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WTF (What the Tooth Fairy?!)

Forget keeping up with the Joneses—this dad laments some families’ need to keep up with the Tooth Fairy.

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Let’s talk teeth. Specifically, the pearly whites residing in your kiddo’s mouth. I had no idea that once those little gingivitis gems started falling out that our kids would wake up to fat stacks of green under their pillows. The new modern-day Tooth Fairy is shelling out big bucks for those used bicuspids.

When my own pearly whites were dropping, I think I received a whopping three quarters for every lost tooth, plus a couple piles of nickels and dimes mixed in with some pocket lint, a paper clip, and maybe a crinkled up stick of Big Red.

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Today, it’s not uncommon for my son to come home from school spouting off about how much his friends are getting for their lost teeth—$10, $20, $30! No joke, I’ve even heard of a $60 surprise for a single incisor. I thought this was purely childhood gossip until I heard it first hand from a friend of mine.

I recently invited my buddy Eric and his son Ethan over to my place to hang with my kiddos and enjoy some Country Time lemonade and a half-eaten bag of Milano cookies.

While the kids jumped and splashed in the kiddie pool, Eric and I dove into everything “dad-life”: camping trips, summer sports, lawn mowing tips, and the craft breweries that are contributing to our dad bods.

After a while, Ethan ran up to us, excited to announce that he had his first loose tooth, and that very soon the Tooth Fairy would be paying him a visit. He grabbed one of his front uppers and gave it a good back-and-forth, then let out a big laugh and ran back into the yard. I turned my attention back to Eric and asked him if he had been in contact with the Tooth Fairy about going rates for a first lost tooth. He said the ol’ TF was ready to lay down $20 for the first tooth, and then $10 for each tooth thereafter.

He must have seen the disgust on my face and the clutching of my chest when I heard those numbers. Is it just me, or is that insane? From what I’ve researched, we lose about 20 baby teeth. So, by the time this kid has a mouth full of adult chompers, the Tooth Fairy will have shelled out more than $200 for Ethan’s useless pieces of calcium.

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I’m not comfortable with this generous new Tooth Diva sneaking into our homes. She’s handing out way too much money. Maybe she hit it big playing slots in Black Hawk, because she’s really rolling in it now. Driving her Bentley from house to house, pulling Andrew Jacksons out of her Louis Vuitton bag. She’s giving some of these kids a decent head start on their retirement funds, I know that much.

Unfortunately for my kiddos, I’m keeping things a little more humble around our house. I like to hang out after they go to bed on the nights the winged Warren Buffett is due to arrive. I catch the famous fairy in the hall just before the tooth-money swap and take that $20 gift. I promise her I’ll give it to my kids, and after she flies off, I tuck a more realistic $2 under Junior’s pillow, depositing the rest into my “fancy steakhouse date-night fund”…because that’s something you can really sink your teeth into!

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