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Cafe Doom  |  The Critique Crypt  |  General writing chat  |  Death of a Tooth Fairy
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Author Topic: Death of a Tooth Fairy  (Read 4361 times)

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Offline Ed

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Death of a Tooth Fairy
« on: February 15, 2009, 07:15:29 AM »
My eldest son lost another of his milk teeth last week. He didn't tell us he was going to put it under his pillow that night, but my wife found it while making his bed the following morning. In recent months, as one after another wobbly tooth fell out, he'd been using the tooth fairy as a cash point. The magic has become mundane - a source of free income. This time we assumed he had forgotten about the tooth and the quid it would earn him.

Very different from years ago when it all started - the look of wonderment lighting up his face at learning of yet another deity in the real world who would bring gifts as he slept and (strangely) make his younger brother cry with fear, demand that I wait up with my gun and shoot the fairy when it came creeping around their bedroom in the middle of the night.

Santa was under threat this Christmas past after I fitted the wood burner. A couple of apprehensive little boys paced and kicked their heels when they saw the six inch diameter flue going in.

But see, I never believed in Father Christmas myself. World champion insomniac that I was, even at the age of four I was still awake at midnight when my parents crept into my bedroom with my presents. With this in mind we decided years ago that the place for presents was the living room, and Santa's only contribution would be the contents of the stocking. He even uses different wrapping paper from all of the other presents. And the flue? No problem - it's kinda like the starship Enterprise beaming Captain Kirk down to the surface, kids - he shrinks into a stream of energy to fit down the slimmest of chimneys before re inflating to his full size in the room below. Even if there is no chimney he'll make himself a virtual one. No problem.

And then there's the Easter Bunny. I never wanted any part in that one, TBH, but I confess I did play a part - hiding the eggs in the garden while my wife occupied the kids with something out of sight of the back windows of the house. I came in looking shocked, clutching my chest, huffing and puffing. My wife asked what was wrong, and I said about the six foot tall pink rabbit that came bounding over the back fence without warning, thundered around the garden sowing chocolate eggs from an enormous wicker basket.

The thing is, I'm starting to worry that our kids will look like complete dumbasses to other more streetwise kids. Kids whose parents aren't as good as us at lying to their children. With our eldest starting 'big school' next year something's got to give. Cute as it is when they're little, I don't want ours to be the only teenagers in the world who still believe in fairy tales.

I like that our kids have been given time to be kids, and I hope us playing along with these traditional characters has added some kind of magical quality to their childhood. I just hope when they find out there is no magic that it's not too big a dose of disillusionment. Perhaps when, later in the day, my wife asked our eldest what had happened to his tooth it might have been better to just hand him the quid than let him go running to check under his pillow and come back excited that it was true - the Tooth Fairy really did exist, because Mum didn't know he'd put the tooth under his pillow, and hadn't known what had happened to it.
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline rsmccoy

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Re: Death of a Tooth Fairy
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2009, 12:59:47 PM »
What the hell do you mean there is no Santa! WTF?

I hear you. We are struggling with the same thing. Our oldest went a long time with Santa similar to the way I did. I thought I had seen Santa when I was 4. I woke up to the sound of bells, went into the living room and everything was decorated and the presents were under the tree. I heard the bells again and look into the sky and saw something pass in front of the full moon. Owl, plane, who knows, but at 4, I was convinced. My oldest either imagined or had a similar experience, so at 8 we finally had to tell her.

I took the news hard, probably because I thought I had proof, I hope my girls don't. I tried to focus her on the Christmas Spirit vs a physical Santa. After all, something makes people a little nicer that time of year, and that's a kind of magic.
It's better to burn out, than fade away...

Offline Ed

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Re: Death of a Tooth Fairy
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2009, 01:51:23 PM »
I think that's the best way to tackle it - focus on the good points. My kids are 9 and 11, and both still believe in Santa. In one way I like that they are that innocent and naive, but in another I fear that it will set them apart.

Incidentally, I can imagine them lumping God into the equation once they find out the truth about the other elusive entities, and while I can't find my way clear to believing myself I'd prefer them to make their own decision about that.
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline Geoff_N

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Re: Death of a Tooth Fairy
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2009, 04:04:20 PM »
I'm sure my son saw me creeping into his room with a full Christmas when he was only 4, but he knew when it was advantageous to keep quiet. He didn't start losing his milk teeth until he knew fairies and goblins were a figment of my imagination not his. Nevertheless, for his younger sister's sake he went along with the ruse and pocketed the then 50p. Inflation eh?

I like these traditions - it helps develop their sense of awe in Nature and life even if the adullt  consensus of fairy denial has to be encountered.

My two still wanted  to keep the cultural tradition of Christmas stockings alive when they came home from uni! And so did  I :P

Geoff

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