Archive for the ‘tooth fairy’ Category

Why the Lie?

Maybe it’s just me, but I love perpetuating the myths of the Easter Bunny, Leprachuans, the Tooth Fairy and others with my kids. These fantasy characters were a wonderful part of my childhood that I love to share with my own kids. They ARE childhood.

And of course like with our own childhood, they will grow-up and their belief will be overtaken by reality and skepticism.

I may not like to admit it but I do know someday my kids will stop believing in some of these characters, if not all of them. It’s a sad reality. I’ve even started to notice some doubt in my 8-year-old daughter (though some things I’ve done haven’t helped). So what happened on the weekend shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise.

My 8-year-old lost another tooth. She placed it in the Tooth Fairy jar (we have a small jar with little fairy sitting on top) and placed it on her dresser that night. Before I went to bed I took the tooth and replaced it with money (Yes we leave money. That’s a different blog post to deal with).

The next morning we slept in. I was surprised my daughter didn’t rush in telling us about the funds the Tooth Fairy left behind; she would usually do this, waking us up at the crack of dawn. I thought perhaps she had forgotten to check but when I went by her room I noticed the Tooth Fairy jar was empty.

So curious, I asked my daughter:

me: Did the Tooth Fairy visit you last night?
8yo: No. Well, yes. She came and took the tooth but left no money.
me: Really? Are you sure? Did you check to see if it fell on the floor?
8yo: I looked everywhere, no money this time.

My daughter proceeded downstairs as if nothing happened. Now I know in the past I’ve been negligent about the Tooth Fairy’s visits but I know I took the tooth and left the money. I know I did.

It’s obvious she took the money. What I couldn’t figure out is why she wouldn’t admit too it. She still gets the money. My only thought is she was testing me. She’s probably already figured out that the Tooth Fairy isn’t real; that mom and dad replace the teeth with funds. Maybe she wants to see my reaction, see if I admit that the Tooth Fairy left the money, because I left it.

But I can’t bring myself to admit it. I can’t be the one to break the fantasy. She may have her doubts and that’s fine but I don’t need to be the one to confirm it. We still have two younger kids who haven’t even experienced the Tooth Fairy yet. I don’t want them to be jaded before they’ve even lost their first tooth. I don’t need my 8-year-old in a fit of anger with her brother or sister to blurt out ‘And the Tooth Fairy isn’t real. Mom leaves the money. She told me so.

Even when my 8-year-old returned with substitute Tooth Fairy money from her dad (trying out her story on him too I suppose), I still kept tight-lipped.

The fact that my daughter had doubts about the fairy didn’t bug me so much. Even testing her doubts to see if I or her dad would fess up didn’t bother me much either. I have to admit it was pretty ingenious. The ongoing lie was bugging me. Okay, she did her test and didn’t get the result she wanted. Now she should admit to the money being left, say she found it after all. The fact that she kept telling the story and on top of that accepted additional money from her dad, these things bugged me.

Eventually my daughter felt guilty and admitted that she did get money (though she admitted to her dad and not me). In return she had to work with her dad in the backyard building a shed before the rain arrived. We also agreed that perhaps the Tooth Fairy not leaving money for my daughter (see, I had to still believe the original story since I wasn’t suppose to know about the confession) was a sign that my daughter was too old for Tooth Fairy visits. Any teeth left to fall out could just be tossed and we wouldn’t have to worry about the ritual anymore,  until her brother or sister get bigger.

I knew I would be disappointed when my kids were old enough to not believe in some of the childhood fantasies we’ve brought them up on. I guess I didn’t know the lesson would hurt me so much.

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The tooth fairy

I knew it would happen someday. I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon. I don’t know for sure but I think my daughter has stopped believe in the tooth fairy. Or at the very least, is skeptical. I really I have no one to blame but myself. I slipped up.

It was only my daughter’s second tooth. She worked hard to get it out. The tooth fairy money was spent over and over again in her mind. The tooth was washed and polished, ready for the fairy. All was well, until the morning when were informed by a disappointed girl that the fairy didn’t show. Then it hit me. Even in my groggy early morning sleep state I realized that I forgot to swap the tooth for the money. My husband was quick on the mark and made the switch  while my daughter was helping her little sister get ready in the morning.

So eventually the tooth fairy funds were found, but not surprisingly there was some hesitation. Our daughter was full of questions: Why wasn’t the money there in the morning? Why was dad in her bedroom?

Our daughter seemed to buy the argument that she just looked in the wrong spot in her room for what the tooth fairy left. And if it wasn’t for her dad double checking she would never have found it. I thought all had been saved.

But then we started reading Junie B. Jones: Toothless Wonderby Barbara Park. A story about a girl in grade 1 who looses her tooth but doesn’t want to put it under her pillow for fear of the tooth witch (not fairy). At the end of the book Junie B changes her point of view and receives money from the fairy. I thought this would reinforce the idea around the tooth fairy. If you were to ask my daughter if she believed in the tooth fairy she would say yes. But there’s something in the way she says it. I get a sence she doesn’t really believe, but doesn’t want to admit it for fear of loosing her tooth fairy funds.

Well my daughter is working on loosing another tooth. Hopefully when this one comes out I can redeem myself and reestablish the belief in the tooth fairy. If not, I guess this is just a taste of what is to come: Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, Lepercauns. I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet.