So, my son was never one to buy into the tooth fairy or Santa or the Easter bunny. While some of it was certainly our doing as painfully open and honest parents(some would say to a fault), much of his skepticism stems from who he is and how his mind works. In many ways it was serendipitous that we didn’t engage in the bizarre practice of telling our child that some strange creature comes into your room at night and takes your tooth from under your pillow.
Being a child with non-verbal learning disorder, his world is exceedingly literal. It is better as he is older now but , as younger boy a simple expression like “I’m on the phone” led him to picture you standing on the phone. Couple this with a fertile mind rich in science and history (biographies are his favorite, yawn!) and the idea of some fat man sliding down our chimney with a huge sack of gifts after having traversed the whole world in a sleigh pulled by reindeer carrying a paper list of all the children who’ve been naughty and nice in one night would only afford us a besmirching “Get real!”. Had we tried to pull this off when he was younger, he would have been in the basement with a flashlight measuring the internal chamber, processing the tiny clean out door, studying the pitch and slip factor of our metal roof, calculating exactly how long of a piece of paper was needed for all the children in the world, googling flying animals, calculating time and distance to visit every house in the world and what about Jewish children? I am ever so thankful that we did not attempt to bring these fictitious characters into our traditions. The barrage of questions alone would have dampened any festivities. Can you imagine the research to explain just how it is that a rabbit carries that many baskets? Rabbits don’t even have thumbs!
So, how it is that we have brought these traditions into our home is largely through humor with a huge dose of social studies. Being the history buff that he is, we shared with him the many folklores, fables and religious beliefs that lead to the evolution of these characters. Armed with an arsenal of answers, he can now integrate the concept of these characters as a form of storytelling in a sense.
This brings me back to the tooth fairy. Firstly, I cannot believe he is still losing teeth at ten. When does that end? So, he lost a molar two nights ago or rather stayed up until 11 wiggling and yanking at that thing until it relinquished it’s hold. He then wrapped it in at least 20 tissues and stuffed under his pillow. Now remember, he knows full well that the tooth fairy will have know idea that there is a tooth is under his pillow. So, he tromps into our room, singing a revelry as always, pokes me and says “The tooth fairy has some work to do. Hint! Hint!” I mumble and fall back to sleep. Disappointed in the morning, he asks “What happened to the tooth fairy?” To which, I smack my forehead and promise she will be on duty the next night. He smiles and gives me an understanding bump in the arm.
Night two: I forgot. We wake up at 2:30 am to doors banging downstairs. What the…? A bit petrified, my partner descends to investigate. I am still in a fog. It’s our son out in the freezing rain rummaging through cars for money. “What are you doing?” I hear. “Getting my own damn five bucks and wrapping a damn ribbon around it and putting it under my own damn pillow! Stupid tooth fairy!”
This is why the tooth fairy (that would be me) is a moron !