The trick to being a good parent is less about being perfect and more about being creative.

Being the mom to two 10-year-olds and a 17-year-old means that there have been many imperfect “mom of the year” moments, one of which has to do with the Tooth Fairy.

I have been telling my kids for years that I have the most important people on speed dial (Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc.) never once have I actually had to put my money where my mouth was.

Until last year.

My (now 10-year-old) daughter had lost yet another tooth. I am still convinced that she was in the bathroom yanking them out with pliers – considering how much money they were bringing her each time she lost one. We did the whole “losing a tooth routine” where we examine it, talk about how big this one is, and put it under her pillow. All was normal. We have all been here.

Except this time, I fell asleep.

I know. I failed. Moving on.

The next morning, I woke up – panicked. I knew what I had done. Before I could even strategize, I heard the melodramatic footsteps approaching. My failed parenting was written all over my daughter’s face as she stood in the doorway to my bedroom.

“She didn’t come.”

“I know. I am sorry. It was so last minute. She’s only one fairy.”

“How did you know? Did she call you?”

“Uh. No. She sent me a text message in the middle of the night!”

“Can I see it?!”

“Charli! Let me get out of bed already. I will show you later.”

Parents, have you ever tried to fib your way out of things only to have it bite you in the butt before you even have the opportunity to consider all sides?

Right. Me either. (sarcasm)

After I acted annoyed (read: started realizing my lie) and kicked her out of my room, I started to plot how I could pull this off. I pull out my phone, running through my list of people who might be awake this early to help.

That was when a lightbulb went off: I would just text myself! I added my number as a new contact: “Tooth Fairy” and sent myself a message:

“Hey Courtni – so sorry I am gonna miss coming by tonight. Tell Charli I will definitely be by tomorrow night.”

Proud of myself and my obvious genius idea – I show my daughter our exchange.

She stares at the phone for a second, and hands it back to me not breaking this odd eye contact thing we suddenly have going on.

“Huh.” She says


“You said in the middle of the night, mom. That came 5 minutes ago.”

There are several morals to this story, but the main one is: Don’t fall asleep on Tooth Fairy duty! (Also, don’t tell fibs to your kids prior to coffee.)

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