“Madison gets a toy from the tooth fairy. I hope I get one too,” Lexie says as we tuck the miniature yellow tooth chest under her pillow.
“I don’t think so,” I reply. “Our tooth fairy brings you money. Madison’s tooth fairy can bring her toys if she chooses.”
“Mom, there is only one tooth fairy.”
It is a predicament that every parent faces. Kids talk. They talk about what the tooth fairy brings them. They talk about what Santa brings them. And often there is a discrepancy between what my kid gets and the other kid.
Our kids get a one-dollar coin under their pillow for each lost tooth. (They get two one-dollar coins for the very first tooth.) But there are parents who give $5, $10 or event $20 a tooth. Or there are parents, like Madison’s, that give a toy for each lost tooth.
According to CNBC, last year the Tooth Fairy paid an average of $4.36 per tooth. That is up 25% from 2013 when she paid $3.50.
(I don’t let my kids spend them. Otherwise, I would have to go find more coins. Nope, we keep using the same recycled set of 5 coins.)
Christmastime is even worse. This past Christmas was the first one where Lexie actually questioned why other people received more gifts from Santa than she did. She came home talking about kids getting piles of gifts from the big guy. In some cases, everything under the tree was credited to ol’ St. Nick.
This doesn’t happen at our house. When we had kids, my husband and I had to establish our Santa rules. I don’t recall if we even discussed whether or not to introduce Santa to Jase. I think that was a given. And we didn’t really combine or take one person’s experiences over the other. We started our own traditions.
I didn’t want all gifts to be from Santa. If I am going to spend my money buying all these gifts, I want the credit for the cool stuff. So we decided one gift from Santa, and the rest would be from us. So the kids see our gifts leading up to Christmas but of course Santa leaves his wrapped gift in front of the fireplace. He also fills their stockings with lots of smaller goodies – candy, books, toys.
When the kids were younger, they really didn’t differentiate between Santa’s gifts and those from us or the grandparents. Even now, I didn’t realize they paid attention to what gift was from whom until Lexie brought up the whole ‘why do we only get one gift from Santa?’ thing.
I don’t know any way around the tooth fairy/Santa Claus issue. Kids aren’t going to stop talking about these figures and what they bring. And parents are never going to get on the same page. I guess I will keep dodging the questions until my kids stop believing in the tooth fairy and Santa.