Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Tooth Frog

Isaac is now missing three of his four front teeth.

Yes, we have a Tooth Frog. Not a Tooth Fairy, our boys would never consider that manly enough - to have a fairy hide money for them under their pillows in exchange for lost teeth. The idea of a squishy frog in bed is much more appealing to them. Besides all which, I try to stay away from all the fairytales and mythical and such. So, the Tooth Frog it is. Not sure what we'll do for the girls, I imagine if they are anything like me, the thought of a frog climbing into their bed while they are asleep would creep them out.

Well, the Tooth Frog - me - has been plenty busy these days. Isaac lost two teeth last week, and one the week before that. Solomon lost one just yesterday. I had almost no cash in the house when Isaac lost his teeth last week, so I just hid some change under his pillow - in exchange for TWO teeth. He was trying not to show it, but I could tell he was disappointed. I mean, when you are 7, there are very limited options for making money. I think to our kids, having their teeth pulled (by me, with a string - but I refuse to do it unless the tooth is hanging by a thread) is their version of donating plasma just to get the money. Sad, huh?

So when the Tooth Frog - me - came around for Solomon last night, I felt bad for poor little Isaac. I made a little pack with a couple of bucks for Isaac, along with a note of regret that the Tooth Frog had been short on cash the previous week. I made another little pack for Solomon, with a note reminding him to brush those pearly whites.

Then, I turned out the lights for the night and started down the hall in the dark. Suddenly, my foot brushed up against something cold, wet, and squishy. Since I had just finished writing notes as my alter ego, Tooth Frog, I immediately thought it was a frog and was grossed out. Totally unreasonable, as it is much too dry for frogs to live on our property, but it was late and I was tired. Plus, I had just swept the hall not 10 minutes earlier, so I KNEW there could have been nothing left on the floor from the kids.

At least I didn't shriek. I used my cell phone as a flash light and discovered that the "frog" was a piece of banana, probably from Becky. My guess is that it was stuck in the broom, and that I left it there when I swept the floor. It was funny, and the kids got a good laugh when I told them about it this morning.

Ah, when I remember the agony that our kids went through to have those little teeth! And just like that, with one little tug, they are forever gone. I LOVED those teeth, seriously. I remember when Solomon, our firstborn, finally had his first tooth pop through after months and months of chewing, drooling, and fussing. We were at a zoo in the Bay Area, where my husband was working and I was trying to kill some time while we were waiting for him. Solomon was running a low fever and sleeping most of the day. When he finally woke up, the fever was gone and the tooth was out. I will never forget that. I will also never forget how he used those sharp little teeth to almost bite off Isaac's right index finger when Isaac was just two days old, and Solomon was not quite 16 months. He didn't even mean any harm, I think he was just seriously intrigued by how this new little person acted, functioned, and (apparently) tasted. It was the first time Isaac really cried, and it sent me flying into the room to check on him. Well, no more of that... :(

Do you do anything when your child(ren) lose(s) a tooth? How much money do you leave, if any?


  1. It is sad when the teeth start falling out! It is a sign that they are getting bigger and more independent. In South Africa the English speaking communitee have a tooth fairy while the Afrikaans speakers have a tooth mouse and as our household is bilingual we have both running rampent - my daughter is 9 so hopefully both are moving on to more fruitful homes with tiny teeth a plenty! We give what we have available, LOL! Also, I have substituted a gift that my daughter has been wanting instead of the money, I think both work equally. We even had a mouse loose his way and the fairy left a note to say once the GPRS had been installed in the mousemobile he would bring the cash plus interest!

  2. The oldest of my 4 is 7. He lost his first tooth about a month ago. He pulled it himself. Another was loose for a long time, became abscessed and the dentist had to pull. John, my 7 yo, asked me to pull the tooth that's loose now. It's not loose enough for me to want to pull. Like you, I want to wait until it is barely hanging on. After much begging, I finally consented to at least trying. It wasn't ready, which brought on pain, blood and guilt for not using better judgment.

    Anyway, with John's first tooth lost we let him pick a family outing of his choosing instead of money. He chose for us to go bowling. We go on a weekday, during school hours. There is no worldly music and we have the entire bowling alley to ourselves. We also enjoy cheaper rates! He didn't get anything for the dentist-pulled tooth. If we have to pay to have it pulled it doesn't count! I don't know if we'll do anything for sequential teeth, but I'm thinking probably no.

  3. The Tooth Fairy at our house is too lazy, too cheap, not able to sneak into rooms very well (the stairs creak), or values her sleep too much. Never has shown up.

    The Easter bunny shows up, but a week or two late. He must get the chocolate bunnies half price or just waits for better weather (it's usually still snowing well into May in our parts).

    I agonize over the childhood traditions and which ones we should do and not do. I don't want my kids to feel "deprived" from things like Trick or Treating, Easter baskets, Christmas stockings and what not, so I try to "make up for it" by having our own family traditions. Like the Easter bunny hides them a chocolate bunny in the spring, but I try to keep that separate from the Resurrection of Christ Jesus. I take them to the mini market to get a candy bar in the Autumn to pick out a big candy bar (rare treat) so they don't feel bad when the neighbor kids get gobs of candy.

  4. My kids didn't get much when they lost a tooth, mostly because we couldn't afford to give them much.

    I do remember when my youngest was just starting to teeth, I was nursing her and she bit me. I startled her so bad, she started crying. That baby will 23 tomorrow!

  5. The tooth frog! I LOVE it! We play tooth fairy, although the kids know very well it's me. Still, it's a fun game to play. So far we've always given $1 per tooth, although at times the kids were given an iou for the next night (oops!)

