The first time this happened, she was really upset. But this time she didn't seem fazed as she told me, "The tooth fairy didn't come."
Out of curiosity I asked, "Do you really believe a little fairy comes around collecting teeth and leaving money behind?" (Because, hey, if she doesn't believe it, let's not go through this charade!)
She rolled her eyes and said, "I know it's you mom."
My five year old son was sitting there, his eyebrows flew up in surprise. Poor kid hasn't lost a tooth yet, and his grand illusions of getting rich off the tooth fairy have already been crushed.
"What about the Easter Bunny?" I asked my daughter. "Does he really hop around leaving candy and eggs?"
"No. He's not real."
"What about Santa?"
With a serious expression, she said, "Yes. Santa is real."
Then she said I could just give her the money instead of waiting for the night to come around again, since last time I forgot to wake up. So I gave her a hand full of change and we called it good.
My five year old said he will take a turn being the tooth fairy next time someone looses a tooth--which is kind of funny considering he'll probably be the next toothless wonder at our house. He can play tooth fairy to himself.
It's okay that my brief days as a fairy are over. I never looked good in wings, anyway.