“Kids found an average $3 per tooth under their pillows this year, up 15% from last year…some received as much as $20 per tooth.” ~ USA Today

And just like that my kid is falling behind the trends. Her teeth paying out a measly one dollar. With luck Ivy won’t learn that she is being low-balled by the Tooth Fairy. If she does learn the truth I will need to create a lesson on quality over quantity… come up with enamel density scores…

Thankfully the Tooth Fairy is only a front – a truth Ivy already knows…* So there is no need to find an explanation, because Ivy is really foiled by cheap parents. Which will continue to foil her much of life. I suppose when she is in middle school she will declare how lowly tooth rewards have ruined her life… But what is dreadful to a child, in my mind looks like the building blocks of good character…

*When asked point blank Meg and I are poor liars… 

Comparisons. Stacking up to the Jones is not really anyone’s stated goal. Yet what a child will do openly (tooth value against tooth value), adults often do under the table. We are more sophisticated about our comparisons. Without any shouting we will notice someone’s new car or job or … We notice how we compare.

We compare all our roles. From our work to our parenting to even our imaginary roles. Hence there is a Tooth Fairy App – which calculates the value of teeth. Enter in your age, income, education and out pops the average gift. As though teeth were ticker symbols on an stock exchange. This information is interesting because we want to rate ourselves. And I am sure there are some folks reevaluating their gift…

I set out to write this blog about these silly comparisons. To ponder the insanity of basing your life on others – increasing your Tooth Fairy gift based on a app. BUT, I realized I am right alongside everyone else. With the Tooth Fairy App I want to know where I land.  Not so I can revalue teeth (thankfully not all value systems run according to money). Instead I would place myself above the parents handing out $20. I would revel in my own cheapness and ponder how my stingy gifts are raising up Ivy to be a wonderful adult…

But in the end I am just like the Jones. I establish a hierarchy.

And when I create the hierarchy, lo and behold, I am on top…

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