Liam in simpler times, after the loss of tooth #1

The tooth fairy has officially visited our home five times.  Our six-year-old has officially lost six teeth.  As you may have noticed, there is a discrepancy here.  As far as I can tell, the issue was the loss of tooth #5.

I can’t recall where or when it fell out and neither can Liam, the aforementioned gap-toothed six year old.  The fact he can’t even remember the details of this little tooth makes me feel a bit better about my own vague recollection. I do recall that when it came out, it eventually ended up in a little “treasure chest” – one of those little hand-painted projects which, for some reason, ended up on top of our entertainment center (yep, we still have one of those!) several weeks back.  That’s when my mind goes blank.

Fast forward to this morning, when I got home from walking our dog to find a pouty gap-toothed Liam sulking on the front porch.  “What’s wrong?” I asked.  “Daddy moved my pillow last night and the tooth fairy never came!”  Hmmm.  I had to think quickly on this one.  Had tooth #7 fallen out last night?  Did I have amnesia?  What exactly happened and how could I respond glibly while keeping his faith in that apparently dim-witted fairy? 

A career in advertising has left me relatively quick on my feet, good with a retort and polished in the arts of ambiguity and empathy, which I can conjure up as needed.  Without dissing the tooth fairy or the Dad, I was able to discern that at some point last night, Liam found that treasure chest with tooth #5; it had slipped behind the TV and was discovered during a search for a Tom & Jerry video (yes, we do let our kids watch them and if you haven’t seen Tom or Jerry in a while, I’d highly suggest that you revisit them!). 

Like any other 2nd grade believer, Liam assumed the tooth fairy must have radar and would intuitively know when a small boy places a toothy treasure under his pillow.  With this in mind, Liam had slid the treasure box under the pillow without uttering a word about it to me or the Dad.  When he woke up this morning and found the tooth and treasure chest under his bed, he reached the reasonable conclusion that when Dad did the final late night tuck-in, he must have knocked the treasure chest under the bed, thereby sending the tooth fairy off course.

This was a lot to take in so early in the morning but, grateful for the large cup of coffee I'd consumed, I explained that Liam was right.  Of course the tooth fairy’s radar doesn’t work under little boys beds; it is only effective under pillows!  That answer seemed satisfactory and so it is that tonight, tooth #5 (and the fairy!) will be getting a second chance.  Having reviewed the contents of my own treasure chest of Liam's teeth (yep, I save them... gross, right?), I came across this little gem from a few months ago.  I can't help but think that his initial excitment upon discovering that the absent tooth fairy finally reappeared might be dramatically diminished when he realizes she only left $2.00...

Tooth Fairy Extortion!