|Our 6-year old's first missing tooth|
In frustration I helped prep it for removal by constant, violent jarring back and forth with my tongue – in much the same way that a cattle rancher struggles to jerk a stubborn fence post from the dry ground of the back forty.
After several more days of dental defiance, I ultimately wrapped the tooth in tissue and then used a toy wrench to yank the reluctant incisor from my head. Victorious in my bloody carnassial conquest, I stashed the tiny enameled trophy under my pillow anxious for its miraculous transubstantiation into cold cash courtesy of the Tooth Fairy.
When I woke up – JACKPOT!!! I found a brand new, shiny 1976 bicentennial commemorative quarter. At the time, it was truly a thing of beauty and was the most money that I’d ever held in my hand. Fast forward 35 years….
Yesterday, our six-year old [see photo insert] lost her first tooth at school while fiddling with it during first grade “rug time.” Subsequently, the school nurse gave her a nifty, plastic necklace with a cartoonishly-large, tooth-shaped pendant in which our daughter could safely stow and transport the boney relic.
placed the entire necklace under her pillow and refused to place her head on it, choosing instead to sleep next to the pillow. Her pragmatic reasoning was to maximize the Tooth Fairy’s ease of access to the toothy booty, perhaps ensuring a larger payday. Sydney
!!!!NOTE: TOOTH FAIRY SPOILER WARNING AHEAD – STOP READING NOW!!!!
To continue with the story, I’m obligated to write that there is NO actual Tooth Fairy per se. What actually happens is that parents simply wait until the kiddos are asleep and then they swap out the tooth with some coinage – if you missed the above warning, my deepest apologies.
So Syd’s asleep and I told my wife that I’m going to change out the tooth for two shiny, new quarters marking a full 100% increase over my own first tooth transaction – that’s a pretty generous exchange rate if I do say so myself.
However, my wife’s mouth dropped open in stunned disbelief and was immediately followed by an obligatory double eye roll with a dash of subtle, yet negative head shaking back-and-forth.
She exclaimed, “This is
’s FIRST tooth. Don’t you remember that we gave Sydney $5.00 for her first tooth??? We can’t give Syd any less than that!” Taylor
That's when my jaw dropped open. I did some quick math in my head – and $5.00 constituted a 20-fold increase beyond my own first tooth cash redemption. Quickly, I sprinted upstairs and found an online inflation calculator to determine the conversion rate of $0.25 in 1976 to current dollars. Here’s the link
Turns out that the inflation-adjusted $0.25 in 1976 would equal $0.93 in today’s valuation. So my initial offer of $0.50 may have seemed generous, but it didn’t even keep pace with inflation.
However, $5.00 still seemed astronomically high for a single tooth – similar to
’s runaway inflation of the 1980s where it took wheelbarrows full of Lira to buy a loaf of bread or a new post-midterm election Obama-esque bailout scheme for the dental industry - it was akin to that. Italy
I went back downstairs and stressed to my wife that I was uncomfortable mimicking the spending habits of a drunken sailor or a stone-sober member of Congress, but she reiterated that we had already established the payment threshold for the first tooth at $5.00 and $1.00 for each subsequent tooth. What could I say???
So, the precedent (or should I write precedental???) had been set for our first daughter. While I vaguely remembered something to that effect, I must admit that I tend to display selective memory at times especially regarding certain milestones such as monetary redemption rates for tiny dead teeth.
Needless to say,
was appropriately thrilled with the cache of cash under her pillow from the "Tooth Fairy" this morning. All was well. Sydney
In passing, I asked her how much she had expected to get for the tooth and without missing a beat she said, “Oh, I don’t know maybe thirteen-forty-hundred or something?”
Huh, thirteen-forty-hundred? Perhaps Syd and I need to spend a bit more time covering the fundamentals of finance such as net present value and the time-value of money, or I could simply have paid her in marbles and sea shells?