jen groeber: mama art

4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.

The Tooth Fairy Forgot to Come Last Night

note for the tooth fairy

A note for the tooth fairy
May 2015

The tooth fairy forgot to come last night.

Mica walked into my bedroom this morning, waking me with his sad, sweet little face and shuffling footy pajama’ed feet. He said with the subtlest chokey voice, “The tooths fairy didn’t come lastht night.”

His twin sister put her arm around him in an effort to comfort him. She looked even more upset than he did

I wanted to punch that stupid tooth fairy in the goddamn throat. I wanted to shake her until the glittery dandruff crap fell off of her wings and onto my hands. The last time I heard, she’s a stay-at-home fairy. What does she do with her goddamn day? Or her evening for that matter? How hard could it be to drop off a quarter under some kid’s pillow?

handwritten note for the tooth fairy

Note for the fairy
“What do you look like. I love you. What do you like. Write your answer.”
May 2015

I was at a total loss of how to explain the shortcomings of this magical creature who just last night we were contemplating in all her fairy goodness. Does she come down the chimney? Does she walk through walls? I was predicting that she could turn glass into water and glide right through any window. I mean, she’s a fairy. And yet– EPIC FAIL.

As with any mishap created by someone else, the killing rage quickly passed, and I wanted to explain it away. (It’s so easy to forgive someone else, to allow that there might be good reasons for their shortcomings.)

“Oh no, Mica. Maybe it’s my fault. I was up late last night finding bandannas for your costume for the play. And I think it may have been around midnight that I was putting out the recycling. Maybe she saw me and got scared and turned away.”

My allergies have been killing me, all boogery eyes and nose and ears. What with the thick saliva strings on my mouthguard (you’d grind too if you had four kids in three years) and the liquid that had poured out of my nose, down my cheek and into my ear during the night, I think I felt almost as bad as Mica sounded. I certainly looked worse.

We continued to conjecture, “Maybe it’s because Matthew lost his tooth in my class yesterday, too,” suggested Mica. Reid thought that it could have had something to do with her lost tooth just a couple days before.

twins in bed, missing top front tooth

May 2015

“Oh, good one. Maybe she got confused by your twinness and she thought she’d already done your room?”

Which seemed unlikely, because she found both Mica and his older brother out of state with a $2 bill and a Sacajewea dollar on the same night in the same room just last summer.

Probably no one remembers that but me.

It’s weird, because right around the time the tooth fairy likely would have been coming to my house, I was texting a friend to ask her what the costumes for the play were supposed to be. She replied-

I just threw a bandana and a plain tshirt in the boys backpacks. Well… a Red Sox shirt flipped inside out. It’ll look plain from far away, right? Wow, we are totally nailing this!

Yesterday midday I had one of those five minute conversations that is worth an hour of normal people speak with another girlfriend of mine. She was enumerating her biggest parenting fails of the weekend. I was enumerating mine. There wasn’t enough time for all of them. Oh, yes, we’re totally nailing this motherhood stuff.

Maybe the tooth fairy is a mom, too, and she’s got stuff going on.

I stopped by the bank on the way to the doctor’s today to see if the tooth fairy had been in. I was wondering if she was planning anything special for my sweet peach of a boy. If she was planning anything at all. The women at the bank looked aghast and said they hadn’t seen her, but they hoped my son would get a good explanation for her tardiness.

Me, too, I thought.

I later mentioned all this to my doctor when she told me I had a bacterial infection possibly brought on by allergies. She congratulated me for actually coming in before it became walking pneumonia (Memorial Day weekend 2013) or Shingles (Easter 2014.)

So there’s that. She said she bet the fairy would come tonight and leave a wonderful note, better than if she’d made it over last night. She thought maybe the tooth fairy was sick. It’s going around, you know?

I bet the note she leaves will even have some of that glittery dandruff stuff on it.

Before Mica headed out of my room to get dressed this morning, I closed with a guarantee that would hold him for the day.

“If she doesn’t come tonight, I’ll get you something,” I promised.

He looked vaguely surprised.

“That’th okay, Mama,” he said patting me. “We should be more pathient with her. Let’s give her a few dayth.”

He and his sister nodded at each other, and let me snap a few pictures of their twin losses, a pair of lovely gap-toothed grins.

“Yeah. Maybe she jutht needth thome time.”


two kids in bed

My kids
May 2015

27 comments on “The Tooth Fairy Forgot to Come Last Night

  1. Matt
    May 20, 2015

    This is the best thing I’ll read today.

    You have great kids. I’m sure the Tooth Fairy will make her stealthy (non) appearance tonight.

    And I hope the author of this fine piece feels better soon.

    You know, before walking pneumonia or shingles take hold.

    • jgroeber
      May 22, 2015

      Ah, thank you for those kind words. She did actually show up last night, thank goodness. She left this awesome note and she did actually sue that glittery dandruff stuff, which was much appreciated all around.
      And I’m about three doses into that Amoxicillin so I’m hoping for a booger-reduced weekend. Fingers crossed!

