Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Truth about the Tooth Fairy: She isn't perfect

My eleven year old son recently told us that he has know

"for like four years mom"

that the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy weren't real.  It wasn't a shock to him, but rather a slow unfolding, a mystery unveiling with each event when the supposed figure would move in-out of our lives.

The Easter Bunny only comes once a year but in a house with 3 kids who are loosing teeth and one who will someday soon begin, the Tooth Fairy might as well get her own bed and a seat at the table.  When Anthony was young, the tooth fairy (who was also younger) was a pretty reliable figure.  She showed up & paid up.  She was cheap, only offering up a quarter… but he was young and happy just to get something shiny in return for his tooth.  We even had a special little box for the teeth/coins.

As Anthony got older he started trying to find ways to increase he $$ return.  He would leave her notes explaining the amount of blood lost, or how hard he had to work to get the tooth out.  He even spent some time scrubbing one of his teeth to make it cleaner for her in hopes he may get more in return.  And it made sense because the tooth fairy was becoming more and more inconsistent as he got older.  And not just in terms of how much she left ($.25 - $2.00).

Some nights (gasp) she just didn't come.
Well I was up all night with the baby so I guess she didn't have a chance or Yeiks - babysitter didn't tell us Gracie lost a tooth!

Other nights she left the money and also the tooth.   Honey where is that tooth? I saw him put it under the pillow...

One night she just left a note "I couldn't find your tooth last night because your room was too messy".  Yup. Just what I thought.

Finally, we got to a point when Anthony was loosing teeth and not telling us about it.  Maybe that was his ultimate test to see if she was real.  I found a tooth when I changed his sheets. Yuck.

The first few times we fell down on the tooth fairy job my husband & I felt a little guilty.  I mean the tooth fairy responsibilities are not real demanding. If I can't even get THAT right I am in trouble as a parent.  And then I confessed to friends that she was a no-show.  And the response I got was "oh yeah, we forgot once too" or "oh yeah, she is a drunk, she hardly ever comes the first night".  And suddenly I felt so much better.  I had thought I was the only one to forget or not know about some tooth.  Nope.  We all forget.  And it is okay.  I actually think it is good.  Because it get the kids thinking about it all.

I know a lot of parents who don't 'pretend' that the tooth fairy exists and I think that is fine and admirable  - they have great motivations and their hearts are in the right place.

Personally my husband and I think the tooth fairy and easter bunny and leprechaun (who makes the milk turn green on St. Patty's day) is fun.  I am not worried that my kids are going to loose faith in God because of our tooth fairy shenanigans and I am not concerned that we are breeding distrust between the kids and I.

When questioned about it we have always responded with logic.  We have encouraged questioning and testing of reason.  We do not outright lie to the kids about anything.  We have always said "what do you think?" or "Who else would want your teeth?".

I hope in encouraging the reflection we are setting up a good standard for the kids to evaluate any of the mysteries in life.  When tested with both Faith and Logic I am confident that the tooth fairy will not stand up to the test but the truths of the existence of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit will.  And I want my kids to examine these truths as well as they accept Him in their lives.

Now that the con is up with Anthony, he is on 'our side'.  I am relieved because quite often I fall asleep before he does and he is always up earlier than me.  Those hours made the tooth fairy's job a little more difficult.  Anthony is now instructed to alert us to any teeth lost while his dad and I are off on a date night.  He helped hide most of the eggs this year and really loved it.  And we laughed.  We laughed about the notes and the no-show nights.  He is appreciative of the little extra things that 'mom and dad' do to make the world a little more fun every once in a while.  And isn't it nice to be appreciated, especially when we aren't perfect?

How do you handle the tooth fairy and other mythical creatures in your family?
How often do you forget? Are you a 10 per center or more like a 50/50 kind of parent?
What is your best excuse for the tooth fairy or other midnight mishaps?

Thanks for stopping by!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...