My son, Harper, lost his eighth tooth yesterday biting into an apple at lunch. Pretty textbook. Well, not so textbook is how much the tooth fairy was going to slip under his pillow. When he lost his first two teeth — they had to be pulled because the new ones were growing in too fast under them — the tooth fairy left a sympathetic twenty dollar bill. Which my husband and I realized was overkill when he came home from school that day bragging that the tooth fairy left most of his friends only a dollar.
“You’re killing me,” a friend deadpanned at school pick-up yesterday. Our children both lost teeth on the same day. My son got $5 under his pillow, while her daughter only got two dollars. I explained that I received a dollar from the tooth fairy, so I assumed the rate had adjusted, with inflation and all. My friend laughed. “But they all compare notes at school!”
So it made me wonder: What is the accepted going rate for the tooth fairy? Maybe, as parents, we should all just make an agreement that the tooth fairy never gives more than a certain amount, so the tooth fairy is a bit more consistent. According to a Visa Inc. survey, parents gave an average of $3.56 in the northeast — seriously, there are studies that track this stuff. Maybe the agreed amount is three dollars.
Or maybe do something even more special. At one friend’s house, the tooth fairy always leaves actual gold dollars, which ups the ante. Another friend says that if it’s the first tooth, the fairy leaves $5, but for every tooth after, the amount decreases to a dollar or two.
How much does your tooth fairy leave?