Family Life

Tooth Fairy Time

 by ann herren

Earlier this week, my nugget came home from school with her finger working furiously back and forth in her mouth—so intent that she wouldn’t even remove it to talk. Her look of concentration could only be matched in intensity with that of the cat trying to kill the new puppy with her Glare of Death.

“What is going on in your mouth?”

“ Mwa toobaib louenchbm.”

“ What?”


“Dude. Remove your hand. Then try again.”

She pulled out her fingers long enough to joyfully squeal, “My tooth is loose Mommy!!!”


Like every good mother, I spent a few quiet seconds thinking of all the gross places that hand might have been, shuddered, and moved onto my mental to-do list and added: find a pillow for her tooth-to-fairy exchange.

Later,  it was time for bed. I shut down my computer, went up to brush my teeth, applied lotion that promised after one application to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and crawled into bed, where I promptly swiped open my phone to see what I missed on Facebook since coming upstairs.

Tooth fairy pillow! Time to light up my midnight crack pipe: Pinterest, my first stop for all things Martha Stewart. Whether vying for Best Mom Ever status through my crafty class gifts (a competition that might exist only in my head) or just looking to burn hours of my life that I’ll never get back, this addiction hasn’t failed me yet. If you’re recently back with us from your life under a rock or you’re my husband, I’ll explain. Pinterest has several prescribed uses: creating a desperate need for something that you didn’t know even existed 4 seconds earlier; providing helpful household tips such as mixing two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen for your own homemade water; and the never-fail “Ah-Ha!” moments like realizing No, your cat actually cannot live without a two-foot perfectly miniaturized Airstream trailer.

So, clearly I was not surprised to discover that there are one million adorable tooth fairy pillows out there. All I had to do was pick one. Just pick one and turn out the light. It should have ended there. It never does. Instead, I turned out the light and dove under the blankets with my phone so as not to disturb my hubs.

And that is when the simple task of ‘buying a tooth fairy pillow’ turned into researching the history of said fairy in Wikipedia, discovering its origin (often believed to have derived from a tooth mouse), identifying her name (Fatina) and creating an entire back story for my daughter (which now includes a pet mouse). Of course it doesn’t end there; I find on the web a place to order very miniature letters complete with envelopes and cancelled postage stamps, so I’m busily composing a letter (not easy on my phone’s browser) for Fatina to send to my soon-to-be snaggle-toothed daughter. But wait! Is that a miniature door pinned next to the letter? I decide to paint and decorate my own miniature dollhouse door to attach to her bedroom wall.  This will be Fatina’s that only she can magically open. What about her fairy dust? It’s now 2 am and I’ve provided this tooth scavenger with a name, back story, correspondence, a new home, and now a pet mouse.

Suddenly, John whips back the covers, revealing my glassy-eyed stare.  “What on earth are you doing?”

“I need to order a tooth fairy pillow.” I dive back under.


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