Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on
 

Pinterest anxiety: A Tooth Fairy tale

By Bunmi Laditan, Special to CNN
updated 10:28 AM EDT, Fri July 26, 2013
A lost tooth can induce panic in parents convinced they have to live up to the Pinterest version of real life. Mom of three Bunmi Laditan found herself caught in the fantasy loop -- click through to see her last-minute creations. A lost tooth can induce panic in parents convinced they have to live up to the Pinterest version of real life. Mom of three Bunmi Laditan found herself caught in the fantasy loop -- click through to see her last-minute creations.
HIDE CAPTION
Hard evidence: The Tooth Fairy was here
Hard evidence: The Tooth Fairy was here
Hard evidence: The Tooth Fairy was here
Hard evidence: The Tooth Fairy was here
Hard evidence: The Tooth Fairy was here
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Honest Toddler's Bunmi Laditan says Pinterest has created unrealistic expectations
  • She managed to avoid the holiday Pinterest craze but succumbed with the Tooth Fairy
  • In a blast of creativity, Laditan decorated her kids' room with snacks and glitter
  • She says the kids' reaction made the effort worthwhile but set a high bar

(CNN) -- When Pinterest exploded onto the scene, enthusiasts could barely contain their excitement over pages upon pages of pastel, lace-trimmed, sugar-sprinkled DIY deliciousness. It was the manifestation of our collective consciousness of intended crafts. We spent hours pinning, as if the action itself were a legitimate replacement for actual creation.

Who doesn't want to know how to make Skittles-infused vodka ("Vomit the rainbow") or create an anytime jersey dress out of an oversized T-shirt? Again, we weren't exactly creating most of these items, but knowing they were safely tucked away within meticulously organized virtual boards was enough to make us feel like creative maestros.

For parents, Pinterest took things to a whole ... 'nother ... level. One could pass days falling down the rabbit hole of ideas spanning every milestone of child rearing. From the time-lapse pregnancy photo montage to gender-reveal cupcakes to lunchbox hand-pies shaped like baby octopi, Pinterest left no familial event untouched.

Suddenly, a rumbling in the distance. An overwhelming tide began to rise. It's not that these ideas were overly complicated. There were just so many of them. All demanding attention, crying out for a voyage to the craft store, begging to be manifested into fruition.

What's wrong with using tech to distract kids?

Bunmi Laditan
Bunmi Laditan

Initially, I'd managed to stay on the shore and watch Pinthusiasts sink or swim from a distance. Pinterest didn't infect me during any of the traditional gateway holidays like Christmas or Halloween (did you know both of these holidays now require wreaths?). It got me with the Tooth Fairy.

When I was kid, the Tooth Fairy, if the wench remembered to come all, would leave a quarter. Maybe 50 cents if she was having a good year. A 2012 survey reported that American parents give their children $3 per tooth, so even considering 20 years of inflation, my fairy was obviously from the wrong side of the tracks. When I was a child, my mom was studying to become a dentist. Maybe to her, the idea of celebrating calcified structures separating from mouth tissue seemed like overkill.

These days, a quick "Tooth Fairy" search on Pinterest will result in thousands of ways to turn what should be a very simple transaction into an event worthy of a Disney score. I'm not sure what it is about this specific milestone that had me feeling all romantic, but I knew Pinterest would be the place to go for inspiration.

By the time my oldest daughter's first tooth was threatening to wriggle free, I'd hyped up the Tooth Fairy significantly.

"What do you think she'll bring? I hope it's not money. I don't like money," she said as I pulled her comforter to her chin.

"Me too?" my 3-year-old worriedly asked from her bed across the room.

"I'm not sure what she's going to bring. And she never forgets little sisters," I explained.

Stay in touch!
Don't miss out on the conversation we're having at CNN Living. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest stories and tell us what's influencing your life.

Eventually, the tooth fell out during breakfast. Unfortunately, as the day went on, the business of life combined with my chronic tendency to procrastinate proved more powerful than the Pinterest-derived Tooth Fairy extravaganza I'd planned. I didn't remember the Fairy's scheduled visit until I woke up with a massive start at 2 a.m. the next day.

I'd dropped the ball.

My mind started to race with ideas. Perhaps the gas station around the corner had candy ... wait no, the Tooth Fairy wouldn't give candy; that'd be like a doctor handing out Big Macs. And do I really want to get on the road at 2 a.m. when the bars are closing? What if there are drunken drivers? I don't want to go down as the first Pinterest-related death.

I began opening every closet in my home, searching the pantry for something that I could pass off as a gift from an enchanted forest warehouse. I found a few mini candy canes, but no, the tooth fairy would clearly be non-denominational. Maybe I could make sandwiches shaped like hearts and keep them in the fridge -- no, the present is supposed to be under their pillow. Shaved turkey slices on whole wheat have no place in a child's bedding; even I know that.

