Saying goodbye to a lost tooth

Tooth Fairy


Only son has lost his second tooth. He is treating it with great seriousness. His gum was bleeding before it came out and he was very concerned. Only son gets worried if he has even a scratch, the slightest sniffle or even hiccups. His tooth finally came out at lunch time while he was at school. “I literally told the whole school, except Year R,” he said at pick-up time in between stopping to inform random parents. The teachers had put his tooth in a special envelope.

I inquired why Year R was not allowed to know this momentous news, but by then he was merrily singing along to the One Direction deluxe CD that I got off eBay. He has developed an extra special interest in the bonus songs offered by deluxe versions. Only son is a marketing person’s dream.

When we got home he kept putting the tooth back in his mouth and taking it out to show the, to him, dramatic difference it made. At bedtime, I offered to put it in a little box so the tooth fairy could find it. Only son stopped me before I could put the tooth away. “I just want to say goodbye to my tooth,” he said. He kissed his tooth and put it in the box. I had never before considered the psychological impact of losing a tooth.

Only son decided that impact was too much so he started writing a letter to his tooth fairy, asking if he could keep the tooth. The letter spelt out in gory detail the whole circumstances regarding the tooth coming out. “My mouth had SO much blood in it,” he wrote. I fear he may rival daughter two for melodrama in later years.

The tooth fairy, who is very understanding and compassionate, allowed him to keep his tooth, gave him a selection of spare change and sent him a letter back. “Just be sure to look after those adult teeth,” said Toby the tooth fairy. “Toby?” said daughter one. “Are the tooth fairies sexist then? Why does only son have a male tooth fairy and all of us had a female one?” I argued that fairies are gender neutral and questioned the concept of names being male or female. Was she perhaps making the sexist assumption that Toby was male? Whatever, they all have one thing in common – their names begin with T so they can be remembered easily by those in charge of the fairy kingdom who are very, very tired and crawling their way towards the bank holiday weekend because Easter was not enough time to recharge their batteries.

Only son had woken up at 6am the night the tooth fairy came, so excited was he to see whether she/he had left him his beloved tooth. By 6pm he was flagging and his tooth had dropped down the side of the sofa, possibly never to be seen again.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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