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Worst Parents Ever

The Wolvog lost another tooth.  He was biting into a bagel in the Orlando airport on our way back from Disney, and he felt it wobble in his mouth, so he did what any sane first-grader would do: he stood by the gate and screamed with his mouth wide open and filling with blood, “mahuutisallinoooooooooooooooooooooout.”  I really think the boy has a strong future in movie zombie work.

Josh took him to the bathroom to clean up and returned victorious with said tooth in his hand.  He tucked it into his pocket and then passed it to me when we returned home.  I placed it on top of my desk so it wouldn’t get lost and then promptly forgot about it for a week.

The Wolvog waited about seven days until he meekly said to me, “uh, the tooth fairy sort of hasn’t come.”


So I fully accepted the blame: I hadn’t emailed her.  The tooth had gotten lost in the shuffle of unpacking from the trip.  But I was totally on top of this.  I was emailing her right now.  I was asking her to come tonight.

The Wolvog placed the tooth in his special pillow (which had been my special pillow when I was little — sorry, I’m cheap and didn’t buy the kids their own tooth pillow… another mark against me if you’re keeping score).  And he set it on the floor next to his bed.  And he went to sleep.

And I completely forgot about it.

I didn’t realize that I had forgotten until the next day when I walked in his room to turn off his lights (seriously, it’s as if the kids are allergic to light switches) and saw the pillow now on top of his dresser.  Crap. I hoped the kid somehow didn’t notice.

To check if he had somehow missed checking the pillow, when he returned from school I casually asked him what the tooth fairy brought him and he answered: “She didn’t come last night.”

“Are you kidding me?  What happened?  Let me check your room; I’ll be right back.”

I went upstairs, paused for a moment, and then came back down.  “Sweetie, you moved the pillow.  I told her it was on the floor and now it’s on your dresser.  She must have gotten confused.”

The Wolvog stared at me for a moment.  “The pillow was on my floor all night.  Daddy moved it to the dresser this morning.”


So I insisted that the tooth fairy must have had something crazy important come up.  I’d email her again, make sure she knew which room, told him to leave the pillow in PLAIN SIGHT on top of the dresser, and she would absolutely definitely come that evening while he slept.

The little boy went to sleep, dreaming toothless dreams.  And I forgot.  AGAIN.

He woke up in the morning and reported that the tooth fairy once again hadn’t shown.  And I did what any irresponsible parent would do: I tore the tooth fairy a new asshole.

“I seriously can’t believe that fairy!  What the hell is wrong with her?  I can’t believe how irresponsible she is.  I am really really angry.  I am emailing her right now and telling her that she can’t treat my little boy this way.”

“Please,” the Wolvog pleaded with me as I scraped my chair back.  “Don’t make her angry.  I’m sure she has a good reason.”

“She could be very very ill,” the ChickieNob intoned.  “Very ill.”

“No,” I heard myself say because I am the worst parent ever.  “No, she’s not sick.  I don’t buy that.  She’s irresponsible and she’s treating my kids like crap and I’m angry.  I’m going to wait up until she comes tonight, and then I’m going to talk to her about this.  In fact, put the tooth pillow in MY room, right on my bed, and I’m going to grab her when she flies into my room tonight.”

The Wolvog pleaded with me not to grab the tooth fairy, but he agreed to leave the tooth pillow in my room and let me handle it.

And seriously, even though it was ON TOP OF MY FREAKIN’ BED, I almost forgot a third time.  A THIRD TIME.  Josh and I were about to go to sleep, and suddenly I saw it and said, “crap!  Give me the tooth.”

I slipped it into the ziplock bag of baby teeth I have for each kid.  I have to admit that it feels absolutely bizarre to have a ziplock bag filled with human teeth in my bedroom.  I mean, if someone said that to you: “I have a ziplock bag filled with human teeth in my bedroom,” wouldn’t you run screaming?  And yet, that is precisely what I have — one for each child.  Because what else do you do with these tiny parts of your child?  Throw them out?  Do you know how hard it was to grow those kids?  Do you honestly think I’m ditching even one part of them when they cost me so much to create?

In the morning, the Wolvog casually came into our room, and Josh proudly told him to check the tooth pillow.  He reached in and said in a quiet voice, “she finally came and she left a dollar.  She took the tooth.”

And, seriously, because I couldn’t help myself, I said in my most enraged voice, “are you going to tell me that she has the gall to just waltz in here, take the tooth, leave some money, AND NOT WRITE AN APOLOGY NOTE?”

Because, you know, I forgot that too.


1 Denver Laura { 11.01.11 at 9:54 am }


2 Jen { 11.01.11 at 10:00 am }

OMG LMAO!!! I love it!! Damn tooth fairy!!! Hahaha!

