Monday, February 19, 2007

The tooth fairy


We are begining the struggle of WHEN to tell our oldest about the non-existance of such characters as the tooth fairy. Especially since she is noticing that there are some injustices, like that her friends get $5.00 a tooth and she gets a buck. I hope that she hasn't turned this scam around and is just trying to get me to stick a few more dollars under that pillow. I am still finding it hard to believe that parents actually pay that much for a tooth. Anyway, I really think that she probably could figure it out if she hasn't already, but she has such an imaginary mind. I know that I shouldn't be so silly about this and just tell her, but that makes me feel like she is not longer my "little" girl. I am looking for some fun way to break the truth so that it hurts us both a lot less. Here is a funny write up that I found about tooth fairy and I would love to hear any suggestions about what worked for you.
How did the whole "Tooth Fairy" thing get started?

Clearly the Tooth Fairy is a disturbed individual. Think about it. Why would a fairy want loose teeth? Even more bizarre, why would she pay good money for them? There are no answers here, only questions. However, we were able to track down a few theories about how the legend began.

The Straight Dope tackled this topic back in 2004. According to their crack staff, "The tooth fairy as we now know her didn't make an appearance until the early 1900s." Her popularity may have hit the mainstream in 1949 when a popular children's story by Lee Rogow was published.

So did Ms. Rogow come up with the idea of a fairy paying kids for their teeth? Maybe, maybe not. As the Straight Dope (and other sources) explain, history is full of rituals involving baby teeth.

For example, some cultures believed in throwing the tooth over a roof. Others believed in feeding the tooth to an animal, often a mouse. In fact, there's a French fairy tale in which a fairy changes into a mouse to help defeat an evil king. "The mouse hides under a pillow to taunt the king, and punishes him by knocking out all his teeth."

At least now the fairy waits for the teeth to fall out naturally before she collects.


Lisa said...

My oldest hasn't yet started losing his teeth, but I don't look forward to having to tell him about Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. Makes me wish we hadn't ever started the whole charade in the first place!

Trey Morgan said...


WHAT? You guys are telling me there's not a Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and Easter Bunny?

Next you're going to try and tell me that there's really no NASCAR fairy who brings NASCAR tickets to all the good boys!

Mommysmart said...

I have wondered if this "lying to our kids" stuff is really a good idea. But, I have to tell you that I have great childhood memories of all this.


I'm sorry. I never imagined that you still believed. I will more closely sensor you from my rated "R" blog posts next time. If there were a NASCAR fairy, then I would wish for less trafic around here during that time of the year. I will keep my ears open for tickets. They give them away on the radio alot around here.

Lisa said...

I have a feeling I'm going to be tuning out Preacher Trey for the next few months ... so much talk of Nascar in the last three days!! UGH!

Monica, sometimes I feel guilty about the lying stuff. I mean, why even start it? But, like you, I don't have any traumatic feelings of finding out the truth when I was a kid, and I know I enjoyed for a while thinking there really was a Santa Claus (sorry, Trey), etc. Even if my conscience wanted me to tell the kids about SC, EB, TF, etc., my husband most certainly would not allow that!! I guess you just wait for them to find out from their older, "wiser" friends from school, don't you?

The Preacher's Household: said...

My son's tooth started coming in before he lost the old one which made the new one come in sideways. This meant the struggle was on to force his other loose teeth out because all of them had teeth waiting or coming out. Anyway, during one of the struggles, he yells out, "I don't even believe in the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny or Santa". I took my hand out of his mouth and asked him to repeat that because surely I had miss understood. He explained that one of the wiser (not) kids at church said he was a baby for still believing in all that. We had a talk about if you don't believe, then you don't receive. I said,"Wouldn't it be sad if the girls received and you did not or even if you caused them to not believe so that no one received?" His response was, "Well, I knew there was a Santa, cuz you two are too cheap to buy me what he does." If you knew us, you would laugh. The tooth fairy only leaves a quarter here.
I will say, that in conversations like this, we make a point to NOT lie. I did not tell him that he was right or wrong, only that he needed to believe in the spirit of Christmas if he wanted to get presents. We are especially careful in this gray area because we want him to never question the validity of God or that we are trustworthy. We also point out at bedtime devotionals that God is different from all of the holiday heros.

Trey Morgan said...

Actually .. the bad thing is you don't want your kids to lump God in to the pile of fictious characters. It can be confusing.

Sorry Lisa ... no more NASCAR talk. :(

Lisa said...

I like that, Kathy, making sure to not lie about it, but instead talking about believing in the spirit of Christmas, etc. I think I'm going to try wording things different, both so I don't feel guilty about lying, and also so the kids will not be confusing God with fiction. Thanks for that advice!

Trey, you know I'm only teasing.

Mommysmart said...

Kathy and Lisa,
Thanks for your thoughts. I really think that all kids come to an age of greater understanding and she is there. I had a lady once tell me that she would tell her kids, once the no longer "believed", that the spirit of holidays is a secret and once you know that secret then you have to be the spirit of the holidays to others. Lots to think about!


My fear is exactly what you pointed out. A relationship with God should never be compared to a fictional character.

Thanks everyone!

Doris Pender said...

Lying to our kids is not a great idea. But it's okay to tell them stories about these kinds of stuff, just as long as you tell them that they are all fictional.