November 10, 2010

Caught Out?

My 11 year old son came running in triumphantly on Tuesday morning. Or rather, not quite triumphantly - kind of a mixture of triumph and anger, if that makes any sense. I guess if it was on your own child's face, you would recognise it.

"The tooth fairy didn't come!" he shouted.

I was utterly confused. "Why would the tooth fairy come?"

"Because I lost a tooth yesterday!"

I looked in his open mouth. And yes, it was true. He'd lost a tooth. He'd lost a tooth at school, he's brought it home in his pocket, he'd fetched a glass of water, and he'd put the tooth in the glass of water without telling me after I had gone to bed.

And the tooth fairy didn't come.

He looked at me, his huge eyes glittering. "The tooth fairy didn't come because you didn't know I lost a tooth! YOU'RE the tooth fairy!"

I was stunned. He was trying to catch me out.

I sat there, my mouth hanging open. I seriously had no idea what to say, which is very unusual for me. My son had thought of a hypothesis and falsified it by empirical observation, using true scientific method.

And I've always been crap at science.

I was racking my brains when my nine year old daughter ran into the room. "What happened?" she asked. "I heard yelling!"

My son held up his tooth. "I lost a tooth and the TOOTH FAIRY DIDN'T COME!"

"Oh no!" said my precious, innocent daughter. "Did you leave her a note? And snacks? She always likes to be left snacks."

"No," he said. "The tooth fairy didn't come because MUM DIDN'T KNOW I LOST A TOOTH!"

My daughter looked confused. "Why? Does Mum need to tell the tooth fairy you lost a tooth?"

"No," said my son. "Mum IS the tooth fairy!"

My daughter looks bewildered. I still couldn't speak. From the corner of my eye I saw my husband running into the kitchen in his boxers, rustling around in a cupboard. My son noticed, too. A second later, my husband emerged holding a glass of water with three coins in it.

"Why was this next to my bed?" he asked. Wow. The man is certainly quick. Quicker than me, anyway (which is probably not so very quick at all).

"Oh no!" I exclaimed. "The tooth fairy must have got confused and left your money on Dad's bedside table by mistake!"

My son looked at me with the withering glare he usually reserves for his Wii opponents. "Firstly, I SAW DAD GETTING THAT GLASS," he said. "And secondly, I STILL HAVE THE TOOTH. You guys are SO lame."

Bloody tooth fairy. Looked like she didn't exist after all.

Only the most amazing thing happened. When my son came home from school that afternoon, there was a package on his bed. It contained three Lego Mini-Figures, which my son absolutely loves, and a note.

"I'm so sorry for being late," explained the fairy. "I got struck by a huge kookaburra and broke my wing and spent the night in fairy hospital. Please leave your tooth again tonight and I'll collect it. Love, Your Tooth Fairy."

My son was thrilled, and his sister was no longer confused.

Science may have a lot to offer, but faith still reigns supreme.

23 comments:

  1. Fantastic story! Marry that man! Oh, you have already, good job.

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  2. hehehe i'm sitting here giggling at how clever your son is! But i'm loving that the Lego mini-figs have saved the day in more ways than one ;)

    I'm also saving this one for the memory bank cause i'm sure with 4 kids, i'll be needing some back up ideas at some stage!

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  3. Love it. Usually it involves some slight of hand. "Are you sure she hasn't come?" Lift up pillow and display coin left just inside ...

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  4. I think it's remarkable that your kids have got to that age still believing. I got so fed up with my eldest's grasping materialism that I told him there was no Santa Claus at age ten. 'It's me buddy, I said, 'so you'd better be good if you want any presents.'

    However, I wonder if your 11 year old has known a while. He is the eldest child but I'm willing to bet he has at least one friend who is the youngest child in his family. These kids always find out the truth really early ('cause their elder siblings spill the beans) and like to spoil it for the other kids!

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  5. well done :) We had a similar santa situation the other day - in the end it was decided that santa must be real as Mum and Dad could NOT afford those presents and wouldn't let them have them if they could...Belief is indeed a fragile and wonderful thing
    My boy is obsessed with leggo - off to look up mini figures.

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  6. Oh, that's brought back some memories. Quite few years ago my son found a tooth on his Yr 1 classroom floor, and after a quick check of all the kids mouths without finding any bleeding gaps, the teacher gave it to him 'to take home for the tooth fairy'.