  2. Samara
    May 20, 2015

    From what I understand, the Tooth Fairy has to pay a late fee. A hefty one, too. I think the going rate is ten bucks. 🙂

    • jgroeber
      May 22, 2015

      I thought so, too. I thought maybe she’d leave a gift card to the nearest margarita place for me and then a $100 spot for Mica. But no such luck. Just a glitter caked note and a $2 bill. But who doesn’t love a $2 bill. Do you know how much those things are worth?!

  3. SJ
    May 20, 2015

    The tooth fairy once “forgot” to visit me, too, because my mum was out with my grandma and didn’t realise it had fallen out because I went to sleep before she came home. She told me she’d accidentally scared it away when she got home and that it would come the next night. As if by magic, it surely did. 😉

    • jgroeber
      May 22, 2015

      That’s exactly what I think. I scared her away! With my awesome mom-ness and my late night recycling. I think she may be intimidated by me. She did make it last night, though. Phew!
      Thanks so much for dropping by!

      • SJ
        May 22, 2015

        Awh, as long as she turned up eventually – that’s all that matters!

        No problem – I love your blog!

  4. Kelly
    May 20, 2015

    Oh I love this…. the Tooth Fairy is a fickle old gal. She has failed to appear at our house a time or two…

    • jgroeber
      May 22, 2015

      What is it with those tooth fairies? Are they drunk? My sister read the blog and told my mom about it so she called to tell me that the tooth fairy once missed our house growing up, too. I didn’t remember that at all. She said that’s because the tooth fairy actually left it under the wrong pillow so we found it after breakfast. Who knew?!

  5. Andy
    May 21, 2015

    Made me smile, love the simplicity of ur kids reasoning on why the tooth fairy didn’t come. Bless

    • jgroeber
      May 22, 2015

      Really he was so kind about the whole thing. Even in the face of woeful disappointment. Such a champ.
      Thank you for stopping by. So appreciate it.

  6. kellylmckenzie
    May 21, 2015

    That damn tooth fairy! She missed us a night or two as well. Isn’t that just the gutwrenchingest feeling when the littlie reveals the oversight? Your response that she must have been scared off by you was brilliant. Of course, she was. At our house she managed to slip in sometime during breakfast. Both times. Or was it six? It was a bit tricky because someone choose a tooth pillow (had a pocket that held the tooth) decorated with jingly bells on each corner. Happily the jingly bells didn’t wake up the slumbering child but it was touch and go at breakfast time…

    • jgroeber
      May 22, 2015

      Oh, my. Did you see my response to Kelly above?! The tooth fairy did the same thing to my siblings growing up. It must have been a 70s/80s/90s thing. 😉 Nowadays she just falls asleep on a cloud when she sees someone awake and then never gets her wings in gear. Generation TakeANap. And putting bells on the tooth pillow is a brilliant(ly bad) idea! We have a pillow with a lovely tooth pocket but we couldn’t find it. Too much tooth traffic this month. It could be part of the explanation…

  7. Dawn Quyle Landau
    May 21, 2015

    I was just wondering where you were… and missing you! Love the telling of this tale, and feel much better knowing I’m in good company. Seems like an inevitable glitch in the never-ending role of mama-santa-fairy-dr-cuddler-reader-artist-lover-cookiemaker-etc…. Hope you’re feeling better soon, dear Jen.

    • jgroeber
      May 28, 2015

      Already on the mend, although slacking on the blogging duties this week. It’s always something… I wish the tooth fairy came for us, but she was a bad day fairy. She could bring margaritas and dark chocolate and very soft sleep socks. (Oh, wait. That’s what girlfriends are for. Hope you have some near and dear treating you to some goodies under your pillow! I’ll send virtual socks from here!)

  8. Jennifer Berney
    June 4, 2015

    This post slayed me. The Note! (Write your answer. ❤ ) And Micah! He is right. We all need to be more pathient with the tooth fairy and ourselves.

    • jgroeber
      July 10, 2015

      Just found this sweet comment. Typical. If I were a tooth fairy I bet no one would ever get any money. Thank goodness she’s got it (sort of) under control.

  9. Love this post ! The part about wanting to sock the tooth fairy in the throat made me burst into laughter !

    • jgroeber
      July 10, 2015

      Just found this comment! Thanks so much for dropping by. (Darn fairies.)

  10. Stacy di Anna
    June 29, 2015

    exquisite post, love it. So happy to have found your site, looking forward to reading through your work this summer!

    • jgroeber
      July 10, 2015

      So sweet of you to drop by and read. I haven’t gone back to read earlier posts in forever. I can’t help but wonder what you’ll notice if you do.

  11. mollytopia
    July 3, 2015

    What sweet kids! Give her some more time – I love it. Good for you for going to the doctor before it got out of hand – you totally get a pass for being sick the night of…Your friend sounds great, Yes, we’re all nailing it haha. I’ll never know how you do it with four. Wowzers. You’re my hero!

    • jgroeber
      July 10, 2015

      That sweet boy is a psychio-path (sociopath psychopath hybrid) by 10 am, but at 7 am, he’s still pretty much a peach. 😉
      And yes, we’re all nailing it… Although half the time “it” appears to be my thumb or my sleeve to the wall. Here’s hoping I improve with age. Or they do. I’m not holding out much hope though.
      So great to see you here.

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