Posts Tagged ‘tooth fairy’
“Mummy, is the tooth fairy really real? Like, a real fairy comes? Or is it just you putting money under my pillow and taking my tooth?”
I know she’s suspected this for the last two teeth and she’s probably old enough now for me just to come clean – but I have DS to think about. She’s had eight magical visits from La Fairie Des Teeth - I don’t want it to be ruined for him before he’s even had one.
“Why do you ask?” I said. “Don’t you believe in her?”
“Yes…… I… do,” she said. “But some people don’t?”
“Well, all that matters is that you do. She exists.” (In your imagination, I added, crossing my fingers.)
But then came the moment of the dreaded tooth/cash exchange. I’d asked DD to put the tooth close to the edge of the pillow to “make it easier for the tooth fairy”.
“But she’s a fairy?” DD had retorted in a “der” voice. “She flies! She can do anything.”
DD placed the tooth under the centre of her pillow and plonked her head right on top – a position she was still in when I crept into her room at 10pm to do the deed. I did it as stealthily as I could, balancing on three toes and sliding my hand like a snake under the pillow, but there was a crackle or two of the letter she’d left for TF and then, when I got back to my room, I wondered if she’d actually been faking sleep.
I crept back in and looked at her. She’d changed position, her knees were drawn up. Was she smiling? I went back to my room.
But I couldn’t settle. I had that sinking, quicksand feeling that I’d been caught out; that she’d seen the whole exchange. I went back to her room. “DD,” I whispered, watching her carefully for a tell-tale flicker of the eyelids in the light from the hall. “DD?”
No response. Did I get away with it? I had to wait till morning.
“Did the tooth fairy come last night?” I asked, casually, when she came in to say good morning.
“Yeah,” she said, with equal nonchalance. “15. Can I have toast for breakfast?”
She wasn’t telling – and I wasn’t asking. I wonder how tooth nine will go.
So today was quite a nice day in terms of British autumnal weather, so I decided to do some gardening for my mum. One of the reasons I’m here is because she’s not currently able to do a lot of manual work, so it seemed only fair that I burn off some of the lunchtime Sauvignon Blanc raking up the blanket of wet leaves suffocating the lawn, and pruning deadheads while the children ran riot in the garden, drinking in the fresh air and wearing themselves out for bedtime.
And, as I raked up piles of leaves from the old oak tree, I discovered a couple of teeny-tiny mushrooms encircled by a ring of lush, green grass. Knowing that DD is close to discovering the non-existence of the tooth fairy thanks to her more worldly-wise friends, I decided to get my bid in early.
“Come and see where the fairies live!” I shouted, and over she came, eyes wide with wonder.
“They really live there?” she asked, looking at the mushrooms no bigger than my pinky finger’s nail. “I want to see them!”
“Yes this is their home,” I said very seriously. “But they only come out way after everyone’s asleep. How lucky is granny to have this in her garden?”
DD was genuinely struck with awe. Really, we don’t get mini-mushrooms on our artificial lawn in Dubai. This was a big thing.
But, as she scuttled away to write about it in her holiday diary, my mum came over. “Oh,” she pff-ed, rolling her eyes at the magical grass ring. “I can tell you what that is. That’s where a fox did a wee on the grass.”
That dear little tooth fairy who has, six times, swooped into DD’s room on her dainty fairy wings, taken DD’s teeth and left Dhs 10 under the pillow (causing me violent palpitations on more than one occasion), nearly came to a sticky end last week.
DD was, you see, on a play date with a little girl six months older than herself. Not only six months older, but three years wiser, given she has an older brother.
They were colouring, sweetly, at the kitchen table as I relaxed with a cup of tea.
“You do know the tooth fairy doesn’t exist, don’t you?” I heard the friend ask DD in a chatty manner. “It’s just your mummy putting the money under your pillow?” She carried on colouring, unaware of the bombshell she’d just dropped on my sweet angel.
Sure enough, I heard footsteps, and DD appeared. Thank heavens (or the tooth fairy) that I’d had five seconds to prepare.
“Mummy,” she said. “X says that there’s no such thing as the tooth fairy?”
I looked innocent and sipped my tea.
“She says that it’s just the mummies putting the money under our pillows?”
I continued looking innocent.
“Is that what you do, mummy? Is it you?”
“Of course not,” I said, reasonably, putting my tea cup down in a measured way so as not to meet her eye.
“Oh, okay,” said DD. She trotted back to the kitchen table. “No, it’s not my mummy,” she told her friend. “You might not have a tooth fairy but my tooth fairy is real.”
Oh, the trust.
DD finally lost a tooth. After wobbling a tiny bit for a long time, then a lot for a little time, then leaning precariously at a 45˚ angle for a few days, causing DD to sob in terror at the anticipated blood and gore losing it was going to entail, the first milk tooth finally came out.
I wasn’t there for the momentous occasion.
DD called me from my friend’s mobile phone when she was picked up from school.
“Mummy, I’m SO sorry. I lost my tooth,” she said.
I clucked congratulations down the line; it quite brought a tear to my eye as it seems like only yesterday I sat up in the night with her as she got the tooth in the first place.
“No, really, mummy! I really lost it! I don’t have it for the tooth fairy!”
I sensed the panic in her voice. Her friends had gotten five Dirhams (£1) per tooth. FIVE DIRHAMS!
When she got home, we went over the logistics of when, where, and how it got lost. I’m very good at finding things. I was thinking I might nip down to the school and find the tooth. I wanted it more than she did; they’re precious to me, those little teeth.
“I was in the playground,” she said. “The grassy one… I had my tooth during snack and we only play there after snack. Actually, I only noticed it when I was eating my manakish. And I had that for lunch. I was eating my manakish and Best Friend asked me when my tooth had fallen out and I felt it and it wasn’t there!”
With a sinking feeling, I realised she’d most likely swallowed it with a bite of manakish. And yes, I love her, but no, I am not going through her pooh looking for it.
DD was inconsolable about the tooth fairy. I explained that, like Santa, the tooth fairy just “knew”. Still, DD wrote a note of apology explaining what had happened, popped it under her pillow and went to sleep determined to grin all night so any passing tooth fairy could see the gap.
Meantime, DH and I argued over how much to leave. I told him five Dirhams was the going rate and you really don’t want to upset the apple cart with the other mums. He wanted to give her Dhs 100 (£15). We agreed on Dhs 10.
I slipped it under her pillow with a note from the tooth fairy saying how she’d found the tooth at school and it was safe in her little bag now. In the morning, both DH and I went to wake her up.
Her face, on reading the note from the tooth fairy and finding the money was one of those moments I’ll never forget. Her excitement and wonder than the tooth fairy had come, had found her tooth AND had left money was one of the highlights of my life as a mum so far.
Now I just have to defend myself to the other mums for paying over the market rate…