I finally found some snack mix that I was sure my kids hadn't seen before. Combined with a few chocolate chips ... that's something the Tooth Fairy would whip together in her Middle-Earth kitchen, right? As I prepared the melange and dumped it into sandwich bags, I got a distinct mental picture of a jury of Pinterest moms in cardigans shaking their heads at me while knitting stuffed animals.

"Groceries? Really?" their leader said. She was wearing a T-shirt dress. It looked amazing on her.

I glanced down sheepishly at my work. The bags looked like something you'd sneak into a movie theater to save $5. Not magical enough.

I closed the bags with craft twine and finished the whole debacle with wrapping paper.

What about a note? There are hundreds of pins featuring little notes written with what I can only assume are calligraphy pens. People even make matching miniature envelopes. It was almost 2:30. No time for that.

After I'd dropped the packages, being careful not to wake the children (how would that go? "Oh I was just seeing the Tooth Fairy out ..."), I still felt uneasy. You're only a kid once. It's fun to believe in this nonsense. I decided to take it up a notch by sprinkling some pink glitter by their bedsides and made a trail all the way to the upstairs bathroom window. No, I hadn't been drinking or using recreational drugs. It just felt right at the time.

By now, I was so tired that I was having a semi-out-of-body experience and felt like I really was the Tooth Fairy. Glitter clean-up? I'd have one of the lesser fairies take care of it the next day. It will be good for their résumés.

About 3 a.m., I remembered seeing a website where you can superimpose pictures of a fairy on a photo of your sleeping child. Knowing that nothing would traumatize my youngest daughter more than a visual of an otherworldly creature walking on her face while she lay unconscious, I took a photo of a windowsill upstairs instead. For the low price of $7, I added what looked like a crouching Barbie doll wearing a cheap prom dress and wings. As I lay in bed, I created an elaborate backstory of how I'd managed to take the photo with my iPhone right before she spit in my face for scaring her.

Come morning, the children were as excited as could be to find their plastic food bags beside their beds.

"There is fairy dust everywhere!" they shouted from upstairs.

The photo was the icing on the cake.

