Friday, April 18, 2008

The Golden Tooth

I am so very thankful that the writers strike is over. Soon shows like Heroes will be back on the air and we will not have to sit through more last minute reality show ideas like My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad. Did you see that one? I think it ran its course in about a week. I'm perfectly fine if that one never comes back. 

I almost hate to admit that I watched an entire episode of My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, except for the fact that I learned something from it. That's right. I learned something from watching My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad. I learned that:

Writers are incredibly talented individuals who provide us with entertainment leaps and bounds above anything presented in a reality tv show.


Some parents are idiots.

Why do I say this? Well, because if you've seen a reality show in the past few months you know that we are better off with the strike over. Life without writers is painful. And to the lesson learned about parents as idiots? Let's just say that being the "Top Dad" on My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad only applied to not being the worst at various feats of skill and trivia on the show. It did not apply to basic, common sense approach to parenting.

I know this because during the final portion of the show, one dad had to guess things about his kid to earn points. He had to answer questions like "what does Bobby want to be when he grows up?" and "what is Bobby's favorite subject in school?" Softball questions to be sure for most parents. You'd expect the answer to be  "a firefighter" and "math", but the clincher was "how much money did the tooth fairy leave under Bobby's pillow for the last tooth that he lost?" This one question told me much more about this dad than any feat of skill he may have performed earlier on in the show (like dodging tennis balls is that tough, c'mon!). I expected this dad to say the tooth fairy left anything from a quarter to maybe two dollars (if it was the kids last tooth that would be worth more after all, right?). But no. The dad did not say a quarter. He did not say fifty cents. He didn't even say two dollars. What did he say? He said TWENTY DOLLARS!!!!

Good gravy, people! Who gives their kid twenty dollars.... for a tooth!?!?!? I was so shocked that my mouth really did hit the floor. I had to get down and search for it on the floor of our bedroom. After finding that it had bounced off the cat and landed in a pile of laundry we've been planning on washing for the past week, we wiped off the cat fur and had Mary pull out her home suture kit to put it back on my face. TWENTY DOLLARS for a tooth?!?!? Absolutely ridiculous.

Now I know there will be some people reading this who want to know how much the tooth fairy brings our kids. I'm happy to share that with you. Our kids get twenty-five cents per tooth. That's it. Hannah has not gone through all her baby teeth yet, so we'll have to wait and see if maybe she gets a bump in pay for the last one. But I can tell you right here and now that it will not be twenty dollars. Maybe two. Maybe.

I did some informal polling with friends and learned that we might be on the low end of things. Most reports I got back were anywhere from twenty-five cents (we are not alone there) to fifty cents to a dollar to two dollars. One even mentioned giving five dollars, and as much as I wanted to turn them into some governing body overseeing tooth fairy budgeting I have decided to pass in order to save the friendship (though I will never look at them the same way again).

But twenty dollars? Everyone I spoke with agreed that this is insane. What kind of message are these parents sending to their kids? That they should expect to get a huge reward for doing nothing? If this type of parenting continues I fear the day when their kid starts bringing home report cards with anything less than an A+. I mean, he should get the top grades just for showing up, right? That teacher will get an ear full won't they?  And what about getting a job? He's being groomed to expect an out of control CEO salary which is way out of line with the hourly wage the blue collar line workers that work for him take home at the end of the week, right?

Okay. Maybe I don't have all the information. Maybe the kid had a cavity in that tooth. And maybe that cavity was filled with gold. With the price of gold these days the tooth fairy might have actually been ripping the kid off. Maybe we should start an investigation and get the kid the additional $490 the tooth fairy owes him.

$20 for a tooth? What were you thinking???



Laura said...

Glad to hear that there are more reasonable parents in the world! I had started to wonder over the last year or so after I polled the wide variety of children that I babysit for and discovered that it seemed the going rate for the tooth-fairy averaged $20 a tooth. I agree... That's CRAZY!

'Back in my day' (*grin*) the tooth fairy left us with a quarter a tooth and $0.50 for molars (if we were lucky!)

dhduff said...

There are other parents who give $20 per tooth? I was hoping it was just this reality tv show dad. Crazy, crazy, crazy.