    Damn, what does the tooth fairy do when a random tooth just shows up on a glass of water?

    Well, THIS tooth fairy decided that payment should be half the going rate for a tooth that hadn't fallen out of the mouth of the kid that was offering it.

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  7. The tooth fairy is the most lazy-arsed, early-onset-alzheimers-suffering, good-for-nothing fairy-LOSER in our house.

    Closely followed by the Easter Bunny.

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  8. My kids are such skeptics. My first decided the tooth fairy wasn't real all on his own at the age of four--he just came up to me and said something like, "Mom, I'm sorry to tell you but the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist." It was as if he was thinking I was going to be disappointed! And then Leo spoiled it for my next son, Emmett, who then told my other son, Max, who told my daughter, Nora.

    Sheesh. But I'm glad my kids aren't a bunch of sheep.

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  9. Well done, nice save!! You'd better be on top of Santa or it's ALL OVER!! So sad that high school is going to kill the dreams that my children still believe in - tooth fairy & gang. There is always THAT CHILD who knows EVERYTHING, misinformation about sex, Easter bunny & loves spoiling it for everyone else. Hold onto the sweet dreams for as long as you can. Love Posie

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  10. Hey don't undersestimate your pretending skillz lady. If he's gotten to 11 and still believes, you must be amazing.

    My 8yo always gets lego instead of money as his currency is plastic brick and not coin, so I kind of have to be prepared.

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  11. Good save... The tooth fairy lives another day.

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  12. Bahahaha! LOVE the tooth fairy's excuse. She lies better than she flies. Is there such a thing as fairy radar?....... ;-)

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  13. Great work fairy! Love all the quick thinking. I think I would have crumbled like a stale cookie under all that pressure.

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  14. I wrote the tooth fairy a note once. And some of the questions I asked I only asked in my head. The next morning, the tooth fairy had responded and she had answered ALL of my questions.

    I was convinced.

    Until I found - and I shit you not - the collection of my brother's and my teeth in a little jewellery container on my mother's vanity.

    Firstly, to realise the TF was not real is shock enough. But to do so while confronted with a Haunted House-style collection of teeth, well, that's the kind of stuff that scars you for life.

    My God, there were so many teeth. It's like somebody had assaulted a piano.

    In another adventure, and I apologise for being upfront about this but I grew up on a cattle station, my brother and I pried two teeth from a long dead horse. It took an hour and the teeth were massive.

    We figured, the bigger the teeth, the bigger the pay-out. Turns out the Tooth Fairy didn't know squat about economics.

    And my faith in things that are too good to be true has been destroyed.

    So, err, there you have it.

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  15. I too am at a loss for words. The cleverness of your son, the quick thinking of your husband, the loss of childhood magic and that accusation that you are somehow to blame.
    Wow! What a moment and story. At least I'll have a better idea how to handle it if it ever happens in this house lol
    Well done!

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  16. The tooth fairy fills me with dread (by the way the word verification below is dreadd - spooky). I have so many bad memories of forgetting the tooth fairy, I was hopeless. Used to say she was probably too busy & sometimes it would take 2 nights before she got there. Worked until they found the box of teeth in my bedside table bottom drawer. Sprung.

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  17. 007 has nothing on this parenting business. Try explaining when all the Christmas presents fall out of the cupboard on your head when you were rummaging for some Halloween costumes.... Sympathies to ya'

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  18. Love this - it happened to me not that long ago. Daughter caught me out! Wxcept I just pointed to my back and said "Do I look like I've got wings?' and huffed out of the room! (All the while heart beating wildly hoping that I'd done a convincing job!)

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  19. that is hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  20. I think it's remarkable that your kids have got to that age still believing. I got so fed up with my eldest's grasping materialism that I told him there was no Santa Claus at age ten. 'It's me buddy, I said, 'so you'd better be good if you want any presents.'

    However, I wonder if your 11 year old has known a while. He is the eldest child but I'm willing to bet he has at least one friend who is the youngest child in his family. These kids always find out the truth really early ('cause their elder siblings spill the beans) and like to spoil it for the other kids!

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  21. Fantastic story! Marry that man! Oh, you have already, good job.

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