Mia just turned 6 when she got her first loose tooth.
Not so much.
It only meant one thing.
The day will come when I have to turn our house upside down at the most inconvenient time to scramble for some cold hard cash in just the right denomination. I have plenty of friends that supply me with a wealth of real life Tooth Fairy horror tales. I’ve heard it all.
I know, I know…
Much like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy surely is another tradition that makes childhood oh so magical, right?
The truth is, I wasn’t sure I wanted to let the winged creature into our home.
Prouder than ever, Mia gently wiggled that tooth all day long every day.
Time was running out, and I had no game plan.
So I had a conversation with my husband one night. I threw my idea on the table, he actually agreed that we didn’t need any more lies at our house, and we had made the heartless decision to skip the gift bearing, loving, magical creature. I couldn’t remember our kids ever asking about or mentioning the Tooth Fairy, so I assumed that – perhaps – they had no idea about her existence…?
It must have been purely coincidental that the TV show my kids were watching the following morning was about none other than the Tooth Fairy and the whole Teeth Business. Excitedly, Mia ran to me, saying “Mommy, there was this girl on TV, AND she had a loose tooth, AND it fell out, AND she put it under her pillow, AND the Tooth Fairy came AND took the tooth AND left a PREEESEEENT for the girl!!! Can we do that, please? Pleeeeease?! Can we have the Tooth Fairy come to our house as well???” She skipped across the room with glee and wiggled some more.
I suspect that the identity of the gift bearer didn’t matter as much. I bet she would have been willing to close her eyes super tight at night and have the gremlin drop by with a gift.
“Um, honey, let me make my coffee and we’ll talk about it, ‘kay?”
Crap. If I had only listened to my every-so-often-frugal husband, there could have been no TV at this point and no Tooth Fairy.
Think, think hard!
I suggested that we could…wait? And see what happens?
There is something you might not know about me.
Despite of my free-roaming spirit and love for magical creatures of all kinds, I’ve never been too fond of the widely beloved holiday characters. I mean some of them feel downright creepy to begin with. The idea of strangers, mutated animals, and other creatures sneaking into our house at night through the chimney and through closed windows and locked doors creeps me out a bit. No not a bit. It freaks me out.
Santa Claus is one of them and so is the Elf on the Shelf and the Easter Bunny. I’m not sure what to think about the Tooth Fairy yet. All of them have one thing in common though: They all give us a chance to lie to our kids. Though the Tooth Fairy seems a little more trustworthy since she has the female thing going for her.
There she was, standing at our doorsteps, pacing nervously.
Don’t get me wrong. I love fairies.
My kids love fairies. We all do. The woodland kind, I mean.
I personally didn’t grow up with the Tooth Fairy. And it was OK, I did fine. Not much was done for us toothless kids. Maybe a Hip Hip Hooray, if that. It was a natural phenomenon that everyone went through. I think the first lost tooth might have gotten more attention but, overall, celebration of EVERY lost tooth definitely didn’t happen. Nobody danced for us. Nobody clapped, nobody cheered. We didn’t get a gift or money, we found no witty notes or handmade lavender-scented cute little pillows. But don’t feel sorry for us. We felt special and loved, even without the tooth fairy fluff and glitter.
I want my kids’ lives to be as magical as their imagination allows them.
I support their whimsical ways and creativity wholeheartedly.
But I can see a difference between healthy and natural pretending and mass perpetuating of a fictional, commercial character.
Well, the tooth came out quicker than I had planned for.
Suddenly, after the slightest tug, the tiny tooth was sitting in the tissue I gently grasped it with.
What do I do?
What do I tell her??
What will she say???
She freaked out.
She didn’t even realize at first that the tooth was out. She expected it to hurt. She said it hurt. A lot…! But it didn’t. So she felt confused. She freaked out again when she realized that it’s really out. Just to rightfully hold her spot at the Drama Queen Club For the Six Year Old Girls, she freaked out once more when she saw the tooth in the tissue. Then she freaked out when she could no longer feel the tooth with her tongue. And then she freaked out one last time when she went to look in the mirror.
And then the excitement came, and she exclaimed, “Mommy, I’m NOT giving my tooth to the Tooth Fairy! No way!!! I changed my mind! I want to keep it. It’s SPECIAL!!!” That’s her thing. Everything is so special to her.
Apparently, my little girl decided that she was going to hoard all of her lost teeth in a special box that has her name engraved on it.
Phew… So all this time I was worried for nothing…?!
That was it?
The little hoarder in her solved the problem!
I smiled and slammed the door in the Tooth Fairy’s confused face.
If it makes you feel any better, we celebrated the occasion our own way. We adored that little pearly-white tooth and Mia’s immense braveness over and over and went to the book store and bought books that she had picked out. She also got her special bubble gum at the health food store next door. I know – the irony.
Mia was so proud and super excited but at the end of the day she started feeling a tad guilty for not wanting to share her tooth with the Tooth Fairy. I guess she suddenly remembered that someone may come knocking when she falls asleep, demanding to have the tooth handed over. But it was hers, and she wasn’t going to part with it. She even looked a little creeped out, if you ask me.
So I leaned over and whispered motherly wisdom into her ear, completely bursting the magical glittery bubble that the Fake Tooth Fairy World has been long working on.
She seemed relieved.
But I also told her that maybe – if she wants to believe – the Tooth Fairy might still come at night to check on her.
I had also asked her to not spoil other kids’ surprises. (We’ll see how that goes.)
We’re not planning anything special for the following loose (and lost) teeth except for a lot of love, excitement, and support.
Dear Tooth Fairy: If you read this, you’re more than welcome to come and visit, AND you never have to worry about a gift. You’re welcome.
ETA: 4 lost teeth later, the gift-less Tooth Fairy occasionally flutters around while I have one less thing to worry about. See? I love fairies. 🙂