Sometimes kids ask the darnedest questions. On the way to dance class last night my 8 year old heard something at school and wanted to know if it was true. “Can 9 year olds get pregnant?” What??? “I guess it is possible, but it won’t happen to you when you turn 9 in TWO weeks!”
Thankfully we arrived at dance and I avoided any further discussion on that topic! Then on the drive home I reminded her she needed to write the Tooth Fairy a letter as she lost another tooth that day and she had another one for me. “Is the Tooth Fairy real?” Oh No.
“Why, what have you heard?” My way of trying to not tell her if I don’t have to. But I had to. Everyone at school was telling her Mom & Dad take your tooth and leave the note and a surprise under your pillow.
We have big rules at my house about keeping secrets (bad) and telling lies (really bad) so I had to come clean. I treaded carefully, I didn’t want to throw Santa under the bus just yet if I didn’t have to. Here is how it went down:
Me: “I am not going to lie to you & you asked me so, after you Pinky Promise to not tell your two younger sisters, I will let you in to the Tooth Fairy Club.” . . . after said Pinky Promise was complete . . .”Yes, I am your Tooth Fairy” I said and then held my breath in anticipation . . she’s an emotional girl and I worried the truth would crush her.
8 year old: “Really?” her whole face lit up, giant smile like she new the biggest Secret ever kept. Eyes as wide as they were in Disney. “YOU are the tooth fairy?”
Me: “I have saved every note you have written to the tooth fairy and all the teeth you’ve left under your pillow. Mommies do this when you lose your first few teeth so it’s not a scary thing. Waiting for the tooth fairy makes losing your teeth a little exciting and growing up fun!”
8 year old: “Wow. That’s cool. So you wrote all those notes?”
Me: “Yup. You Ok with this?”
8 year old: “Yeah” . . .pause . . . TEARS . . . the crying I had anticipated was starting!
She didn’t know why she was crying but I suspected it’s how any of us feel when we find out things are not how they had always seemed. This was big news for her. For the next hour I was “Positive Mommy” and talked about how cool it was that now she was in the Tooth Fairy Club. She could be her 5 year old sisters Tooth Fairy when she lost her first tooth and that this was something special she knew and was to keep close to her so others could still have the joy of the Tooth Fairy. She of course would still write her letter that night, and I would write a special letter back as her “Pinky Friend” now.
I showed her the 2 years worth of lost teeth and tooth fairy letters I had and I promised her nothing would change. The Tooth Fairy would still visit her if she wanted her to. But she struggled. She was not sure if knowing the secret was better than believing in the Tooth Fairy. She asked me lots of questions. I answered them all with honesty, a smile and a giant Positive spin!
We talked about how getting older makes you a little smarter and I reminded her how she questioned Cinderella at Disney just a few months ago. One minute Cinderella was in the restaurant having lunch with us and the next she was on stage outside the castle dancing. She knew it wasn’t possible and hinted that Cinderella was someone “just dressed up”.
8 year old: “That’s right, there were Cinderella’s everyone. It was hard to tell which one was the REAL one!”
LOL!! Oh thank goodness, all innocence is not lost. Santa, your secret is still safe at this house, but Easter Bunny, I think you might be next!
How will you respond when your child asks you if the Tooth Fairy is real?