    Our favorite tooth fairy story was the morning Luke (our oldest, 6 at the time) woke up and it dawned on me that I'd completely forgotten about the tooth! I quickly rounded up 4 quarters, and the plan was for my husband to distract him while I snuck them under his pillow. But Luke jumped down off his bed just as I had my arm raised, and he knocked the coins right out of my hand. It appeared to him as if the money fell down from the sky! We all had a good laugh out of that one! He still asks if it will rain money every time he loses another tooth :)

  6. I can relate; seems like our kids lose their teeth at the same time too.

    I have a question about this statement: "Besides all which, I try to stay away from all the fairytales and mythical and such." How is a mythical fairy different from a mythical frog (other than the gender preference thing)? I realize that frogs are real while fairies aren't, but money-delivering frogs aren't real. And there are frogs in some fairytales.

    I don't really care either way; I am just curious. We did the tooth fairy until one of my daughters actually believed it and then we had to explain that it is just a fun way to celebrate losing a tooth and growing up.

    Also, sometimes when I'm short on cash, I leave trinkets instead.

  7. I got $1 for each tooth... this was 20 yrs ago so to account for inflation... the going rate would be about $3? =)

    Why do you steer clear of anything mythical & fairy tales?

  8. My kids get $5 per tooth.

  9. I never had the tooth fairy come visit me as a child. I would just take my lost tooth to my great-grandmother and she would exchange it for a $10 bill.

  10. Our kids know there is no such thing as Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy but I do put a dollar under their pillow for each tooth. My 10 y.o. son has lost several teeth in the last month and we got to were he would just bring me the tooth and I'd give him a dollar. He didn't care about it being under his pillow, he just wanted the money. I started teasing him about trying to wiggle teeth that weren't loose! I like your advise to take care of his teeth! I tell my son, these are the teeth he'll have when he's an old man if he takes care of them!

  11. I always got a dollar for my teeth, usually a silver dollar. Now I hear about parents giving their kids twenty bucks!!! Why would a kid that young need that much money?! It blows my mind!

  12. For the first lost tooth, our tooth fairy left one of each coin (penny, nickel, dime, quarter, dollar coin), but she's become lazy and cheap lately. Now she just leaves a $1 bill.

  13. I'm about your age and I got 50 cents per tooth as a kid. I don't see myself going up much from that for my kids. Though, I did hear of one family that gave out $2 bills, which I thought I was kinda neat. I *may* do that, though we will see.

  14. When our youngest tripped and fell against the hearth, she lost 2 teeth and one was hanging on by a thread and had to be taken out. Her gum ridge was cracked, too, as well as the bone underneath it. There was much blood and tears. So, the tooth fairy bought her a special toy that she loved. (poor thing was toothless for what seemed like forever! and then when she started losing her other teeth, you should have seen it.)

    When she gave up her pacifier, the tooth fairy left her a small toy.

    Other times, we did what we did for our older girl - just whatever coins or a dollar that we had on hand.

    Anonymous above - Zsuzsanna isn't steering clear of fairy tales; she just re-named this one the tooth frog because she believes her boys would think a fairy is too girly.

    - Sally

  15. We just decided to offer our children $1 per tooth or a slurpee. They always choose the slurpee!

  16. I have to say WOW to how much you all got for your teeth! Seriously, I think we got a quarter... two if my mom was feeling nice. LOL $5 and $10 per tooth! NO WAY!

  17. Sandra, I love the idea of a little mouse in his GPRS-enabled mousemobile delivering the goodies, it made me instantly think of E.B. White's Stewart Little! Perhaps he moved and needed a job...;)

    There is a book we have that is well-loved in our home when a tooth is lost, entitled "Throw Your Tooth on the Roof," by Selby Beeler. It's about the 'lost tooth' traditions of families around the world and has fun illustrations. (We also practice our map skills by finding each country on the map as we go.) It might be a fun read for your little men, as you seem in the midst of a wobbly tooth outbreak in your family!

    It looks as though poor, sweet, toothless Isaac won't be enjoying corn on the cob for quite a bit! It's so lovely to see children grow into themselves, but at the same time so hard!

    I hope all is well with everyone else including the new baby.

    God Bless and Happy Mother's Day,

  18. Sandra, in Argentina we also have a tooth mouse!

    Zsuzsanna, like others have posted above, I'm also curious about why a tooth fairy is mythical but a tooth frog is not, given that they both are imaginary and "magical." I do partially get your point, though, I'm not a big fan of creating imaginary creatures for children myself.


  19. A quick explanation on the fairies questions:

    Fairies are not real, and fairy tales are not real. Not only that, but I think that most, if not all, fairy tales contain elements that contradict and undermine the Bible, promote witchcraft and magical powers, and contain morally questionable characters that I do not want to promote or support. As a general rule, we do not read fairy tales or anything of the sort.

    A frog is a real creature, not a fabled one. Animals in the Bible on several different accounts can talk, and there are animals in Heaven that talk (such as the ones in front of God's throne).

    So while the kids and I all know that there really is not a tooth frog who brings them money and notes, I don't feel like I am promoting a mythical creature with magical powers.

    Maybe this makes sense to you, maybe it doesn't. I am not saying other are wrong if their traditions are different, that is entirely up to their own convictions.

  20. My parents had me put the tooth in a glass of water in the kitchen ( easier and more sanitary than the pillow) In the morning their would either be coins in the glass or a bill under. I got more for bigger teeth molars were worth $5 regular teeth $1, how ever teeth lost value if they had cavities.


Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.