We have had three kids losing teeth for years now and it seems there is no end in sight. We have jack-o-lantern smiles everywhere. Wigglies that can be pushed almost hortizontal by curious tongues, yet screams of terror occur whenever mama comes within three feet with a napkin in her hand. We must cut eveything up from bagels to apples and whenever there is horseplay, there is sure to be blood. Blood, crying, trauma and still a dangler that refuses to give relief to this ridiculous state of affairs.

But the worst end to all the tooth drama is that the tooth fairy has failed to get her act together one time too many. She has all but dissappeared in the minds of my children. They make no mention. No hope of a buck in the morning. No last chance notes the next night after she ditches us. She has exhausted every excuse. Failed us more times than we can count. She is an elusive gypsy who comes without warning bringing a twenty dollar bill every third tooth. She has left exquisitely penned notes sprinkled with sparkles and sweet smells on occasion and at other times we wake to find no more than a broken promise.

This wrenches my heart every time, and yet still we find ourselves searching everywhere for the lost loot. “Maybe it’s under the bed. maybe it’s in the pillowcase. Maybe its between the matress.”

Maybe it’s in dad’s wallet on the way to work.

I never have cash so I can’t even slip it in last minute. It is an official lost cause. I know it, the kids know it. It ain’t happenin’. So we all just do the one thing I swear I’ll not do and ignore the white elephant. We make no mention. Plan for no exchanges of teeth and money and just go on wiggling those teeth. But the one funny thing that comes out of this turning of tides in our home is that they no longer protect these teeth like sacred artifacts once they depart. They PLAY with them. My son is “wearing” his as I write this like a “fake” tooth. They just carry them around for a few days and brush them, examine them and model them for all to see.

And eventally lose them for good.

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