Over the years I have attempted several times to actually publish a post on how our family addresses the subject of Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. However, like so many other posts I have started, I failed to finish them before I lost my train of thought or forgot about them completely. But not today. This one is getting published (and if it doesn’t, well, no one will ever know because it will still be in draft mode). So here I go…
Even before Halle was born, Rob and I had decided we were always going to be truthful with our kiddos about the fictitious characters that supposedly sneak into your house and leave children little goodies. It wasn’t because either of us had traumatic experiences growing up when we found out that our parents were actually the man in red and the little fairy that takes your teeth. It is just that long term, we want them to always trust what we tell them. Especially about things they are putting their hope and trust in. And we felt that telling them from day one that Santa and the tooth fairy were pretend would keep us consistent in our convictions.
Now before any one starts to conclude that, because of what we are doing, our girls are missing out on a very fun childhood experience, know that we do honor these traditions. We definitely do not want to be known as the family with “those kids” who go around telling other kids that Santa and the tooth fairy are not real. So we decided that in our family we would pretend to believe. Just like the girls play dress-up and pretend to be princesses, star wars characters, harry potter, peter pan, pirates, and all other things fictitious and fun, we (rob and me) also pretend to be Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. Not with dress up clothes, mind you. But with words and fun stories and “evidence” of their presence in our home. And the girls know this, and have fun playing along.
We have also coached our girls to use this pretend lingo when around other kids. Because no one really knows which of Halle, Dee, and Gracie’s friends and peers believe (or don’t believe), by having them talk about their own pretend experiences our girls won’t ever be the spoiler for any unknowing kid. Now I know there are still faults with this approach. But Rob and I felt it was the best win/win way to handle the manner. The girls know the truth, and they still have a fun magical experience with it all.
So anyways, this past week turned out to be a very busy one for the “tooth fairy.” Gracie lost her first tooth last Thursday and then Dee proceeded to lose two more of her teeth in the following days. But before I jump into the main story for this post, it is important to let you know that the tooth fairy that comes to our house has a reputation of forgetting (you can read about one of those incidents here). Just don’t be too hard on her, OK. Know that she is very exhausted at the end of the day, so she prefers to save her flying around and picking up teeth to do early in the morning, when she wakes up (4am-ish).
Now because it was Gracie’s first tooth, the sweet girl was all excited about discovering what the pretend tooth fairy would bring her. She put her tooth in the pouch of the tooth fairy doll/pillow the night before and then went to bed. The next morning when I woke up, I had my coffee and devotional and then went for my run, completely forgetting that I had something else very important to do. When I had got back and was doing my post-run stretches I hear bitter weeping and extreme sadness coming from the twins’ room. UGH!! I knew exactly what had happened. Dang that tooth fairy!!!!
I quickly ran into the room to console sweet, disappointed Gracie. And as I was doing so, I was fortunate to discover that the tooth had slipped out of the pouch and remained (unknown to Gracie) under her pillow. As I was showing Gracie that ‘look the tooth is gone,’ I quickly picked up her tooth and kept it concealed in my hand. She was so upset at not having some prize under her pillow and a note to read, that I didn’t have the heart to let her miss out on the full experience of losing her first tooth. So I decided to reason with Gracie since the tooth is gone, that MAYBE the tooth fairy did come. And WHAT IF she put the note and money under another pillow in the house. Gracie and Dee had both slept down in the basement a couple of nights before, so I suggested that MAYBE the tooth fairy left her something under the pillow down there. I told her to go potty, brush her teeth, and then do down and check.
That gave me enough time to race downstairs and put money under the pillow on the bed in the basement. Whew, that was a close one! But that didn’t give me enough time to write her the much anticipated tooth fairy note. Dee and Halle have always loved the notes signed by “TF” because their names are never spelled correctly and there are always goofy words of congratulations addressed to Holly, Lee, Haley, Brie, etc… So when Dee and Gracie were going to the basement to look for the money, I was able to make a note. On the envelope I wrote, ‘please give to your sister’ and I put it under Dee’s pillow. Then inside the letter, I wrote to “Macie” and said that the money was under a different pillow and she would have to hunt for it. That tooth fairy is a clever one!
Later in the morning, when the girls went to make their beds Dee discovered the note. And Gracie was even more excited knowing that she had received the full TF package and with an extra treasure hunt in the process. And the tooth fairy redeemed herself :-)
Not wanting to repeat a forgetful moment again, when Dee lost two more teeth just days later, I put a post it note on the coffee pot the night before to remind me when I come downstairs the next morning. That meant Dee had two envelopes of a note and $ waiting for her when she woke up. And everyone was happy.
I have to throw out somehow in this post that Dee still doesn’t fully grasp this pretend thing. And last Christmas she even asked me, “so do they keep all those Santa Claus costumes [that all the people at the stores dress up in] at the North Pole?” Sweet girl. I just answered, “MAYBE they do.”