The Tooth Fairy

This is much larger than the original, which is about a quarter the size of a Post-it.
This is much larger than the original, which is about a quarter the size of a Post-it.

I was having A Bit Of A Sort Out the other day.  This involved my sitting on the floor surrounded by miscellaneous memorabilia which mean nothing to anybody but me.

Here’s something I found.  Back in the days when my children were losing their milk teeth on a regular basis, they expected to be visited in the night by the Tooth Fairy, who’d extract the little tooth from under their pillow and leave money in exchange.

Which would you choose?  £1.00?  50 pence?  Or 10 pence?
Which would you choose? £1.00? 50 pence? Or 10 pence?

This was a problem in itself.  Some Tooth Fairies left £1.00.  Others left 50 pence.  Our tight-fisted old besom left 10 pence.  This wasn’t surprising.  My goodness she was tetchy.  Every time she visited, she left a note written on some scrap of paper little larger than a postage stamp.  She was always moaning.  Either she had to come too often, or the tooth hadn’t been left handy enough, or the bedroom door was shut, or something.  Nothing was ever good enough.

Underneath her crusty exterior however, she was good-hearted.  The expected payment was always delivered.

Thirty years later, Daughter of Tooth Fairy started to visit my grandsons.  The first time Ben received  a cantankerous note from her, he burst into tears.  Daughter of Tooth Fairy was summarily sacked. Will an ill-tempered sprite visit William one day, I wonder, or are fractious fairies no longer part of the Tooth Fairy Team?


25 thoughts on “The Tooth Fairy”

  1. I wonder when the tooth fairy was invented? I don’t remember her in my own childhood but maybe my parents just had little time for that sort of thing. I do remember the Father Christmas Crisis, when the brat next door told me he didn’t exist and I was horrified because of course it meant he’d get coal in his sack.

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  2. Talking about culling (as we were on my blog) and sorting through memorabilia – I wonder if you kept this tiny but precious note, Margaret? I remember little teeth being carried home carefully if they had fallen out at school – and being ceremoniously placed under the pillow. It is an odd custom; I wonder how much of the world has their own version of it? Your particular tooth fairy sounds delightful! I would have loved to have been visited by her!

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  3. I was always visited by the Tooth Fairy and so were my daughters but our one never left notes. This surprises me now because we are a family of note-leavers. I still have a couple my sister left me when she was very small and I wasn’t much bigger, and I still have a few my daughters left me. My favourite is one Elinor shoved under the kitchen door when she was about five; ‘You are not my mother!’ it says.

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  4. The tooth fairy…. oh my. Somewhere up here in our bedroom, we have two sets of teeth or pieces thereof… I do remember one night going in to my son’s room and tripping on some darn toy car and almost waking him! Brings back memories – couple weeks back he had his wisdom teeth out – no fairy but we could’ve used a couple thousand of them to help pay for the extraction! What memories.

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  5. What a great note – wish I’d thought of that! My most recent tooth fairy experience was with my now 13 year old granddaughter- I think she had it figured out though since she’d go out of her way to mention where she was leaving it.

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  6. This is delightful and brings memories for me too. And now I need to look up the word besom – have not seen that before. Funnily enough, the Afrikaans word “besem” (from the Dutch ) means broom, and I had thought that some English-speakers in South Africa who use the word to refer specifically to handmade brooms that resemble those ridden on by fairytale witches, had borrowed it from the Afrikaans. But, I have just looked up “besom” and see it is also an English word for handmade brooms (and that in Scotland the term is applied to people – mostly women and girls). Interesting!

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    1. Yes, to me a besom is a broom, but it’s also a word, pretty archaic I think and barely used, meaning a disagreable woman. So it’s Scottish too eh? Language and the way it travels and changes meaning as it goes is a wonderful thing!


  7. My now 11 year old grandson cottoned on quite early and would test his tooth fairy’s detection skills to the limit, once wrapping it in layers of tissue paper then locking it up in his treasure chest under the bed!
    I remember crying one morning because the tooth fairy hadn’t been, when my dad called upstairs, ‘Chris, someone’s left something for you in the letterbox!’ I went downstairs and found three old pennies on the ledge. Dad said he forgot to leave the door on the latch.
    I have a lovely note my daughter wrote to Father Christmas thanking him for last year’s presents and asking him to please not think her naughty if he saw her get out of bed in the night as she had ‘toilet problems’.
    My then 6 year old grand-daughter once wrote a sign for Father Christmas (here), pointing the way to her and her baby brother’s bedroom (downstairs) and asking him to please wipe his boots as we have just had the hall carpet cleaned!!!

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