My oldest daughter lost a bunch of teeth all at once a couple of years ago. Even thought she screamed murder every time we pulled one out, the tooth fairy was, of course, good to her, and she quickly learned the value of a dollar. Now it’s the little one’s turn – seems like her teeth have been determined to stay in, but finally about half a dozen of them are loose. Last week she lost one. Not her first, but the first in a long while. There was a lot of conversation and preperation during the wait, including the attempt to pull it out, which failed miserably. Finally, the big day came, and the little one pulled it out herself at day care. That day brought me a complicated situation. Seems the older one has been told now that the tooth fairy isn’t real. The nerve of some kids! She wants to believe, but peer pressure is great. And in the meantime, the little one still believes, but also listens to her sister. What is a mother to do?
I swayed the older one a bit with comparisons to God and Santa Claus. “They are real, even if you can’t see them, and you know Mama can’t possibly have bought all those gifts for you at Christmastime.” This she believes, because times are tight, and she’s been told no to all the Zhuzhu pets and Pixo-whatever and new video games she wants all year long. She seems to accept that, but when we get home from the day, she grabs a post-it note and a pen. “Dear Tooth Fairy,” she writes, “my sister would like for you to sign this please, because she has been really stressed and she needs to know if you are real.” She informs me that I must not sign the note under any condition. I promise I won’t. So at bedtime we brush the tooth, and I help the little one compose a note to the Tooth Fairy and tuck it in the tooth pillow with the tooth. The post it note we stick it up on the bedpost
So now, as they nod off (without protest, for once),the tooth fairy has the fun but somewhat complicated job of making sure everyone is satisfied in the morning. After all, these are smart kids, and watching for any tricks. I roll the ideas around in my head, attend to my duties, and wait for the morning to appear again.
The Tooth Fairy helps me in one tremendous way. Every day after they’ve lost a tooth, my kids jump out of bed right on time, or earlier than the usual time, and I have an easy morning. This morning was no different. I awake the girls, and the little one is excited when she finds 4 50-cent pieces replace the tooth in her pillow (although upon being asked how much money she got, she doesn’t know how much they are worth), and the tooth fairy has responded to her litle note. My older one has an inquisitive look on her face, as if she’s afraid to look at her note. Since she didn’t lose the tooth, she was unsure the Tooth Fairy would even find it. But after examining the money and the other note very closely, she reaches for her own note tacked up on the bedpost. A smile spreads across her face. She signed it! She can prove to her friends that the tooth fairy really exists! And the rest of the morning before school passes peacefully with two happily satisfied girls.
End of Innocence crisis averted – and the Tooth Fairy survives another day! Now if we can just manage it for the next 5 teeth. I will so miss her when she’s gone.