Tooth Fairy Nightmares

This is how I learned that Jordan lost his first baby tooth.

"Is the tooth fairy real?" he asked tonight, casually, making a little bit of last-minute conversation to postpone bedtime, or so I thought. Just a little philosophy, a little jawing between friends. Caught unawares, I hedged, "some people think the tooth fairy is real."

"Does it leave a prize under your pillow when you lose a tooth?" he asked.

"Sure," I said, tucking the kids into their blankets.

Then I looked at my son, who blanched. I began to catch on that this may not be a rhetorical question. When I inquired into his interest, I learned that indeed, he had lost his first tooth.

Now, when I say lost, I mean lost. It's somewhere in his grandmother's living room, apparently. But I suspect that he may have hidden that little sucker on purpose, because under pressure and with use of interrogation techniques it came out that Jordan is terrified of the tooth fairy. He's not partial to the idea of someone (or something) slipping under his pillow in the night, not even for a buck, which I'm told is now the going rate for a tooth. No, he's not partial to that at all. It seems that he understands the tooth fairy to be a seedy fellow who will "tap him on the head" while he's asleep before switching out the tooth for the hard cash.

Well, I wouldn't like that either.

So we had to do some last-minute negotiations. This was after I restored order for being "too happy at him" that he had lost his first tooth. (Pardon me for making note of those rites of passage; back off, Mom.) To resolve the fairy problem, I arranged to contact the tooth fairy directly and request that the funds be left on the table for him to find at breakfast. This, thankfully, was acceptable.

Is it just that we, as adults, forget how horrible and creepy things like having your teeth fall out can be? Are fabrications like the tooth fairy really just for us? Because as charming as I find that little hole in his row of white teeth (a hole he hid carefully all afternoon, mind you), he considers it a hole in his head. That will be rewarded with a midnight bonk from a bedside stranger.

Ah, to be young again. Or not.


PocketCT said...

As a society we really make up the craziest lies to children. Why do we do this? Isn't the fact that teeth fall out and grow back in a wondrous mystery in itself! Even with out some green, winged, wanded thing, who has a gum hole radar, flitting in to exchange ivory and enamel for a bill in our sleep?

The problem is that it is a society thing, if you are one parent who doesn't partake, school, friends, tv commercials and shows will knit the myth for you. And apparently with a new, sadistic, head tapping twist. If you try to go against the tide and succeed in debunking the deal, your kid could feel weird and left out or be the Kindergarden Myth Buster. geeze

I have been intending to write about prevailing lies in society we are fed that are poppy cock but you have just inspired me to a another aspect of this.q

Anonymous said...

First- yes I want to read your blogs -are you getting paranoid- stop that- maybe you need a break at the local Starbucks.
Second- I agree- why all these lies to children, isn't just perfecting the English language enough of a burden to try to sort out and make sense of? You can tell by that sentence I'm still working at "it".
Catch ya later>>>>>