Given my propensity to be somewhat tardy at performing my Tooth Fairy duties (and being accused of running to the U.S. time schedule, arriving during the day to execute the swap instead of the expected and acceptable overnight mission) I feel a teensy unqualified.
Having said all of that, yesterday came the end of an era. My eldest, Monkey Boy, aged 11 (“12 in 19 days” if you ask him) lost his last baby tooth.
My job is officially complete (with him, anyway, I still have some 33 teeth to get through with my Middlest Child – 14 remaining teeth, and the Littlest Child, with 19 remaining teeth – despite not yet being of “tooth losing” age … more to follow).
To date, his tooth losses have cost us $22.00 Aussie dollars. Not “per tooth”. Total.
That’s $1 per tooth, with an added dollar for his first and last … because … well, for no other reason that I was disgustingly excited at the first one, what with being a completely new experience and all, and revoltingly sad at the last one. Terribly good reasons, I can assure you.
Over this last five years, I’ve been intrigued at the amounts some kids as young as five are getting for the loss of a baby tooth. I have heard figures of up to $50 per baby tooth.
I can’t help but ask “Why?”
Why so much? What is it that the child has done to deserve such wealth? Just for losing a tooth?
I’m not judging or criticising. I am merely intrigued. It falls outside my realms of comprehension.
Some answers I have previously been given for this perplexing (to me) phenomenon are:
- “Because it is SO special!”;
- “They deserve a reward!”; and
- “Because, aren’t the clever, losing a tooth!?”
So, let me get this straight? They are being “rewarded” for being so “clever” as to do something that they have absolutely no control over, that is as “special” as being a normal part of growth and development and that happens to every other kid in the world?
The specialness, I can understand (but not to the value of $50, or even $5, sorry) because it is a little bit fun and magical and exciting.
The reward and clever bit I’m at a real loss to comprehend.
After all, once their adult/big/second set of teeth have come through, you’ll have the pleasure of being able to “reward” them for being so “clever” when they lose any of these teeth. To the tune of several thousand dollars, one would assume. I think that’s the going rate for dental work once the littlies have worked their way out of mouths and into the Tooth Fairy Ether, anyway.
I do have to divulge a small piece of information, at this point. Whilst my second got his $2 for his first tooth, followed by $1 per subsequent tooth, the littlest one did receive a whopping $5 for his first tooth.
In my defence, I argued against this amount. My husband – Grumpy Pants the grumpy bastard – insisted on it. I think it was guilt money; for, you see, I was at a conference that day the little one was only 18 or so months old, and climbed onto a chair, tipped it and knocked an eye tooth out.
(You can read the story here if you so desire.)
(He’s also, apparently, somewhat talented; the tooth had only broken through his gum and our been-a-dentist-for-over-thirty-years dentist had never seen anyone knock out an eye tooth.)
Hubby claims the remuneration was due to the unused status of the tooth. Hmmmm …
So, tell me … is $1 a fair trade for a baby tooth? What is your rate for lost teeth and why?