The Day I Earned My Fairy Wings

A very happy Miss6 and her haul.

There’s more to being a tooth fairy than digging into your pocket for small change. But last night, I think I earned my wings.

You might be wondering, those of you who know my background, why it’s taken me so very long (read as ‘so many children’) to finally Tinker-up. Well, put simply, I usually forget to make the swap or, before my kids are even in bed, accidentally throw the tooth down the sink when I do dishes.

But the thing is, a tooth fairy doesn’t sit around the house moaning when things go wrong. A tooth fairy just gets the job done.

A scream from the lounge room first alerted us to the fact that something momentous had occurred.

“My tooth!” was the other hint.

Miss6 raced into the kitchen, beaming her new gappy smile and holding out her ‘precious’ for us to admire.

“I’m going to put it in a cup beside my bed!” she announced and went about doing just that. Which was a shame because if she had have placed it in a cup on the kitchen windowsill like we usually do I could have avoided gagging later in the evening.

“How are you off for change?” I whispered to Tracey. “I’ve got thirty cents.”

In the end, to my wife’s chagrin, I raided Miss10’s piggy bank and stuck in an IOU for $2. It was that or a trip to the shop for bread we didn’t need.

This is the point at which we usually fail. We know there’s a tooth. We’ve got the money ready. All we need to do is put the kids to bed and sneak in when they’re asleep.

I saw somewhere the brain can only keep about six things in its mental to-do list and we should write things down in a trusted spot instead of trying to remember them. With this in mind, I knew just what to do. I put a message on Facebook.

Miss6 just lost a tooth. If anyone’s up around 9.30 tonight I’d really appreciate a reminder so I can put on my fairy wings.

And might I just add at this point, ‘THANK YOU!’ to everyone who sent me a reminder.  It was the equivalent of about thirty alarm clocks going off one after the other.

Around the twentieth message I decided it was time. I grabbed an identical cup to the one Miss6 had submerged her tooth in, plonked the coins in and then tippy-toed towards the room Miss10, Master8 and Miss6 are currently sharing to make the switch. I stood in the doorway.

Miss6 – not moving.

Master8 –  not moving.

Miss10 – not moving.

Clutching the cup of coins I took another step into the room and…

…Master8 blinked. He’d been watching me the whole time. Worse, his eyes were on the cup in my hand.

Think quick man! my brain spluttered. He’s seen the cup. He’ll work it out.

“So,” I said to him as I reluctantly took a swig of who knows what floating around in the cup, “still awake, eh?”

I don’t know how many hands those particular coins had passed through but there was a 10c piece from 1971, so I’m guessing a few.

An hour later, having managed to gag and gurk my way through an explanation to Tracey of what had happened, I made the exchange and my job was done.

So I’m claiming those wings as earned. What’s more, I’m hanging up my wings and retiring from fairy duties.

I clearly don’t have the stomach for it.


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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”


  • FYI IOU has been stealthily removed and $2 returned all without Miss10 knowing anything. I am on fire this week!

  • I remember those days of forgetting to exchange tooth for money or being flat broke and then having to explain that the Tooth Fairy was on sick leave and will give the owed money when she could. Luckily, my kids believed me. Good job Tink!

  • I am soooo glad I’m past that stage. I would always forget; the tooth fairy took a lot of holidays!

  • At least if I’d drunk the water with the tooth in it I’d have known it was regularly cleaned 🙂 I mean, who cleans money?

  • I know this is an old post, but my oldest is just starting to lose her teeth now. We started doing what my grandparents did when I was younger. Place a bowl or cup of water with the tooth in it on the clean table, just before the kids go to bed. Then the moment they are asleep I just empty the cup or bowl and put the money beside it. It avoid the awkward sneaking in the room. 🙂

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