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Our tooth fairy is a lazy, shiftless hussy

Oh, the shame! I was walking past my kids’ room last night and on the bedroom door, there hung a note. It was addressed to our Tooth Fairy, that truant little hussy.

If you can’t decipher kids’ scrawl, here it is spellchecked, for your reading pleasure:

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Please come get my tooth. I have been waiting for 4 days.

(Top Bunk)

First of all, speaking on behalf of beleaguered Tooth Fairies everywhere, I didn’t even know she had lost a tooth at first. It apparently happened the night I had a concert, so go ahead and throw a big heap of Workin’ Mama Guilt on top of this Shame Sandwich. Our partially toothless daughter had been suffering in silence, waiting patiently for three nights before she even let us know she had a tooth under her pillow!

When she finally told us about it, I was horrified and said many nasty things about our Tooth Fairy that I now regret: how’s she unreliable; takes to drinking under stress and blacking out for days and nights on end; how after she’s been to the house to collect teeth, I notice little things, like jewelry and loose change, have gone missing. Maybe, in retrospect, I laid it on a little too thick, but I wanted her to understand who we’re dealing with here.

And I love how she gave the Tooth Fairy her GPS coordinates, writing “Top Bunck”; like Fairy can fly all the way here, but once in the room, maybe she got confused which pillow the tooth was under?  Since there are three of them in that room (next to an empty bedroom repurposed to hold all their dressers so they can sleep together like a litter of puppies), that does present a challenge for the Tooth Fairy.

I wrote back to her:

Sorry, Sophie. My wings were tired!
-T. F.

Nice, right? Here’s what I really wanted to write back:

Hey Kiddo:

Congrats on losing another tooth. You’re losing them like acorns from a tree in autumn, you know that? And it always seems to happen when your Mom has a concert, or you’re traveling, or one of your siblings has the stomach flu, I swear. Makes my job WAY harder. I mean, it’s not like I always have cute little tchotchkes on hand — sometimes, my Treasure Drawer is empty, you know?

And these Blackhawks! Do you know how many teeth these guys lose during the playoffs? I am beat half to death flying all over the place, taking care of them.

I’m just saying, it’d be great if I could have a little help from your parents once in a while.

Remember when you lost two teeth over spring break while you guys were on that remote Island? I overheard your Mom and Dad laughing about putting Coronas (with limes, but still!) under your pillow ’cause that’s all they had. Girl, I stopped that train wreck from happening by stealing five bucks from your Dad’s wallet — twice! Weren’t you wondering why you got so much money that week compared to when you’re at home?  I was workin’ overtime on that vacation, so excuse me if I’ve been a little off my game lately.

So anyway, thanks for the reminder note, but at the same time, lay off with the shade you’re throwing. I’m doing my best here.

See you soon, I’m sure of it.

— Lynn LaPlante Allaway

Lynn LaPlante Allaway writes a blog, Backwards and In High Heels, and is finishing up work on her first novel, set in a symphony orchestra. She is an active jazz and classical musician, playing violin and viola with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and the Chicago Philharmonic. She lives with her jock husband, their four young kids, incontinent cat and hyper puppy in Chicago. You can find her at and @LynnAllaway.

Reflections of Erma