3 Annie { 11.01.11 at 10:03 am }

You’re hilarious and you sound like such a wonderful mother. But you’re a horrible tooth fairy. For shame! 😀

4 niobe { 11.01.11 at 10:07 am }

And this is exactly why the tooth fairy never, ever comes to our house.

5 Carla { 11.01.11 at 10:28 am }

Oh my, I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Very, very creative of you! My mom once told my brother that the Tooth Fairy didn’t visit because of a big snowstorm in the midwest. He bought it, but I remember thinking that it sounded a little fishy (I was two years older and thus much wiser). I told him that the Tooth Fairy should be able to get through a snowstorm, and he very confidently told me that only Santa could get through snowstorms because he has Rudolph to help, and the Tooth Fairy would not have had time to go all the way to the North Pole and borrow Rudolph from Santa. He said that last part in a very smart tone, as though telling me that I was quite dumb not to realize that a side trip to the North Pole would be out of the question!

6 Shawn { 11.01.11 at 10:33 am }

Oh my goodness. I thought I was the only mom who forgot, AND texts with the toothfairy. Your story does take the cake. I’m reading at work….shhhh…and have tears rolling down my cheeks.

Worst mom? Nah! Tired and overworked mom? Sounds like it. Hang in there lady!

7 a { 11.01.11 at 10:39 am }


Here’s my worst parent moment of the month: We were at the mall and stopped in at one of the Halloween superstores to get some costume ideas. As we were wandering around the store, there were some animatronic scary guys set up with buttons to set them off. So my 5 year old asked what they did, and I told her to push the button without checking to see what it was. Turns out, it was called “Eaten Alive” and it was half of a guy with a rat’s ass sticking out of his torso. The rat wiggled around while the guy moaned and groaned. My daughter said “I think I’m going to be sick.” Fortunately, she is more resilient than that, and was poking at the disembodied hands, arms, and legs within a few minutes. But she was pretty traumatized for 5 minutes or so.

8 Mo { 11.01.11 at 10:52 am }

Oh, this made me laugh. I can completely imagine myself doing this. Thank you. I really needed this laugh today. Really.

9 Cynthia { 11.01.11 at 10:59 am }

Hilarious! More so because my oldest lost his second tooth (to a caramel apple) and swallowed it yesterday, and because there was no tooth (just a note that I didn’t write – I think Grammy did) I came really close to forgetting. Had no idea what I’d say if I did, but now know that I can email the tooth fairy. Seriously wouldn’t have thought of that. Awesome – thanks!

10 Chickenpig { 11.01.11 at 11:16 am }

Totally hilarious 🙂 And I do believe I threw out my son’s tooth, in spite of how much money it took to create him. I don’t remember where it is at any rate.

You hardly rate as the worst parents ever. I’ve got a list of some really, really bad parents that I know of personally….but to even think about them makes me shudder. Let’s just say if your kids are loved, fed, sheltered, and un hurt by you that you’re doing ok. I looooved how you covered it up, btw. You are a creative genius.

11 missohkay { 11.01.11 at 11:23 am }

I can’t stop grinning at this story!

12 Loren { 11.01.11 at 11:38 am }

This made me smile a lot today. And I have not done that in a long long time.

13 kimbosuse { 11.01.11 at 12:00 pm }

BWAHAHAHA! thanks for the laugh today.

14 Brandy { 11.01.11 at 1:02 pm }

My mom forgot about the tooth fairy a number of times with me. Also, I have a vivid memory of losing a tooth at Disneyworld.

We were eating lunch. I had had a loose tooth for a while, but since I’m chickenshit, I hadn’t pulled it out and wouldn’t let my mom touch it. It was dangling it was so loose. I bit into a peanut butter sandwich and it came out, but I had already chewed a few times before realizing it.

Apparently I froze and got this look on my face because my mom asked me what was wrong. I somehow mumbled with a mouth full of bread and peanut butter that my tooth came out and I was afraid of swallowing it. She shoved her fingers into my mouth which triggered my gag reflex and I threw up all over my plate while horrifying onlookers.

I don’t know if we ever found the tooth, but I think the tooth fairy was extra generous that time.

15 Kim { 11.01.11 at 1:32 pm }

HAHAHA Holy hell, I think this qualifies as my funniest and sweetest read this week. I think this story is actually an example of what an awesome mom you are. Not one, but both, of your children, when faced with the possibility one of them was forgotten by one of childhood’s sure things were not angry but concerned that something may be wrong with the Tooth Fairy. They were thoughtful and gave her the benefit of the doubt. Kids don’t become like that by accident.

