Please tell me I’m not the only one who has made this parenting gaffe…

Toby, at 8 years old, is obsessed with nothing more than losing teeth, and after much anticipation, wiggling and apple-eating, he finally lost his sixth one! He gingerly put it in a sandwich baggie and placed it under his pillow.

Cut to the next morning: The sweet sleepy little boy climbed into our bed at 5:30 a.m. “I have some sad news,” he whispered. “Oh yeah?” I answered groggily, my eyes still closed.

“The tooth fairy didn’t come.”

MY EYES SHOT OPEN. Oh my gosh, I had completely forgotten. My mind raced for ways to figure it out: Should I elbow Alex to sneak out of bed and put a dollar in Toby’s bed? Could I pretend to get a glass of water and do it myself?

In the end, I told Toby that the tooth fairy must have been sick or busy, and that she would surely leave an extra treat the following night to make up for it.

(Of course, that morning at school drop-off, he showed his missing tooth gap to every adult in sight. “What did the tooth fairy bring???” they all asked. “She didn’t come,” Toby replied. “She feels TERRIBLE,” I added.)

The next night, he got a whopping $2 and a pack of Maltesers.

Have you ever forgotten to leave a tooth fairy gift? My friend Cailin is one of seven kids and says her parents forgot almost every time. (Although who can blame them? That’s 140 teeth.)

When my friend Rob forgot, he had a funny idea: That morning, he put $1 under a different pillow and told his child that the tooth fairy must have gotten confused in the dark. “A few days later, I put another dollar under another pillow, and it became a fun thing,” he said. “We started joking about where else she might have left money.”

P.S. The going rate for the tooth fairy, and Toby goes on a dinner date.