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by Abigail Van Buren

Photos Posted Online Irk Woman Preferring Privacy

DEAR ABBY: I am married for the second time and have added two boys to my three. My stepsons are great, but I do have one challenge. Their mother can sometimes be "excessive." She buys them expensive gifts for no reason, allows them to drink sugary soft drinks, etc. This is very different from how I parent my sons.

Yesterday, the younger one was showing us his wiggly tooth (his first) and said he would be taking it to his mom's house because she leaves $20 while we only give $1! So far, I have taken the grin-and-bear-it route. I'm curious as to your take on the situation. -- TOOTH FAIRY IN GAITHERSBURG, MD.

DEAR TOOTH FAIRY: Your husband's ex may feel guilty about the divorce and be using gifts to make it up to her boys, or she may be trying to one-up you. It is also possible that this is the way her mother raised her -- in a household where $20 for a lost tooth was not unusual and sugary soft drinks were a staple. So keep smiling and try not to let it get to you.