Visited site: Katmary Gallery – Flickr
Teeth replacement is really an interesting phase in childhood. Before the loss of the first milk tooth, the child gets a little apprehensive. They don’t know when it will occur, if the loss will hurt, if the eruption of the permanent tooth will also hurt and so on. In order to ease the process, I think, they invented the Tooth Fairy story, as a little extra incentive.
I, particularly, only learned about this story a long time after I had grown up; there was no such fantasy tradition as this, in my family. But I thought this approach was nice and decided to use this strategy with my kids.
Teeth replacement has been calm here at home. My children think the loose tooth is cool, they get happy with the Fairy’s monetary reward. But they grow up, don’t they? Then, they start suspecting the stories.
Once, my first-born son (at that time, he was six years old), asked me:
“Mom, does the Tooth Fairy really exist?”
“Because I want to know if she is true or if she is invented.”
I thought, thought, Gee, if I say she does not exist, I pass off as a liar, don’t I? And what’s the problem with one more fantasy? And if he, knowing the truth, ends up destroying the fantasy of his youngest brothers? I solved the question with this:
“Do you want her to exist?”
“I’m not sure, I think I do.”
“Do you want her to exist?” – I insisted.
“So, done: she exists for you, and that’s what matters.”
Both of us, he and I, were glad with the resolution.
Some days later, one of his foreteeth fell off. He left it under his pillow, as usual, expecting the Fairy’s coming. In the next day, with the tooth in his hand, he said to me:
“Look, Mom, the sheets got in the way of the Fairy.”
“What do you mean?…”
“The sheets are white, Mommy, like the tooth. The Fairy didn’t see the tooth, therefore she didn’t take it and didn’t leave me a coin.”
I looked with “those eyes” to the father, the logistic responsible for leaving the coin (that he had clearly forgotten). He was laughing. I agreed with my son:
“You’re right, let’s leave it again, that Fairy is a little shortsighted.”
In the next morning, the child came again:
“Hey, Mommy, is a broken tooth worth less?”
“It is, my tooth was a little broken and this must be the reason why the Fairy, instead of giving me $1, gave me 25 cents…”
Of course somebody was laughing a lot in the room beside ours, who justified to me, later: “I didn’t have another coin in my wallet…”
(I saw a tweet with a joke, saying that the Tooth Fairy teaches children, in a mercenary way, to sell human body parts, which is forbidden by law hahahahahaha!)
With this episode, I saw only gains:
I realized how clever my son is: doing mathematical calculations, applying financial education fundaments, practicing logical reasoning. The most important, however, was seeing him developing the fantasy, getting highly plausible reasons in order to keep it alive.
Fantasy forever! And, we, grown-up people, are the ones who need it more!
(My kids, up until now, still believe in the Tooth Fairy).
You can also see: this post in Portuguese: A Fada dos Dentes