Why doesn’t the tooth fairy and Santa bring equal gifts for all?

“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.”

toothfairy 00140It 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.

IMG_2962Hmmm….I guess that means I am on the lower end of the scale. But I am not about to change my ways. I like our dollar coins. They are golden. They are special from the tooth fairy.

(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.

santaI 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.

Wiggle, wiggle – yes, it is a loose tooth #AtoZchallenge

The night before Lexie’s birthday party, Jase lost another tooth. I’m not counting so I can’t tell you how many he has lost. But for Lexie, it was a reminder that she still has yet to lose one.

LToday on the A to Z challenge, it is time for the letter L, and I am talking about loose teeth.

Jase lost his first tooth in February of 2012 – just three months before his 7th birthday. It was barely hanging on, and the dentist pulled it for him. Jase has always been hesitant to pull his teeth. He is afraid that it will hurt. I was the same way as a child and remember the dentist pulling a few of mine too.

Jase lost another one at the dentist office last September. The hygienist was polishing his tooth, and it just came out. He didn’t feel a thing. He was happy. Not only did he get another cute little treasure chest to put his tooth in, he knew the tooth fairy would be stopping by that evening.

For a first tooth, our tooth fairy leaves two dollar coins. After that the rate is one dollar coin per tooth.

The funny thing is this last tooth that came out is one of the first that didn’t have another tooth already come in behind it. Typically, you think of the new tooth coming in under the baby tooth and forcing it out. Sometimes, however, the baby teeth don’t want to leave the mouth, and the permanent tooth comes in behind it. This phenomenon is known as shark teeth. This happens with about 10% of kids.

Shark teeth really doesn’t mean much except that when the baby tooth finally did come out, there was a tooth already in its place so Jase never had that missing tooth grin that so many kids have. The one that just came out in March did not have a tooth behind it so it was his first chance at that classic childhood grin.

I would say that the most interesting incident we had with losing a tooth was two years ago. The family was getting ready for a trip to Disney World. Jase had a loose tooth, but we just couldn’t seem to grab it well enough to pull it. Those things are so small and slippery sometimes. (Even the dentist had a hard time with his first tooth.) So I went to Disney World prepared for him to lose his tooth. I just didn’t expect it to fall out the instant we walked through the gates of the Magic Kingdom. Luckily, I was carrying the tooth treasure chest. The tooth fairy even found Jase while we were there and left her customary dollar coin.

So now we are just waiting for Lexie to lose her first tooth. She checks quite often to see if any of them are loose. I know one day soon she will be thrilled to have one wiggle when she touches it. And then it will be time to put the tooth fairy on alert.