I was quite a late bloomer in the dental department (losing my very last baby tooth in college) and I have passed this gene on to my children. At five and six-years-old, most lisping, straw-drinking through gaps in their mouths kids, are still apt to believe that perhaps, just perhaps, a tiny fantastical creature could indeed sneak under pillows to exchange a just as tiny tooth for money, and it is fun to let them marvel so. What's not so cute, however, is a wise and agenda- driven, nine-year-old carrying an emerald green, tooth toting treasure box (provided by his school teacher) staring you straight in the eye, conspiratorially, saying "Look, I know who the tooth fairy really is, so...", which translates, "Let's cut the red tape here and dole out the cash." "I'm pretty sure," I tell him slyly, "it doesn't work without a middle man."
6 days ago