Tooth Fairies and Fathers

21 Aug

Last night at dinner, I noticed that one of Danny’s teeth on the bottom row was sticking out a little further than the others. Upon further inspection, it was wiggly, but still firmly stuck. I told him it would probably fall out on its own in a few days. He’s very excited, as he was the only kid in his class last year that hadn’t lost a tooth yet. I am a little grossed out and I hope it falls out when I’m not around, because the sight of the empty gum space gives me that nails-on-a-chalkboard heebie jeebie feeling. I hated losing my teeth when I was little. The feeling of accidentally running your tongue over the empty, sore spot? So gross. I am weirded out by the randomest things, and apparently lost teeth is one of them.

It’s all made easier, though, by the Tooth Fairy. This is going to require some heavy backstory, so bear with me. My mom is European. Danish, to be precise. She moved to this country when she was 6. My grandparents raised her, and she in turn raised us, with a combination of truthfulness and slight disdain for certain American traditions. My mother, and grandmother before her, prided themselves on not lying to their children. So we grew up with no Santa Claus and no Easter Bunny. I have no idea what you other normal American children experienced, but our house was elf and rabbit free. This did not harm our imaginative abilities or warp us in any way, as far as I can tell.

There was one major exception to the no-lying policy. And that was, surprisingly, the Tooth Fairy. My sister and I dutifully placed our baby teeth under our pillows and received shiny quarters in return. My mother may have involved herself in the process, but I doubt it.

I distinctly remember leaving questions for the Tooth Fairy on scraps of paper. [Lawyer joke: Even at an early age, I was deposing through written interrogatories.] I asked the Tooth Fairy what her real name was, what her phone number was, and where she lived. I intended to take the letter to school for Show and Tell as evidence, and to make up for telling the other kids that Santa was imaginary, your parents bought those presents, you fools!

My memory swears that the Tooth Fairy answered in my dad’s handwriting. Because, really, who else would come up with these answers? The Tooth Fairy’s real name is Tooth Fairy. Her phone number is 55-TOOTH. And she lives in Dubuque, Iowa.

The English language, while otherwise wonderful, does not contain sufficient words to describe how much I love my father for doing that for me. And for coming up with those answers.

I haven’t discussed with Ken yet who will have Tooth Fairy duty when the time comes. I’d like to do it, if only to continue the tradition of a Dubuque Tooth Fairy. I’m also a little afraid. When we discovered the loose tooth at dinner last night, Ken promptly pulled up a youtube video of a kid with a loose tooth who ties it to a rocket while his father videotapes and laughs. The kid seemed happy, bloody gums and all, and Danny seemed both intrigued and terrified. I’m going to have to watch those two pretty closely for a few days.

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3 Responses to “Tooth Fairies and Fathers”

  1. Nancy Caddigan August 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    I know Tooth pretty well. She’s my neighbor, here in Dubuque.

  2. Melissa August 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    When something bloody happens, I panic and my hands and feet instantly go completely numb. (The human body is a strange and wonderful thing). Paul once cut his finger on a knife and I had to hold out the bandaid with my eyes closed so he could just aim for it. I kept dropping it because I couldn’t feel it. I am excellent in emergencies. (No, call ANYONE else.) The rocket story made it so I could not type my response for a full minute.

    Dear GOD, may Waverly keep her teeth to adulthood.

  3. Melissa August 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    I got so distracted that I forgot what I really wanted to say which was…I love that your Tooth Fairy was from Dubuque. You have an awesome family.

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