It glistened in the soft morning light, the single tear that fell from my 8-year-old daughter’s eye as she stood in our bedroom doorway.
“Mommy, she didn’t come!” she breathed despondently. Then that single tear turned into a torrent.
Oh, fudge. The Tooth Fairy didn’t come last night.
“Uh,” I stammered in reply, elbowing my husband awake.
“What happened?” he mumbled.
“The Tooth Fairy didn’t come last night,” I replied.
“Oh, fudge,” he said. Only he didn’t say fudge.
How did we let this happen? Quickly I reviewed the night before. Exhausted by my first Girls’ Night Out in three months, I had gone to bed at 10 p.m. (don’t judge) and left the money with my husband. He simply fell asleep before remembering his Tooth Fairy duties.
There were more extenuating circumstances, too. Our daughter’s tooth had been wiggly for just a day. That was extremely short notice vs. those teeth that hang on by a (nasty!) thread for weeks. Plus, it had been months since she’d lost her last tooth. Our son, 12, had long since finished losing his baby teeth. My husband and I were definitely rusty in our duties as well as in the twilight of our Tooth Fairy career.
Still, the plain, hard truth was that we blew it. The Tooth Fairy didn’t come.
We sprang out of bed, soothing our daughter (and each other) with hugs and reassuring words. There had to be a good reason she didn’t come, we told our daughter. In fact, my husband and I, along with friends, family, and the internet, came up with 10 Reasons Why the Tooth Fairy Did Not Come Last Night:
1. The dew was too heavy. Her wings got wet and she couldn’t fly.
2. The Tooth Fairy was on vacation and the substitute Tooth Fairy didn’t know what she was doing.
3. She couldn’t get to your pillow due to your messy room.
4. Too much traffic. She’ll leave earlier tonight!
5. She was sick.
6. Spreadsheet error. Your tooth was projected to come out on Friday so she wasn’t ready when it came out on Monday.
7. Some Tooth Fairies like snacks. Leave one out tonight and she’ll probably come.
8. Oh, look, she dropped the money on the floor over there. She must have wanted you to keep your tooth as a souvenir.
9. You probably woke up and scared her away, even if you don’t remember doing that.
10. She ran out of money and will be back tonight. She’s a tiny fairy so she can only carry so much.
My daughter seemed to calm down after she spent the day listening to our reasons why the Tooth Fairy did not come. All was made right with the world the following the morning when, hallelujah, the Tooth Fairy did come.
Moms and dads, may your Tooth Fairy always remember to come. In case she doesn’t, may you find these reasons to be a lifesaver!
Katy M. Clark is a writer who embraces her imperfections as a mom at Exper