16 Eggs In A Row { 11.01.11 at 1:37 pm }

This, my friend, is the best Thanksgiving story. You know, the story you tell your kids at Thankgsiving when they come home from college.

In turn, they tell you a story about that time in high school when some vagrant left a 6 pack of Natty Light in the bushes was actually them.

And then you all laugh and wonder how you survived these years.

17 Amy Elaine { 11.01.11 at 2:16 pm }

That may be the funniest post I have ever read.
I adore you.

18 Emily { 11.01.11 at 2:53 pm }

LOL! That was hilarious! I don’t think it’s strange that you have baggies of your children’s teeth. My mom still has the baggies of mine and my brother’s teeth. I am 28 and he is 19. They are sitting in her jewelery box right next to a lock of hair from our first haircuts (those are very special to her because she is a hairdresser) I think you are a wonderful mother and like Kim had said, the way they were concerned and pleaded with you about not getting mad at the fairy shows how wonderful you are.

19 Pie { 11.01.11 at 2:56 pm }

LOL! Too freakin’ funny, Mel. I’d always heard those fairies are a flighty, forgetful bunch, and now here’s proof!

20 jjiraffe { 11.01.11 at 3:18 pm }

I just scared everyone at Jamba Juice with my cackling. That was freaking hilarious.

21 Mina { 11.01.11 at 3:58 pm }

Funniest mail I read in a loooong while. 🙂
Bloody fairy, I knew you can’t trust them. 😀

22 {sue} { 11.01.11 at 4:22 pm }

We have to email our tooth fairy too, because otherwise she NEVER comes. Once I was too sick to go out and my husband was out of town and I had NO CASH, so I borrowed a dollar from my son (which he took out of his piggy bank) and later that night put the same dollar under his pillow.

And I have a sock full of human teeth too. Some day I’ll make a creepy craft project out of them.

23 magpie { 11.01.11 at 4:22 pm }

I have a tiny jar of human teeth, tucked into a shoe.

24 Erica { 11.01.11 at 4:28 pm }

Ha! I’m glad that the Wolvog was so patient with the Tooth Fairy, but someone really needs to talk to her supervisor.

25 BigP's Heather { 11.01.11 at 4:33 pm }

My parents forgot for days one time too. I’m not scarred over it. I bet he will be ok…

26 Lori Lavender Luz { 11.01.11 at 4:38 pm }

Best line of the day: “I tore the tooth fairy a new asshole.”

Your tooth fairy is almost as lame as ours.

27 luna { 11.01.11 at 5:08 pm }

that kids deserves TWO bucks, you know, for interest.

timely reading for me right now, when our 2yo is napping and expecting the “halloween fairie” to leave something pretty special in exchange for her candy…
note to self: do not forget.
note to mel: mext time use a post-it!

28 Misfit { 11.01.11 at 8:12 pm }

Oh, I would be guilty of this. The apology comment was over the top. Made my day, again!

29 loribeth { 11.01.11 at 8:43 pm }

Too funny!! Poor Wolvog, so patient. He’ll make someone a fine husband someday. ; )

I think it’s kind of sweet that you use the same pillow you had when you were a kid. I’m all about family heirlooms! (And I’m sure my mother still has a few of our baby teeth rattling around somewhere.) My favourite gift for a baptism or first birthday party is a “tooth fairy bell” from Birks (high-end Canadian jewelry store chain). It’s a little silver bell with a gold fairy sitting on top. It screws apart to reveal a little compartment inside where you can save your child’s first tooth. I’ve probably given dozens of these as gifts over the years. (I haven’t bought one lately & I think I may have bought my last because holy moly, they’ve gone way up in price since the last time…!)


30 Sara { 11.01.11 at 10:22 pm }

That is SO freakin’ funny. I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only worst parent ever.

31 theportofindecision { 11.01.11 at 10:54 pm }

OMG, this was so fabulously hilarious. You bitching out the tooth fairy is just the icing on the cake.

32 Gil { 11.02.11 at 9:36 am }

Mel honey, I laughed so damn hard at this story, I snorted and guffawed aloud in my office. I had coworkers wondering what the hell I was reading. It’s priceless. I had to relay the story to explain my laughter… but your original is far better. I totally lost my shiznit at the “arsehole” line. OMG. I’m totally rolling on the floor over this. You, my dear, are classic. This is a keeper. Print this story and read it to the kids when they are in their 20s. They’ll get a kick out of it. I know we do.

You’re a great mom… but as a tooth fairy, I dunno. Not so much. As a humourist? Spot on. Oh man. Gotta go find a tissue to wipe the tears. Thanks for the laugh. I haven’t laughed that hard in months!!!!

