This began innocently enough. In October, his great-grandma sent her usual holiday card with two one dollar bills - one for my son and one for his little sister. As dollar bills go in our house, they floated around the kitchen for a couple months, somehow the dollar bill deemed his sister's ended up crumpled, and they were almost forgotten.
Then the day came we placed his first tooth under a pillow. I told him about the tooth fairy - spinning the same story my parents spun for me about her building a castle of teeth - and wondering when this Santa, Easter Bunny, tooth fairy business is going to end because I feel like I'm lying to my son. (And by the way, Mom and Dad, a castle out of teeth is kind of gross, but I'll carry on the tradition...) Conveniently I...that is, The Tooth Fairy found a dollar bill floating around our kitchen to exchange with the tooth under his pillow.
To make an already long story less long, in the morning my son told me that he had ripped up the note and dollar bill because it was his sister's crumpled dollar bill from his grandma that the tooth fairy left. Oops. I knew my son was observant to detail, but even that exceeded my expectations. All that Scottish-Irish-Peruvian-German blood inside of him can really boil when provoked. And I think part of him was figuring out this tooth fairy thing might not be real.
(I kept the money and note in a plastic baggie to show him one day...or to tape back together when times get rough.) Instead of letting him continue to question the existence of a little person with wings that builds castles of everybody's yellowing teeth, I told him sternly that the tooth fairy was going to have to wait a couple teeth before she gives him more money. Oh and that ripping up money is against the law so don't do it again.
He stopped being angry, decided to give the tooth fairy another chance, and so after skipping a tooth or two, she brought him this....
So far, no money has been crushed, torn, or otherwise destroyed. In fact, the tooth fairy, in a gesture of forgiveness, brought my son his first dollar bill last night since The Incident.
I like to come away from any story with some kind of moral or insight. Lying to your child about mythical beings only creates more problems? Use only the special tooth fairy glitter money posted all over Pinterest lest your child isn't easily fooled? No, I got it. Enjoy your children. Teach them when they make mistakes. Then laugh about it and write a blog post later.