Victoria came home Tuesday night with a very wiggly bicuspid.  Before bedtime she had already wrestled the tooth out of her mouth, a feat which gives me the heebie-jeebies.  She proudly announced that she was “gonna get some monnnnnnnnnnney!!” followed by a sing-song “uh-huhhhhhh, ohhhh yeahhhhhhh, uh-huhhhhhhh…” and hip action that could rival Elvis.

I raised my eyebrows, curious to know if she still believed in the Tooth Fairy, but not willing to let the cat entirely out of the bag if so.  “What do you have to do to get money?” I asked, the expression on my face conveying that I’d forgotten the procedure, which my kids totally believe because I’m…old.

“Put it under my pillow, of course!!  Hey, Mommy, does the Tooth Fairy get the money from yours and Daddy’s wallets?”

“That chick better NOT be grunging around in my wallet!” I declared.  Vic giggled and hurried off to bed.  Dom, the pups and I followed an hour or so later.  By that time, I had completely forgotten about the tooth.

The next morning, Dom burst into the bathroom with me and exclaimed in a panicked whisper, “You forgot the tooth!!!  She’s awake and found her tooth still under her pillow!”

I stood there, barely dried off from my shower.

“Now?  I have to address this issue NOW?!!  I don’t exactly have any cash on me at the moment.”

He mentally figured out what to do.  “Should I give her a Five?”

“Geez, honey, only if you promise she’ll never lose another tooth!  You got a simple dollar instead?”

“What about two dollars?”

“Fine.  Go get two dollars and bring me something to write on.”  Our Tooth Fairy has had to leave a lot of explanatory notes to our kids over the years – she is, after all, a tad scatterbrained.

I threw half my clothes on and went in search of note paper on my own.  On the nightstand beside my bed I saw the special pillow and tooth resting where Victoria had deposited them while she busted on the Tooth Fairy for tardiness. Crap.  This was going to be a bit more difficult.

Dom sneaked me the cash while I scrawled a note that thanked Vic for the tooth and simultaneously apologized for delayed pickup.  I thought about adding an excuse about children in Romania or India and a tooth-pulling epidemic, but my luck Vic would talk about it in class and someone would actually know a Romanian kid who could discredit my story.  I settled on, “Lots of children are losing teeth lately, and you all are keeping me incredibly busy!” I tossed the tooth into my jewelry box and streaked through the hallway to deposit the note and money on her bed.  The things we do for our kids, huh?

A few minutes later Vic was sharing with me through the bathroom door that the Tooth Fairy had totally forgotten her.  She didn’t sound upset, but had more of an I-should-have-known-this-would-happen tone to her complaint.

“Really?  That doesn’t sound like her at all,” I lied.  “I can’t imagine what might have held her up last night.”  I left it at that, and with some prodding from Dom, Vic went to look for her tooth.  She found the money and the note and returned to me.

“Mommy!  The Tooth Fairy brought me two dollars!  She left a note that said a lot of kids are losing teeth, so that’s why she was late.  But, it’s funny…I left my tooth on your nightstand, and now it’s gone, and the money was in my bed.”

“I don’t know anything about that, sweetie.  I’ve been in here the whole time.  I think I would have noticed if someone had come in. I saw nothing.”

Say nothing of my resolve to never lie to my children.  What’s done is done.

“Hmpf!” she replied as she skipped out of my room.  “Crazy Tooth Fairy.”

Crazy, indeed.

Before we donned jackets and backpack to get into the car, Vic waved an envelope at me and declared, “I’m getting Pizza by the Slice this week with my tooth money!”  Pizza by the Slice is a treat each month at school.  Kids who want to partake may bring $2 for a slice of pizza which is served after lunch.  I make my kids bust into their piggy banks if they want such extraneous things.  I’m too frugal for $2 pepperoni, and my kids understand this implicitly.

“Putting the Tooth Fairy’s money to good use, eh?”

“Yep,” she answered, and she grinned slyly at me with that wiser-than-the-ages look her eyes conveyed when she was tiny and needed no words to communicate enormous thoughts.  “Those teeth come in handy.”