Milestones don’t come thick and fast as your children morph into small people, not like they did in the baby days anyway. I suppose you could count things like ‘The first time my daughter slammed a door in my face’ or ‘first time she wanted to walk a few steps ahead of me’, milestones which we are yet to reach, thank god.
But, this week, we were really excited because we did hit a pretty special, proper, childhood moment. Our eldest daughter lost her first baby tooth.
How this is even possible, I don’t know. Well, scientifically it’s completely normal – she’s a whisper away from six, and loads of her friends have been sporting gappy smiles for a good while, as is expected in year one. But how we have gone from sticking our fingers in her gummy mouth to feel that first sharp slither of tooth, to here, doesn’t seem possible. Like so many other things, it’s a reminder she’s growing up, and growing up fast.
In fact, I probably should have been more prepared, should have seen it coming. But the boy who cried wolf / girl who cried wobbly tooth, left me a little sceptical about any teeth going anywhere, until there it was, on the floor, narrowly missing being swallowed in a piece of chocolate brioche.
And so with masses of excitement and distraction of the bloody gums, we took the inevitable photo, wrapped the little tooth up in toilet roll, and popped it in a safe place until bedtime. A very safe place in fact – the tooth pillow that she got for Christmas, which in a bizarre way disturbed me because it was a step too far away from the uber traditional tooth under the pillow. But anyway.
And then came the questions.
The going rate
To be honest, she was oblivious as to how much money she would receive. She was more excited about the prospect of a magical visitor. But we suddenly realised the tooth fairy may have been subject to inflation since 1986, and therefore we should be sure we don’t mess with the status quo. Kids must talk, right? Equally, with a lot more teeth and a little sister coming up through the ranks, we don;t want to set ourselves up for bankruptcy.
In our wisdom, we reckoned that the 50p of old has probably increased more to the likes of a quid. And, seeing as it’s a first tooth, perhaps a really shiny big £2 coin would be perfect.
It seems we are divided on this, as the other parents ranged from ten pence (bit tight, no?) right up to multiple notes, gifts, certificates and glitter. It’s a cultural thing, apparently.
Debating aside, it ultimately came down to what we had kicking around at home, so two quid it was. And anyway, she’d never know it came out of her money box, right?
Who is the tooth fairy anyway?
Back in the day, the tooth fairy was the tooth fairy, Father Christmas was the Chrimbo king, and the Easter Bunny left you an egg.
Nowadays, with elves on shelves, mini eggs on shelves from January, and Fairy doors on every skirting board (we have at least three), it’s all got a little bit complicated.
For example, we were asked directly by Tigs, whether our resident fairies, Sprinkle and Peanut were the tooth fairies.
“Errrr, I don’t think so but they probably know her”.
“Does the tooth fairy come through the fairy door?”
“Yep, I’m pretty sure she does.”
“What does she look like?”
That’s actually a good question. What does she look like? If she is even a she?
“What does the tooth fairy do with the teeth Mummy?”
Okay, this one really flummoxed me. I don’t remember this one ever being covered when I was a kid, so do I go off piste? Think on my feet? Talk about grinding them up to make fairy dust, or threading them into necklaces, or making them into furniture…
“I don’t actually know darling”
Maybe we should write her a letter to ask her? (Realises this will require a fairy handwritten reply…let’s hope she forgets this one).
A close shave
And so many hours later, as my head has hit the pillow, and I’m halfway to dreamland, it hit me. The tooth! Leaping out of bed like I’d overslept, I managed to sneak the tooth out of the pillow unawares, shake out a two quid coin from her money box (argh, I will put it back…) and slip it back in the tooths place undisturbed.
Nice work, Ninja Mum. But I can see where this is going to go wrong over the coming years, and some back up plans for forgetting to slip that tooth are going to be required in the bank.
I’m pretty sentimental when it comes to stashing little bits and pieces, memories and keepsakes. But bodily parts…what’s the status quo on this folks? It kinda seems wrong to throw that tiny first tooth in the bin, but also kinda creepy to keep it? I have a vivid memory of finding a pot of teeth in my Mums bedroom when I was a kid, it totally freaked me out. I must ask my Mum if they’re still there…
So anyway, for now I’ve found a pretty great hiding place for the little tooth in tissue. So good, in fact that I have no idea where I put it.
Let’s just hope Tigs doesn’t find it before me.