33 PaleMother { 11.02.11 at 2:13 pm }

The Tooth Fairy was invented by a crazy-maker.

God, do I feel your pain. Will it make you feel better if I tell you that we have done a version of this very dance? Complete with the multiple forgettings? Or maybe I will just convince you that you need to be more careful about the online company you keep ….

My SIL just posted excitedly on FB that her only dd just lost her first tooth. My fingers twitched over the keys, wanting to write something like … “Sorry to hear that, but hey, only 19 more to go ….”

Our version ended of this tale with a near knock-down-drag out Last-One-Out-Of-The-Sinking-Ship-Is-A-Rotten-Parent “discussion’ between the man and I about … WHY is this MY job?! What do you mean you didn’t forget, you just didn’t know it was YOUR job? You did the first ~10 teeth~ did I miss a meeting?! …”

You know, ‘right’ is just irrelevant in that kind of ‘discussion’ … all veterans know that one is a no-winner … whether it’s the damn tooth fairy or, say, emptying the kitchen garbage BEFORE it overflows … and while you’re at it, replacing the liner instead of half-doing the job. Don’t get me started. Throw in some “don’t repress me” with gender stereotypes over tones … yea. The kid (our most tenderhearted, dewey-eyed boy who desperately wants to believe in Santa and the toothfairy and was born with an old soul spiritual bent that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up sometimes) … the kid is standing there unable to compute why the tooth fairy is acting like a deadbeat dad (notice I said DAD) who stood him up AGAIN. And it’s all I can do to just blurt it out … trying to so the emotional calculus of … is he old enough to hear the truth/do I really want to keep doing this every time he loses a tooth/the tooth fairy should pay ME, do you know what orthodontia costs?! I was a 10 out of 10 on the harried scale that week … but something in his face made me stop short. I have some lingering guilt/concerns about my unsentimental style … I really do believe realistic parenting has great long-term benefits, but I fear it may lead to regrets later on. Mine or his. Or both.


The thing we don’t realize is that … what seems like a benign tradition when you first start to parent because YOUR parents did it for you … there is some simple math working against you. Two kids times what? 20 teeth? 40. times. Mel. This little drill you just did? Over and over and over.

And yeah, the teeth in the bag (we use old prescription bottles here) … macabre. What are those good for??? Voodoo? Arts-N-Crafts? But then, for better or worse, I err on the side of not making relics out of clutter. I told you I was unsentimental. I keep thinking, if I went home to visit and my mother handed me a (fill in the blank … bag of teeth … pile of finger paintings …), would I be happy about it? What would I do with it?

Is that clarity or crabbiness/self-centeredness?

Don’t even get me started what the going rate for teeth is …


34 Mic @ IFCrossroads { 11.03.11 at 7:44 pm }

Hysterical. I laughed so hard while reading this.

35 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 11.05.11 at 10:21 pm }

My MIL gave my nephew a personalized tooth fairy pillow for his 1st birthday. I was pleased that she knows better than to give Burrito and Tamale a pillow like that, since there will be no fairies of any kind nor other fictitious creatures in our house.

Someday when I forget and don’t leave them any money for a lost tooth, I’ll be the only one to take the blame.

36 Photogrl { 11.06.11 at 9:38 pm }

Oh, I’ve been there!

Last fall, Miss O. lost a tooth. She put it in the little tooth box, which was mine as a child, and put it under her pillow.

I forgot, M. forgot. I blame it on sleep depervation, as the twins were only around 4 months old at the time!

Anyways, it had rained hard that night. So, that was our excuse….fairies can’t fly in the rain. Thank goodness for Tinkerbell movies!

Thanks for making me feel like I’m just a “normal” mom for forgetting!

37 Bea { 11.07.11 at 7:22 am }

Whoops, I didn’t comment. But I did laugh and forward it on to others who laughed, so.


38 Keiko { 11.08.11 at 2:28 pm }

This post. Is. Amazing.

““I have a ziplock bag filled with human teeth in my bedroom,” wouldn’t you run screaming?”

Priceless. When I was a kid, I actually lost one of my last baby teeth and didn’t tell my parents. I hid the tooth behind some books instead of under my pillow. Tooth fairy never came. I waited about a week before I finally brought it up and that was when I had my come to Jesus moment of learning that no, Ms. TF was not real.

I used to write her letters and leave them under my pillow with my tooth. My mom used to have my sister write back to me, since I knew what my mom’s handwriting looked like. Plus, she was about 12 or 13 at the time, and got really creative writing back to me.

Fantastic post, Mel. Thanks for sharing 🙂

39 battynurse { 11.26.11 at 1:00 pm }

Lol. That tooth fairy.

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