According to Wikipedia (because we can believe all things that are on the internet) the origin of the Tooth Fairy didn’t start in Europe, it was custom to bury a tooth that was lost by a child. After the 6th tooth had been lost, it was then customary for parents to slip money under a child’s pillow.

Tooth Fairy
Photo by Daniel Kempe on Unsplash

In the Middle Ages, however, superstitions surrounding children’s teeth were apparently all the rage. To save a child from hardship in the afterlife, children in Europe were told to burn their teeth. If they didn’t, well they would spend eternity searching for them in the afterlife. Scandinavian warriors put their children’s teeth on a string around their neck. Witches, however, were believed to have the total power of the child in medieval Europe if they were to get a hold of a tooth.

In modern history, however, the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1908 put out a gripping story saying that tooth fairy would leave a gift, giving mothers a great reason to visit the 5 cent counter. This provides us with the modern-day tooth fairy.

It was the Vikings who paid their children for their teeth. Which if I am sure if my kid knew that he was going to get paid for his tooth, it wouldn’t have stayed in for as long as it did and I would have avoided a late-trip to Wal-Greens.

The story begins in the back row of Lowe’s looking at carpet like most good stories start out right? Noticing that my son’s mouth is bleeding my wife looks in to find his loose tooth barely hanging on. She gives it one good wiggle, and it pops out.

Where was I?

I was three aisles down looking at a new air compressor. My thought was that maybe we could turn one of them on and maybe just blow the tooth out of his mouth rather than pulling the tooth. I also have this strange belief that teeth should remain inside your mouth and for some strange reason I get creeped out when I see a tooth just hanging on by a thread.

Tooth Fairy - The Rookie Dad

Later that evening, over dinner, we were talking about what the “tooth fairy” is going to get my son after losing his tooth. We had no idea what the going rate for a tooth was/is because when we lost a tooth as a child, we either got a quarter or if we’re lucky a dollar.

Realizing that we were truly a modern family who only carry debit cards, we had no cash on hand and there was no way we were going to let him have at it with them. How was the “tooth fairy” going to get him the “money” in exchange for his tooth?

Once our oldest was sleeping, I make the trek to Walgreens to get some candy, because what parent doesn’t go to Walgreens and come out empty-handed is beyond me, but because I also needed some cash… and something less than a $10 cash advance that I could get with my purchase of said candy.

The entire time, I am thinking back to my research on the Tooth Fairy and how the Vikings paid their kids for the teeth they would lose. Why would they come up with the idea that this mythical creature would come waltzing into your home, and somehow find their way to kids bedroom, without waking up the parents or being heard through the baby monitor and give our kids money?

The Tooth Fairy goes against everything we teach our kids!

Standing in line, I quickly Google the going rate for the Tooth Fairy. What I found out made me even more upset that I was standing in line at a Walgreens at 10 pm on a Wednesday night, waiting to get cash for my kid. The rate for the tooth fairy in 2018 was $3.70!

Not only was I getting cash, which we very rarely keep on hand, but I was now being told I needed to get some coins!

The Google also told me that there is not one but TWO days for National Tooth Fairy Day, February 28th and August 22nd.

Obviously frustrated as I ask for $5 in change, the cashier looks at me,

“Tooth Fairy night huh?”

“How did you know?”

“Something we kind of pick up on from people who come in this late at night just to get candy and then ask for change back.”

“Well… good to know that I’m not the only one I guess.”

When I get home, I slip the $5 bill under the pillow of my sleeping kid. The frustration builds because I know that he is immediately going to want to spend it rather than save it for something that he really wants. But I look at him, and my heart swells with pride.

I know how difficult losing his first tooth has been. My heart hurt every time he would not only show it but know just how much he didn’t want that tooth to come out.

For that, I knew that the late-night trip to Walgreens was worth it. I also told myself that this wouldn’t be the last tooth that he would lose, eventually needing another $3.70 from the Tooth Fairy.

I should have asked the cashier at Walgreens for $10 back but with two $5 bills so that I wouldn’t have to make that late trip to grab some cash for the tooth fairy the next time he would lose a tooth.

The History Behind The Tooth Fairy and My Hatred Of This Parenting Pastime

1 Comment

  1. When the Kids Go To Bed January 31, 2017 at 3:38 PM

    Feeling your pain…and now really disturbed to be part Norwegian. I now feel somewhat responsible for this ridiculousness. Damn tooth fairy.


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