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Does The Tooth Fairy Pay Too Much?

$20 a tooth?! I'm gonna need a loan to cover my daughter's mouth!

In just a few years my sweet little baby is going to start losing teeth and the tooth fairy is going to have to lay off the nighttime wine so she is coherent enough to stumble into the bedroom and exchange the tooth for some money.

The big question is:  how much money are we talking about?

Earlier this week The View co-host Sherri Shepherd tweeted that her 6-year-old son lost his first tooth.  Some of the responses from her nearly 270,000 Twitter followers blew my mind.  I mean, Imma have to take out a loan to afford my daughter’s mouthful of choppers, not to mention the newborn that will soon start sprouting teeth faster than the weeds in my garden!

Here’s what one Sherri Shepherd follower said the tooth fairy leaves her children:

“$20 for the 1st is ok. Its a big deal. Leave a note from her “as long as future teeth are cavity free” a small toy or $5″

Another Shepherd follower said $10 was the going rate for a lost tooth in her home.

WHAT?!

Even $10 bucks is mind-boggling to me.  And $20?  A small toy?  Like what, an iPod for godsakes?  I can’t even go there.  Seems Sherri can’t either.  She responded thusly:  “NO WAY am I giving $20 to a 6 year old for a first tooth lost… geesh, where do you go from there? A car for the 2nd tooth… a house for 3?”

Exactly.  Sherri’s got the big bucks and even she ain’t ponying up.  All the tooth talk got me to wondering what the tooth fairy is stashing under the pillows of my friends’ children?  I mean, maybe Sherri’s Twitter followers are wack, ya know?  So I conducted a very scientific, official poll (read:  I asked a question on The Facebook.)

Turns out, my friends are much more frugal than Shepherd’s Twitter followers – except in accidental cases.  Babble’s own Katie Granju’s daughter scored big, but it wasn’t on purpose.  “Once the tooth fairy brought my daughter Jane $11. She was shocked and so was I when we discovered this huge windfall in the morning. It turns out that the tooth fairy couldn’t see too well in the dark, and somehow confused a ten dollar bill with a one dollar bill….”

Ouch.  Kim Austin gives her children what I think I’ll give mine when the teeth come out.  “We will give $5 for the first tooth lost… $1 thereafter for no good reason, just seems like the right amount!!”  Amy Cochran says that’s the going rate in her Ohio home.  Christine Smith concurs.  “When I was growing up in 1970′s Queens, NY it was $1 per tooth. I don’t see why it should be more $ now.”

Hell, I used to get a quarter.  I also walked to school uphill in the snow both ways.  I suppose my kids will want Barbara Palumbo to be their mother as she’s doling out the dough – or at least her family is.  “The big Philly Italian side of our family sends (via snail mail) 20 bucks to any niece or nephew for the first tooth they loose as long as they haven’t lost it because they didn’t pay their bookie. The parents give five or ten for the first tooth of their own child and then anywhere between 1 to 5 for every tooth after.”

Even though Palumbo’s kids earn a windfall from relatives, seems the going rate in her Atlanta home is the same as Queens, Ohio and here in Utah.  In the end, Sherri Shepherd went with a dollar as well, tweeting out, “Almost missed putting that $1 under Jeffrey’s pillow. He woke up, saw the $1 and said “but Mommy the toof fairy was s’pose 2 leave a toy”.

That settles it.  I’m resolved to give $5 for the first tooth and $1 thereafter.

The only question now is what do I do with all those teeth the tooth fairy buys for a buck?  Maybe I’ll make a necklace, like Channing Quist.  “We usually do $5 bucks for the two front teeth and $2 for all others. We did find some saved baby teeth from our first child the other day, nasty. I wonder what my plans were for them at the time- perhaps a baby tooth necklace?

I smell a new parenting fashion on the horizon…

Image: Flickr.com/mairob

Make It Special: How to teach your kid to brush their teeth!

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