic-dice case and tucks under his pillow for the fourth night in a row - clearly, I cannot believe.  However, when Evan, my soon to be 7th grader, yanks his last bloody-tooth out of his mouth and casually hands it to me while asking for the cash -  well then - I do believe.

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