My daughter has now got to the age (almost eight) of perhaps starting to question the very existence of the Tooth Fairy.
This, naturally, was not helped by my recent fuck-ups in this area. I’m sorry for the bad language but there really is no more apt description.
First, she loses a tooth. Fine. Great. Put it under your pillow and the Tooth Fairy will be along later.
I am awoken at the unearthly hour of 5.30am by a hysterical child wondering why the Tooth Fairy (of all ‘people’) had not come and had let her down so badly.
‘Oh, shit!’ exclaimed I (well, I had just woken up) and did my best to console her before coming up with some embarrassingly awful story about it being the annual Tooth Fairy festival that weekend and that the Tooth Fairies would resume normal service the next day.
The next day comes and I ensure the alarm has been set on my phone for 11pm so I don’t forget again. Unfortunately, I cannot find the bloody tooth under the pillow. I search everywhere but to no avail. I leave the money and assume it will turn up sometime.
I am awoken at 5.30am but a much happier but slightly perplexed child who is demanding to know why the Tooth Fairy didn’t take the tooth.
‘Er, she couldn’t find it,’ I just about manage. ‘She came to tell me she couldn’t find it and she’ll come back for it tomorrow.’
Considering that I have just told my child that I have met the Tooth Fairy in person, and conversed with her, she shows a serious lack of curiosity in this department and happily leaves with her money.
So, the next day comes and this sorry saga has now extended to a three-day bonanza. And before you ask, yes I did remember to go and get the bastard tooth. I safely put it in a pot on my dressing table and went to bed.
I am awoken once again. This time by a child who is wondering why her tooth has only made it as far as the pot on my dressing table. Seriously, what the hell was she doing in that pot?!
‘Get out of my pot!’ I exclaim and then pretend it isn’t her tooth at all but one of mine from when I was younger. Apparently, the Tooth Fairy returns them to you when you get older. I have become quite a liar recently.
She clearly doesn’t believe me but lets it go and weeks go by. All is forgotten.
Then she loses another tooth.
I am determined this time to neither forget, nor leave the bedroom without the damned tooth. And I am going to hide it well this time.
‘Mummy, I know why the Tooth Fairy didn’t come.’
‘Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh NO!’ I groan.
My husband wakes panicking, wondering what has happened.
‘Right, everyone go back to sleep, we’ll sort this out in the morning,’ I say assertively to buy some time.
I wonder then if I should just come clean to my daughter but find myself slipping the money under her pillow when she goes down for breakfast.
I hint that she may find something under her pillow if she goes to have a look and she comes back looking happy and says, ‘Mummy, you put that money there, didn’t you?’
Here is my chance, the chance to explain that, yes, the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, that Mummy is sorry that she lied all those years about fairies exchanging money for teeth, but that the upside is she’ll still get the money so really, who cares about the Tooth Fairy?
So, do I do this? Do I hell.
‘Er, no, it was the Tooth Fairy. The reason she was late is that she had to go to Australia last night and only just got back…’