Night 3: Tooth Fairy Deception

Read yesterday’s post before proceeding with this article.

My daughter remains convinced she can trick the Tooth Fairy. Yesterday she changed tactics, telling me she was going to give the Tooth Fairy a gift and then the fairy will want to give her one too.

Here is her wrapped present:

Photo of my daughter's four Nerds candy boxes taped up and then wrapped in scratch paper. The paper is from an old Rock and Mineral Hunt Indentification sheet and has the visible names Mama and Pop written on it in pencil.

Yes, that’s right, she wrapped the Nerds candy boxes in scratch paper. Those pencil scribbles you see are a previous practice session where she was writing “Mama” and “Pop.” That’s not writing pushed by us. She enjoys writing words she knows.

Oh, and if you’re reading the printing on that paper and wondering if Rock & Mineral Hunt is a good Christmas gift… well… only if you have an 8-year-old and only if you want to buy a bag filled with dirt and rocks. Well, more like fine silica you’d never want to inhale and rocks. And it was discontinued years ago.

But all of that is lost on my daughter. She simply saw the sheet as white paper that will make the gift look like a tooth. Her idea. Truly, she goes to her craft cart and I let her work up a storm.

Fast forward to the evening… The Tooth Fairy decided to reciprocate with a whopper of a gift box… 16″x12″x8″.

A beautifully, smartly wrapped present bearing repeated images of a fairy holding a banner that reads: Tooth Fairy.

Unfortunately, the Tooth Fairy is eco-conscious and doesn’t actually own wrapping paper. Rather than use an easily identified material such as newspaper or a paper grocery bag, the Fairy contributed to the death of another tree by using white laser printer paper taped together.

Each page was adorned with Treble Clef Fairy clipart from Florida’s Educational Technology Clearinghouse. Except the Treble Clef Fairy’s musical banner was replaced with one that proclaimed, “Tooth Fairy.”

Getting such a large box into your daughter’s bed is not an easy task when she’s in the bottom of a bunk bed (low ceiling) and you have to remove stuffed animals first.

A night vision phtoo of my daughter sleeping in bed and the Tooth Fairy's package visible behind her.

I wanted to place her pillow on top of the box, but she woke up each time I tried to steal the pillow.  I waited 30 minutes after each attempt, but gave up after the third try.

So… What’s in the box? Shake it. Hmm, there’s definitely something moving around in there. It’s very light. Let’s see…

Photo of the now opened box. It is empty except for my daughter's still-wrapped gift positioned in the middle of the box looking awfully tiny. On top of it is a note on orange paper.

The Tooth Fairy gave my daughter back her wrapped box. Oh, look, there’s a note too. What does it say?

Photo of a handwritten note on orange paper that reads: Dear Little Miss, I like to wrap boxes too! Love, The Tooth Fairy.


I’ll post an update with her reaction later this morning. I hope I don’t crush her spirit. The big gift box looks pretty tantalizing in person.

If this Tooth Fairy stuff persists through the weekend, I’ll solicit your opinion on ways the Tooth Fairy should respond to what comes next.


I totally blew it! I left the orange construction paper I used for
the note in our family room, complete with the telltale zigzag cut
edges. My daughter’s reaction after coming into the room:

“Oh, this is the paper the Tooth Fairy uses.”

Save! It’s apparently logical that the Tooth Fairy would raid our home
for pen, paper and scissors when writing her a note. I can see why
Santa Claus has endured even in homes that don’t have fireplaces.

And now, here’s what happened first thing in the morning:

Daughter: [bursting open our door] “Look what the Tooth Fairy left me! I found a big box in my bed!”

Mother: “Where did you find it?”

“It was on Naomi.”

“How do you know it’s not for Naomi?”

“Naomi’s just a doll, Mama.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Look, there’s a picture of the Tooth Fairy on it.”

“What does the flag say that she’s carrying?”

“It says Tooth Fairy.”

“Oh, well, how do you know it’s not addressed to the Tooth Fairy and she just forgot it?”

“No, it’s for me. It’s a package because I gave her a package.” [She rips open the box]  “Look!” [She lifts up her white package from inside the box]

Mother: “Is that all?”

Daughter: [Large exhale, a combination of confused mirth and muddled disappointment] “There’s another note.”

“What does it say?”

[Daughter reads it.]

Mother: “It looks like she tricked you back.”

Daughter: [Sits quietly.]

Mother: “What do you think?”

Daughter: “I have an idea!” [pause] “I should write a note about what’s in my
box so she knows what’s in it. I should write there’s a tooth in there.”

Yes, as she explained it to me, the Tooth Fairy will suddenly realize this box has a tooth inside, give her a gift, and then take the box back to wherever it is she stores her massive tooth collection. I guess, at that point, it’s too late for the Fairy because she’s been snookered.

Okay, so… How do you suggest I respond tonight?

Update: See part 3 to this story.


15 Responses to “Night 3: Tooth Fairy Deception”

  1. Stephanie says:

    She is persistent. I’m totally addicted to this story….

    November 7th, 2008 at 6:33 am

  2. melanie says:

    I’m addicted too! This really is what having children is all about – thanks for sharing.