I'm still trying to decide what the Tooth Fairy will bring the next time she pays a visit. Maybe a gift card.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:10 AM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
If it hasn't happened already, it likely will at some point: the moment you don't like one of your child's friends. What do you do?
updated 6:50 AM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
They say the first step to overcoming a problem is realizing you have one in the first place. An online quiz can help you determine whether you are over-reliant on your cell phone.
updated 9:52 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
Options for meat substitutes have come a long way since Seth Tibbott's first few Thanksgivings as a vegetarian in the 1970s.
updated 4:12 PM EST, Sat November 22, 2014
Students unhappy with school meals are taking it out on the first lady by sharing images on social media of lunches sarcastically tagged #ThanksMichelleObama.
updated 9:55 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
A Louisiana family is fighting to protect its beloved pit bull from a "vicious dogs" ordinance.
updated 5:20 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. CNN's Michaela Pereira grew up in a family of five adopted girls in Canada and eventually reunited with her biological half-sister.
updated 2:39 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
It began for Nickolay Lamm as a question: What would Barbie look like if she had the dimensions of an average woman?
updated 9:16 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
Bill Cosby was thought of as a perceptive comedian and genial father figure. Now, that persona pairs with another, much darker image.
updated 12:35 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
If you think 'my teen would never sext,' you might be mistaken. Recent studies suggest it's more common than many parents might want to admit.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Fri November 14, 2014
I pictured myself graduating from college, getting a cool job and even having a cute place of my own. Instead, I wake to the early-morning sounds of my family dog barking and my parents making coffee downstairs.
updated 12:38 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Samantha Futerman and Anais Bordier tease, poke and prod each other like they've grown up together, but they didn't. Neither woman knew she had an identical twin sister until less than two years ago.
updated 9:02 AM EST, Thu November 13, 2014
A school district in Maryland has decided to remove all references to religious holidays from its school calendar, leaving some in the community frustrated.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Thu November 13, 2014
Female veterans often have a harder time finding employment than their male counterparts. But why?
updated 3:19 PM EST, Fri November 14, 2014
I simply couldn't believe my eyes. At a children's party this year, I witnessed full-on "mean girl" behavior.
updated 12:24 PM EST, Mon November 10, 2014
Several children were sent to the hospital after being sickened by ingesting detergent pods.
updated 9:46 AM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
There are plenty of times when I literally wish I could take a hammer to the portrayal of girls and women in the media. In a new ad, a little girl gets to do just that.
updated 10:09 AM EST, Sat November 8, 2014
"Playing doctor" and "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" are common rites of passage in childhood sexual behavior, according to the experts.
updated 3:12 PM EST, Thu November 6, 2014
A tech startup claims credit for making Alex from Target go viral, but there's skepticism about how involved it was, if at all.
updated 5:47 PM EST, Tue November 4, 2014
A soft toy for cribs lets babies post pictures of themselves to social media.
updated 11:55 AM EST, Tue November 4, 2014
Schools are increasingly confronting a controversial question: Should they do more to monitor students' online interactions off-campus to keep them safe?
updated 11:56 AM EST, Thu November 6, 2014
The National Toy Hall of Fame recently inducted three new favorites into its hallowed halls. What's your favorite?
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
We don't know, and may never know, what led to the Washington school shooting, but we have to ask ourselves, following this tragedy, if we are doing enough to help our boys deal with difficult emotions without resorting to violence.
updated 7:01 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
The viral video of a New York woman being catcalled on the street has men asking, "So, what should I do?" The answer starts with respect.
updated 2:40 PM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
Trick-or-treating and dressing in costume have been Halloween traditions for a good long time now, but it seems we're still struggling to get it right.
updated 4:38 PM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
Yes, there's actually corn in it. Corn syrup, if that counts.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Walmart found itself sending apology tweet after apology tweet after the Twitterverse raked it over the coals for a major goof on its website.
updated 4:02 PM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
There aren't too many times when I'm speechless about what I consider an outrageous example of parenting. This is one of those times.
updated 7:57 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Holy crap, LeVar Burton.
updated 5:38 PM EDT, Fri October 24, 2014
Critics pounced on supermodel Gisele Bundchen for advocating a little mommy "me time" recently. When did it become a crime to admit that you -- as a parent -- put yourself first?
updated 12:21 PM EDT, Fri October 24, 2014
Sally Kohn says a video of little girls dressed as princesses using the F-word very loudly to condemn sexism is provocative. But is it exploitative?
updated 4:27 PM EDT, Fri October 24, 2014
Not again.
updated 12:41 PM EDT, Fri October 24, 2014
"Breaking Bad's" drug-dealing chemistry teacher Walter White will have to stop making the sale at Toys R Us.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
I happen to agree with Renee Zellweger that all the chatter about her face is "silly." But I, and many other women I talked with via email Wednesday, would add some other choice words to the mix to describe the non-stop attention about her appearance: nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
updated 6:06 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
I have long thought millennials, who expect flexibility in the workplace, would be the group that would bring an end to the stigma that is too often associated with flex time -- the belief that wanting a flexible work arrangement means you aren't willing to work as hard. But now I'm thinking it's going to be men who will get us there.
updated 7:40 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Say it with us: Kids today have it sooooo easy.
updated 2:29 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
An Atlanta judge reportedly reprimanded an immigration attorney for bringing her 4-week-old to court for a hearing -- a hearing she asked the judge to reschedule because she was on her six-week maternity leave.
updated 11:04 AM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Monica Lewinsky tweeted for the first time. She called herself "patient zero" of cyber-bullying.
updated 3:43 PM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
Meet Shyanne Roberts, a 10-year-old competitive shooter with something to prove: "Kids and guns don't always mean bad things happen."
updated 9:50 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
strawberry ghosts
We love Halloween season. Sweets. Sweaters. Sipping hot cider (maybe spiked). Halloween can certainly get you in the spirit, and nothing warms our hearts like these healthy Halloween treats that help you stay energized instead of stuck in a sugar coma.
updated 3:23 PM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
Does your baby cry during long flights, causing you to want to disappear from the glares of fellow passengers?
updated 4:14 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
Ask any teen if they suffer from social media anxiety and they would probably tell you no. But the truth is getting "likes" and the fear of missing out are adding stress to teens' lives.
updated 9:13 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Many photographers have taken it upon themselves to document stillborn and terminal babies' precious moments after birth.
updated 3:46 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
As part of the insurance coverage offered to its female employees, Facebook is paying to freeze their eggs.
updated 2:15 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Amal Alamuddin was well-known in many important circles long before she snagged the world's most eligible bachelor. But Amal Alamuddin is now Amal Clooney, according to her law firm's website.
updated 12:42 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Trends in young adult fiction have shifted from wizards to glittering vampires to bloodthirsty "Hunger Games" and now, to teens coping with illnesses and realistic issues.
updated 8:56 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Before he died this year, 14-year-old Martin Romero wanted to do something for his community.
cnn, parents, parenting, logo
Get the latest kid-related buzz, confessions from imperfect parents and the download on the digital life of families here at CNN Parents.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT