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Tooth Fairy BUSTED!

“Don’t tell Mummy!” Son2 glanced at his brother and stifled a laugh as my curiosity grew. He brought his index finger to his mouth. “Shhh.”

“Don’t tell Mummy what?” I asked, deeply suspicious.

Hopeless at keeping a secret, Son2 then proceeded to tell me anyway: he’d lost a tooth. I peered into his mouth, and there was indeed a new gap, next to a huge front tooth that still looks oversized in comparison to his milk teeth.

The end of a chapter in our lives

“Tooth fairy tonight,” I said brightly.

“But mum,” said Son1, from the other side of the lounge, where he was playing on his computer. He pulled his headsets off to actually join in the conversation. “THE TOOTH FAIRY IS FAKE!”

I stalled for time, considering whether just to come clean. To be honest, it would have been a relief. My mind was already trying to figure out whether I had any small notes in the house, and I’m over remembering, exhausted, at 2 in the morning that I need to play tooth fairy. But if I admitted she wasn’t real, wouldn’t they then immediately clock that we’ve been lying about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus too? It was a slippery slope I didn’t feel quite ready to go down, so I replied, “Of course she’s real. Why weren’t you going to tell me about the tooth anyway?”

“Because the tooth fairy is daddy,” said Son1, pinning his gaze on DH on the other sofa. “That’s why we weren’t going to tell you – if the tooth was still under the pillow in the morning, then we’d know for sure we’re right. William’s tooth stayed under his pillow for three days before he finally told his parents and then he got money.”

“What makes you think it’s daddy?” I asked, my nose twitching with the effort of staying deadpan.

“Because,” said Son1 as though it was completely obvious, “the last time he forgot. When we came downstairs in the morning and said the tooth fairy hadn’t been, daddy quickly said ‘Here, hold this,’ and gave me his plate while he ran upstairs to put money under the pillow.”

“Ah, yes.” I gave a small cough. I remembered the incident well.

“And,” Son1 continued, rolling his eyes, “daddy left the tooth under the pillow.”

I think that’s us just about rumbled! Best-case scenario now is that the Santa myth is hanging by a single crimson thread.

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Tooth fairy fail

If you follow this blog, you might know that my older son and his six-year-old Girl Next Door have quite a thing for each other.

They’re in the same class at school, and yesterday, they decided it would be fun to lose milk teeth on the same day.

Son1’s wobbly tooth had been threatening to fall out for about a month, but the sight of red blood petrifies him, so he was ultra careful not to dislodge the tooth, until it finally fell out of its own accord in French class. Girl Next Door is braver: in order to lose her slightly-wobbly pearly white on the same day as her best friend, she worked on it for hours.

Her efforts to forcibly remove her tooth were successful and the pair apparently did a little song and dance in class together, anticipating that the tooth fairy would descend on our street after bedtime.

But the wee pixie must have been having a rough night – might even have been a US government employee and not working – because her visit to our compound didn’t quite go to plan.

By the sixth tooth, the fairy's turned bad
By the sixth tooth, the fairy’s turned bad

8.30pm, Our house
After nearly 14 hours on the go, I’m bribing the boys, knackered-mum-style, to settle down and go to sleep. “Get to bed – if you don’t, the tooth fairy won’t come.” Cue more wailing from my youngest, who always wants me to stay two-going-on-20 more minutes.

They finally go to sleep and I creep back in, money in hand and practically on tippy-toe in my attempt to not make a sound (the finish line – the end-of-the-day sit down – is in sight, hallelujah!).

I shove the crumpled note under Son1’s pillow, and swipe the tissue-wrapped tooth, to store in my silver keepsakes box (like I’m some kind of tribal hunter, collecting trophy teeth for necklaces). But I’m tired, it’s the sixth tooth he’s lost, and I just want to sit down. In my haste, I’ve tucked the note under the corner of the pillow, rather than safely ensconced deeper in.

The next morning, 6.10am
I’m roused from a deep slumber by Son1, who’s standing by the side of the bed looking cross. “Mum, the tooth fairy TOOK my tooth and left NO money!” (Bad-ass fairy). “Oh dear,” I muster, sleepily. “Try the floor, I’m sure it’s there somewhere.”

6.30am, Next door
Girl Next Door comes down the stairs hiding something behind her back and excitedly says: “Mom, guess what the Tooth Fairy brought me?!!”
 It’s then that her mom realises what she’s forgotten to do. Girl Next Door thrusts her arms out from behind her back and, her excitement dissolving into anger, shouts: “NOTHING!!!!! She brought me NOTHING!”

We did eventually find the note in the boys’ bedroom, and I’m quite sure the tardy tooth fairy will fully compensate Girl Next Door tonight, but something tells me our lovebirds won’t be so quick to lose/pull teeth in unison again.

You might also like: Tooth fairy trouble: How MUCH?

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Milk teeth are like buses

I’ve finally been able to play tooth fairy! It’s felt quite a long time coming, because BB, who’s nearly seven, appeared to be holding onto his milk teeth for dear life – until one popped out last week.

It started wobbling a while ago. Then BB was able to swing it precariously with his tongue. He was both alarmed by its looseness, and excited by my reaction. “BB’s got a wobbly tooth!” I told anyone in our household who’d listen. “That means the tooth fairy will visit – if you’re good!” [a Santa twist, but Christmas is coming!]

After several weeks of hanging by a hinge, and BB refusing to bite into anything in case there was blood and gore, the tooth finally fell out – at school.

When he got home, he happily told us what had happened.

“Mummy, LOOK! My tooth fell out in the cafeteria. I’ve put it in my lunchbox.”

Childhood magic: The tooth fairy is a clever little pixie who knows which pillows to visit
We opened his lunchbox and took everything out carefully. We peered inside, then looked through the contents again. But, alas, no tooth.

“Are you sure BB? Maybe you swallowed it?”

“Someone must have stolen it,” he decided, rather forlornly. “Because they want the tooth fairy to come.”

That night, I suggested tentatively that we write a note to the tooth fairy to explain.

“Dear Tooth Fairy,” wrote BB, in his best left-handed scrawl [he tends to write backwards, but not this time]. “I lost my tooth. Please come anyway.”

The note was pinned on his bedroom door and BB drifted off to sleep safe in the knowledge that the tooth fairy wouldn’t give the money to whoever had stolen the tooth because the thief was sure to be a snorer who sleeps with his mouth open. The tooth fairy would see there wasn’t a gap – and anyway she just knows.

I slipped 10dhs under his pillow and crept away, knowing I probably wouldn’t see his reaction as it was my 5k race in the morning and I had to get up before sunrise.

But, my desire to actually see a tiny tooth nestled in tissue came true the next day, because – like buses – another rootless, pearly white dropped out that he managed not to lose. I have to admit I pored over it, turning it over like a precious stone and feeling quite emotional. It feels like yesterday, after all, that those teeth were just poking through, and now, here he is, getting all big and grown up on me.

So the tooth fairy has been twice, BB now loves to pull a gappy grin to show off the hole, and I’ve started a milk tooth collection in a silver keepsakes box.

The only upset person is BB’s little brother who now desperately wants to lose a tooth too. “When will my teeth wobble?” he’s been asking every night.

And, yes, I can’t help but wonder if the first tooth was in fact stolen – from under our noses, by LB.

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Tooth Fairy Trouble: How MUCH?

My oldest son appears to be hanging on to his milk teeth for dear life, but I hear from friends that when a child loses his or her first tooth, the question crops up: How much does the tooth fairy pay these days?

I’m also told that the amount you slip under the pillow soon becomes public knowledge, with every child (and mother) in your little un’s class finding out the exact denomination the wee pixie stumped up the next day.

The following story happened to a friend of mine and I’m retelling it here because I think it’ll resonate with anyone who’s ever wondered if they’ve paid too much, or too little, for a tooth….

Did I mention the dolphins?
“Although few and far between, opportunities to get away from it all for a day or two pop up for most families. Time being of the essence, I started to consider a ‘staycation’ – a holiday at home – and what better place than the Atlantis?

Built on The Palm – land reclaimed from the sea and shaped into a colossal palm tree – guests not only stay in the most beautiful rooms and play around elegant pools and beach huts, they can also get up close and personal with dolphins. And to top it all, The Atlantis hosts Aquaventure, a magnificent aquatic theme park filled with so many different types of water slides and play areas it’s hard to cover them all in one day.

Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? Of course, there’s something for everyone; of course, we all want to go; but of course, once a few enquiries have been made the shout comes up as “….HOW MUCH?” However, after more than four years in Dubai, eventually along came the opportunity to justify a visit – and how can we possibly not go just once?

Leap of Faith: Daredevil riders are catapulted through a shark-filled lagoon
The room was indeed splendid and thanks to some clever sliding door/wall trickery the children could even watch TV in the bath. The food was top class; again, “…how much…?” we cried weakly as we melted into some of the best Italian food we have ever had.

The highpoint, however, was indeed Aquaventure; two whole days of sliding and splashing, screaming and laughing, floating and gliding, at the end of which the children (and me!) crawled back to our room to sit, motionless, in the bath and roll straight into bed without a single protest.

This was especially so for one little boy, who, after weeks of wobbling, finally lost another tooth during our stay. The minor incident of only realising it was gone over a sumptuous breakfast resulted in DH making a break-neck dash to get back to the room before housekeeping to pluck this little tooth from between the sheets. Because of course, wherever you are, the Tooth Fairy will always come…. (phew!)

“Will the Tooth Fairy definitely know we’re at the Atlantis?” asked a tired DS that night, his head and body folding up into the sheets like an envelope. “Of course darling,” I crooned, “She knows exactly where you are,” and with that he fell fast asleep.

I was quick to follow; falling face down into those pristine white sheets, only vaguely aware that DH was leaving to go downstairs to meet up with some friends we’d bumped into that day.

On returning to our room, DH had the wherewithal to remember to remove the precious tooth and pop a note down in its place. In the UAE, even small amounts are represented in note form, 5dhs (approximately 85p or $1.35) being the smallest.

“How much did you get?” Even children newly informed about the Tooth Fairy are already in no doubt about the true relevance of her visit
But where could he find this ‘change’? He didn’t appear to be carrying any himself. Aren’t I always the person to be relied upon to supply just the very small amount he always seems to be without? Aren’t I always the one with that extra dirham required for the parking meter? After fumbling around for my bag in a very dark… (boy, those blackout curtains were good!)…. and did I say, glorious, room, DH finds my purse and wrestles a note from within.

Morning arrives, and the children wake up first, of course. As DH and I are dragging ourselves into consciousness, the squeals of delight start. I’m instantaneously horrified that I forgot all about Tooth Fairy Duty and equally grateful that DH had not.

“Mummy! Daddy!” shouts DS. “The Tooth Fairy! She found me!” We manage all the right noises as we struggle to remain horizontal with two excited children now bouncing up and down on our bed. “How much did you get?” asks DD.

“TWO HUNDRED DIRHAMS!!!!!!” DS exclaims! ……. Both of us bolt upright in bed, “HOW MUCH……?”

We were powerless. Utterly powerless, just about managing, “Yes darling, THAT.IS.A.LOT of money. Yes, it must have been because she was The Atlantis Tooth Fairy. And…, yes ….. she’s very generous……”

The incident left us with two problems: How to not give a small boy nearly £34/$55 for one tooth; but worse, how to keep him quiet? We did manage to prise the precious note out of DS’s clutches – with the promise of an ice cream. But great were my blushes at the school gate as mothers cast those oh-so critical looks…”