    November 7th, 2008 at 8:16 am

  3. nrbp says:

    What fun! My seven-year-old daughter has been corresponding with the Tooth Fairy ever since she lost her first tooth. She’s lost, oh, 10 or so by now (this includes baby teeth that have been extracted by the dentist recently due to severe crowding) and each one has been accompanied by a note to which the TF feels obligated to respond. Most of the notes have contained survey-style questions as my daughter seeks to learn more about fairies of all kinds–the last one asked whether fairies have dentists…

    November 7th, 2008 at 9:03 am

  4. klh says:

    That’s a tough call, what to do…. A reward for her persistence would be a good lesson, but would that be what she takes away from it, or would it seem to her more like a reward for lying?
    Perhaps continue playing the same game she does, lie for a lie. Maybe by tomorrow morning she will realize that an earnest approach might accomplish more? Of course that’s not really the point she started out with, is it? The point was to dupe the tooth fairy.
    Maybe wrap up “Naomi” or some other really obvious toy? Of course that may just prolong things. She tricked the fairy, but got tricked as well.

    November 7th, 2008 at 11:17 am

  5. AJ says:

    Interesting points KLH. I thought I had a couple more years to decide how to handle the Tooth Fairy. This is the same conundrum posed when I wrote: I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus:

    and, How Far Will You Go to Keep the Big Lie Alive:

    My daughter picked up the Tooth Fairy idea from friends. I’m not necessarily obliged to keep the fantasy alive after this little bit of fun dies down. In which case, I need an exit strategy to explain my behavior. And if not, how long do I keep up this game?

    November 7th, 2008 at 11:36 am

  6. Amy says:

    The tooth fairy needs to leave some of her magic moonlight dust (glitter) behind that makes teeth shine in the dark for her fairy eyes.

    “No tooth to see, no present there will be”

    But for goodness sake, play along as long as she encourages it. These are the memories that make good dads into great dads.

    I hate when people refer to Santa, the Easter bunny, etc as lies. I remember feeling disappointed when I learned about Santa, but I didn’t feel lied too, I just felt sad to let go of the magic of believing. But then I got to be in on the “secret” with my little brother, which was almost as good, it was my first step toward feeling like a grown-up.

    You’re stimulating her imagination, which is really just creative thinking/problem solving skills. Everyone could use more practice thinking outside the (tooth fairy) box.

    November 7th, 2008 at 1:26 pm

  7. Diana (Ladybug Limited) says:

    OK, I have loved reading this drama as it unfolds! And I love the little verse that Amy came up with above. Please don’t fail to keep us posted as I’m sure we might learn something useful for future shenanigans from our own two…

    November 7th, 2008 at 6:24 pm

  8. Miss X says:

    I am loving this little saga. What a smart, persistent kid.

    Keep it going. It’s great for her imagination.

    My dad is anti-Santa Claus b/c he thinks SC takes away from the true meaning of Christmas. As a small child, I accepted this but developed a firm belief in the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny to make up for no SC.

    I’ll always remember the Easter my parents forgot to put out our Easter baskets. I was maybe 7, probably younger.

    My little sis and I walked around the house looking for our baskets. We finally found them in a spot we’d already checked. I got all excited thinking I’d just missed the Easter Bunny and ran through the house to see if I could find him. But, he got away too quick for my little eyes to even catch a glimpse!

    Sorry for the long post!

    November 8th, 2008 at 10:34 am

  9. klh says:

    I am going to have to agree with some of the other moms here. I say keep the fantasy until she’s ready to let it go, which will be soon enough I think.
    I don’t think one should go to any extremes to deceive their child, but to let them have the fantasy of santa, easter bunny and tooth fairy until they out grow it is fun for them and for us.
    With my eldest, and this gets really tricky with other parents, I tell him he can believe in whatever he wants, santa, jesus, unicorns, god, the goddess…. Whatever he wants and it can be real to him as long as he wants it to. Obviously I’m not religious and this may cause some readers panties to bunch, grouping god and jesus with unicorns. I mean no offense, I respect everyone’s beliefs, but for me it all comes from the same place. A place in your heart or soul or brain where if you want something to be true, it is (I believe some call this faith).

    November 8th, 2008 at 6:37 pm

  10. Jen says:

    I am loving the suspense.

    November 12th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

  11. Kimberly says:

    I agree with Amy, focus on the lack of tooth. Just leave a clever note that tooth fairy comes for teeth and since there are no teeth she will need to go to another house that has a tooth for her to collect.

    In that sense she can think she did trick the tooth fairy enough in the fact that the tooth fairy came, but once the fairy realized there wasn’t a tooth, she had to move on.

    November 13th, 2008 at 8:17 am

  12. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    I agree. The ongoing conversation is a “reward” in a sense.

    BTW THe submit comment button is now half-hiding beneath the bottom of the site.

    November 13th, 2008 at 2:04 pm

  13. Miss X says:

    any updates on this?

    November 13th, 2008 at 10:37 pm

  14. AJ says:

    Yes, there is an update, but nothing remotely interesting yet. You see, the tooth fairy doesn’t visit the homes of sick people. She’s waiting us out.

    I hope for a visitation this weekend.

    November 13th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

  15. Kimberly says:

    I will pester you now too for an update.

    Pretty please?!

    p.s. I hope you guys are feeling better now.

    December 1st, 2008 at 11:46 pm

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