My co-worker Bill writes a column, "Solanco Lite," for our sister paper, The Sun Ledger. In it, he writes his musings about national, local and family affairs. Last week he wrote about the Tooth Fairy visiting his daughter Jessica.

It immediately brought to mind the story my friend Theresa had shared with Sandie and me. The story centered on her failed attempt to play Tooth Fairy to her friend's child.

Theresa has a friend who has nine children (plus one on the way) and every once in awhile to give her friend a much needed break, she and her husband, Joe, have the kids spend a weekend at their house.

Theresa is good at orchestrating activities and games for children (and even adults), so keeping them occupied was not going to be a problem. When her friend arrived with the children, she informed Theresa that one of the children had lost her tooth en route and Theresa would have to play tooth fairy that night.

No problem, Theresa thought to herself at the time.

As she was relaying the story, she asked me as someone who doesn't have children if I would know what to do?

"Of course," I said. "While the child sleeps you take the tooth and leave a little money for it."

"How do you know that?" Theresa asked, noting again that I didn't have children.

"Everybody knows that," I said.

Well, apparently, not everyone.

Theresa said after straining herself to put the money under the pillow - the kids were sleeping on the floor - she couldn't wait until morning. The morning came and the child came downstairs; when she didn't say anything, Theresa asked if the Tooth Fairy had come.

"Oh, I forgot to check," she told us the child had said. She went with her back to the room; the child looked around and finally found it.

"Wow, $5!" Theresa told us was the girl's reaction.

"Five dollars?" Sandie and I both gasped. Sandie said she had only gotten a dime for her teeth while I said I had gotten usually 25 to 50 cents.

"I didn't know how much to leave," Theresa said, adding her friend didn't tell her how much she should give her.

Sandie and I shook our heads, laughing. But, that wasn't the end of it.

After the girl gushed about her $5, she then became puzzled and commented aloud that the Tooth Fairy hadn't taken her tooth. Theresa said her heart sank.

"Was she supposed to?" she said she asked the child, then covered by saying that the Fairy's bag was likely too full and she should put it under her pillow at home.

"I didn't know," Theresa said, as Sandie and I looked at her incredulously.

"Everybody knows!" I said.

Theresa said after that she was determined to find a friend - either single or married - who didn't have children and prove she wasn't the only knucklehead not knowing what to do. "But everyone I asked knew... even my guy friends!" she said.

And, when she asked them how they knew it, the response was always the same. "Everyone knows."

Well, now everyone knows.

Jennifer Savage is Post Ledger editor.

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