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There’s no shame in admitting that economic times are tough. When my ‘get rich quick by writing a semi-regular blog for a crafty Jewish website’ didn’t pan out, I realized it was time to start moonlighting in order to better finance my Target habit.

First I tried being a mime – with grand, silent gestures I would express to my children ‘please stop talking to me – I am on the phone. No, you are not more interesting than the person on the other end. Yes, it’s a telemarketer.’ Somehow the message they got was ‘You’ll have to talk louder, I’m on the phone!’ I have nonverbally tendered my resignation.

I then decided to become a short order cook. You don’t like the balanced meal that I worked hard to make? No problem! Faster than you can whine ‘my chicken is touching my potatoes’ I will make you toast, cereal, pizza bagels, you name it! Although everyone eventually got fed, it turns out that when you glare and throw the food at your customers they tend not to tip too well…

So I thought I’d try my hand at being the tooth fairy. 9 never believed in the tooth fairy. He is an old soul – if one can be an old soul and still exclusively eat pizza bagels. But 6 is a bit of a free spirit and I thought perhaps I could pull it off.

So when 6 lost his first tooth a few months ago I wrote him a glittery note about how big he is and how much he is loved. I forged the name of Ms. Tooth Fairy herself and stuck it under his pillow accompanied by a $5.00 bill because that was the only cash in my wallet. You’d think there would be $1.00 dispensing ATM’s in the fairy realm so hard working mimes like myself wouldn’t go broke tooth-fairying, but that is simply not the case.
No worries. This gesture was my way of saying ‘Hooray middle child! We so often overlook you but now we have a chance to celebrate! Here is $5 because even though I’ll forget about you when one of your louder siblings calls me momentarily, you are amazing indeed, and I am fairly hopeful that your love can be bought.’

The next morning a triumphant 6 flew down the stairs, bill in hand. ‘Look what I got from Mommy!’ I feigned ignorance and asked him if perhaps there was a note that suggested who had left this bounty. ‘Yeah, but I didn’t read it. It had hard words and I know it’s from you, so you can just tell me what it says and also LOOK AT MY MONEY!’

And this is how I learned that not only is the Tooth Fairy non-existent, she stinks! She spends my money, and then she tricks me into giving her all the credit. So I told 6 straight up: You’re right, I wrote that note. I snuck it under your pillow while you were sleeping with that inappropriate sum of money because I am stone-cold awesome and I will not let some tiny bewinged freak claim credit for my awesome when she didn’t even bother to show up.

Time to hang up your tutu and join the unemployment line with the rest of us, Tooth Fairy. Your work here is done.

When 6 lost his second tooth a month later I was prepared with a single dollar bill. I thought he was going to be disappointed, but like I said, times are tough and my employment opportunities are growing fewer. So it was a buck and a reprise of the note about how big and great he is – this time signed by me. He ran into my room early that morning waving not the cash, but the note – ‘Look, I read all the words by myself!’ I love my life.

But now 9 has started losing teeth again and I’m all been there done that. You want money for a tooth? I gave a pint of blood last week and all I got was a cookie and some apple juice! Call me when something less regenerative falls off…

Though my stint as the tooth fairy left me low on cash, it at least left me with the credit I deserve. If only I could put credit in my wallet.