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.