The Toof Fairy and Pending Litigation

30 05 2016


I have problems with this parenting gig. It’s not that I am a BAD parent or anything. We get the big things done ok. She is fed. She is clothed. I wouldn’t go so far as to say she bathes EVERY day but definitely more often than not. The problems are more subtle than that.


I struggle with the nuances of my responsibilities. Eating dinner at a table. Keeping clothes folded and organized. Remembering to not play profanity laced music when I am dancing with her and her little friends.


I think my deficiencies are pretty well encapsulated by a question Ellis asked me a couple of days ago.


“Daddy why do you laugh REALLY loud every time I fall down?”


My answer, “I blame Benny Hill”,  is both completely true and totally useless.


As an example, Christmas has largely been an annual series of missteps. We get a tree up and all. Presents arrive. Some are even wrapped. (Although I have tried hard to convince her that Santa is transitioning to a “Present Bag” system to save on Elf labor). But we have decided the “naughty or nice” dichotomy doesn’t really work for us and that an Elf hanging out on the shelf making daily reports to his boss about our activities reeks of prepping us for life in a surveillance state.


ELLIS: Daddy have I been naughty or nice this year?


ME: El I think it’s time for you to realize that you and me are always gonna fall somewhere in the middle on the Naughty or Nice scale. We Kradels sort of exist in a gray area there. It would be best if we came up with a system that took into account our quirky sense of situational ethics. I mean – I think it’s GREAT that you have the confidence to argue with me about EVERY SINGLE THING I ask you to do. But in the black and white world of Santa that sort of thing tends to count against us.


ELLIS: (weeps uncontrollably)


ME: I mean I personally LOVED that you kidnapped and partially decapitated the Elf on the Shelf so he wouldn’t rat on you about breaking the lamp. But again, by the strict letter of Santa Law that might be considered a series of naughty, and perhaps pre-criminal, acts.


ELLIS: (giggling to herself then some fake weeping)


ME: Look E – I’m on your side. On a plus/minus scale I think you grade out pretty well. I will send an email to Santa. Aunt Nat and Uncle Jeff are defense attorneys so I’m sure they can help us out. It’ll be ok.




Which brings us to the Tooth Fairy. The Tooth Fairy is pretty simple and hard to screw up. She doesn’t have much backstory. She shows up, drops some cash, and bolts. What could go wrong?


Well the first issue is that Ellis got a 20 dollar bill for her first tooth.


ELLIS: Daddy how come I got 20 dollars and Breanna only got a dollar for her tooth?


ME: Hard to say. Maybe your tooth was just more valuable. But sometimes the Tooth Fairy isn’t properly prepared and only has a 20 in her wallet.


ELLIS: The Toof Fairy has a wallet?


ME: Of course. She keeps it in her purse.


ELLIS: Oh ok. The Toof Fairy has a purse?


ME: Well duh!


And then Ellis lost her first Front Tooth. This was a big deal and the moment was greeted with oohs and ahs and much picture taking and blood clean up. The dental treasure was washed and placed in a zip lock Baggie (to make it easier for the Tooth Fairy to grasp when fumbling under the pillow and to be in compliance with any OSHA regulations on the disposal of body parts) and placed under the pillow. All was good.


But that night Ellis’s father stayed up late by himself catching up on last season’s “Game of Thrones” episodes because it was a Friday and he has no life and he enjoys some pseudo-medieval nudity as much as the next guy. He fell asleep and awoke to Ellis jumping around on his bed yelping about how the Toof Fairy never came and waving around the zip lock Baggie as evidence.


Luckily her father is a quick thinker.


ME: Did you sleep on YOUR bed or on the trundle bed?


ELLIS: The trundle


ME: Well the Tooth Fairy must have gotten confused. Or maybe she was really busy. Based on the gap-toothed smiles of your classmates I’m guessing she has a pretty heavy workload.


ELLIS: (unconvinced) May-be


ME: Go put it back under your pillow. On your REAL bed this time. I bet she comes tonight.




We spent the day doing the things we do.  The park. Soccer. Honest to god arguing for an entire hour about whether or not it was okay for me to refer to other drivers that make me mad as “douche-nozzles“.  


(the argument went something like this:


ELLIS : Daddy would you like it if they called YOU “douche-nozzle”?


ME: Uh – no


ELLIS: Would you call ME “douche-nozzle”?


ME: Uh-no


ELLIS: Would you call anyone in our FAMILY “douche-nozzle”?


ME: Well ….


ELLIS: DADDY! It is NOT nice.  Maybe I should go tell that lady you called her a “douche-nozzle”.


ME: Ellis?




ME: I think you are starting to like saying “douche-nozzle”.


ELLIS:  Yeah – it’s a fun word.  )


Ellis interrogated all the children she met that day (after carefully examining their teeth). Did the Toof Fairy ever forget them?  What should she do? Was she in some sort of trouble with the Toof Fairy? Were there behavioral requirements for the Toof Fairy of which she was unaware? She wouldn’t have eaten that Klondike Bar before dinner and left the ice cream and chocolate soaked wrapper on her Dad’s chair if she’d known there would be these sorts of consequences.




We stopped at the ATM on the way home because having established a price point of 20 bucks for a measly bottom tooth it was assumed a front tooth would fetch a significantly larger number. Ellis had explained that in the world of teeth the front ones were “like diamonds”.  We arrived home and headed up the stairs to our front door.


ELLIS: Daddy is the Toof Fairy a grown-up or a kid?


ME: I guess I don’t know. I’ve never seen her. I always figured she was a tiny adult. Like a regular fairy. Sort of in the Tinkerbell ballpark.


ELLIS: (thinking about this as I fumbled with the keys). Daddy does she have a boss like you do?


ME: That’s a great question E. But I don’t know what sort of organizational structure they have. I always assumed she was sort of a solo free-lancer. Like the Easter Bunny.


ELLIS: Well if she has a boss I think we should call her. This wasn’t fair. Call Aunt Nat and have her send an email to the Toof Fairy’s boss. This really really wasn’t fair. Also – my friend Meredith knows lots of fairies. We should probably call her too.


ME: I sent an email to the Tooth Fairy this morning explaining the bed situation. I haven’t heard back yet. But if she doesn’t show up tonight I promise we will get Aunt Nat and Meredith on the case.




I woke Sunday morning to Ellis jumping on my bed, making it rain with a pair of 20’s.


ELLIS: She came Daddy!  You don’t have to call Aunt Nat and Meredith. Or maybe just tell them what happened because if this ever happens again there is gonna be TROUBLE!


ME: (remembering the fate of the Elf – just nods slowly)


The End