Thursday, January 22, 2009

a little white lie about the tooth fairy...

Despite a large number of false alarms, Talia has her first real loose tooth.
She now pretty much always has her fingers in her mouth, trying to wiggle loose the tiny little tooth that is the size of a bitty grain of rice, and her excitement over this rite of passage has brought on the inevitable.

"Is the Tooth Fairy real?" She asked me last night.

With Samuel, I skirted the issue, careful not to lie to my firstborn. I was careful to practice the art of honest parenting.

"Do you want the Tooth Fairy to be real?" I'd asked him.
"Only if she is," he'd said.
"Well," I tried, "what do you think?"
"I think I wish she was real, but I know she's probably not."
"Hmmm," I nodded.
"And Mommy," he added, "I don't really want some strange fairy putting things under my pillow, so if she's real, I really want to know."

I knew how he felt. As a kid, when I'd lost a tooth at my cousin sister Princess Mikkimoto's house, it creeped me out so much to think about a little fairy messing around near my head while I slept that my lovely uncle graciously put the tooth under his pillow and the fairy left the treats there. I remember staying awake, listening for the fairy, or the dogs to bark at the fairy's arrival, and feeling guilty that I'd made Uncle Dick carry the burden of my weakness.

But there was a dollar under his pillow in the morning.

And I told Samuel that what he suspected about the fairy was the truth, despite my feeble attempts to keep the story alive by programming the Tooth Fairy's "cell phone number" onto my phone. Still, whenever he loses a tooth, he dutifully puts it under his pillow each time and is always pleased to see the fairy dust (glitter kept in my closet for each such occasion) and treat in the morning. I can tell that he's glad he knows the truth because that's what kind of a person he is, but that something in him still wishes he could believe the story.

So when Tali asked me about the Tooth Fairy. I did what I knew I should do for her.

I flat-out lied.

"Absolutely," I told her. "We should give her a call to let her know your tooth is loose so that she can get things ready."

"Oooooh! I'll write her a letter!" Tali said, always happy to utilize her new spelling skills. "And maybe when I lose the tooth, I'll leave her a treat, too, like kids leave for Santa Claus. I can leave some cookies under my pillow for her!"

"Um, Bunny... I don't think that's a great idea," I said, thinking about crumbs in bed.

"Oh, you're right," She agreed nodding. "Everyone knows Santa isn't real."


Becky said...

OMG that is so cute! And I forwarded this to my dad. Our hero!
(My favorite is when he said he would give you their house if your plane crashed on the way back to Seattle...)

And um, who says Santa isn't real? WHAT??!

Anonymous said...

wonderful,wonderful blog Amy! and the punch line, so unexpected. Santa is real at our house butthe Easter Bunny is on the brink of extinction.