Monday, 1 March 2010

The tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth

“In this pocket you will find,
A teensy, tiny tooth of mine.
So while I sleep where dreams are made,
Let’s see if you can make a trade”
Author Unknown.

Well, it’s the first day of March and I have spent the last couple of hours running around like a mad march Hare! When I picked Junior up from Monday Club this afternoon he smiled up at me and I just about fell over. He resembled a miniature Shane McGowan (pre fancy new veneers).
One of Junior’s top front teeth fell out on Saturday morning. It felt like such a big deal; another step towards adulthood. It had been dangling by a thread and we tried everything from crunchy apples to wrapping it in tissue and yanking it. But for the entire Friday night he looked like Nanny McPhee. I was slightly concerned that it might fall out during the night but tried to reassure myself that for as long as there has been little boys and girls there have been wobbly teeth and as far as I know nothing awful has ever happened. At 6am the following day I heard him fiddling around with it and then there was this sickening sound like an elastic band snapping followed by a delighted shriek as he waved a blood-stained tooth in front of my face.
The tooth fairy wrote him a lovely letter and left it under his pillow in an envelope filled with fairy dust and a note attached saying “time delivered 2.30” (see what I did there? 2.30/tooth hurty) Two shiny pound coins were tucked inside - I hear that’s the going rate these days. It was 10p when I was little but that’s inflation for you.
Anyway, I wasn’t expecting to have to do it all again so soon, hence my shock when I saw another gap in Junior’s mouth this afternoon. My first thought was “Oh no, I don’t have a single penny on me, I’m going to have to go to a cashpoint” which was a real pain because the traffic was already building up and I had just polished off a massive mug of tea (a deadly combination if ever there was one). Junior spent the whole way home in the car planning what he was going to buy with his fairy money and I had to gently explain that the tooth fairy might be a bit skint after a busy weekend. But he wasn’t buying it.
“The tooth fairy is magic mummy..” he said with a patronising tilt of the head, “..she can get money from anywhere
The first cashpoint was at the petrol station round the corner from my house. There was a queue to get in so imagine my frustration when I eventually made it only to find a sign up saying “Out of Order”. Back in the car and off to the shopping centre, a frustrating 15 minute drive back the way I had just come. I put in my card and it spat it straight back out at me. Apparently I had 'insufficient funds' to cover the £2 needed to cover the cost of one shiny white incisor, lovingly wrapped in a paper towel by Babs at the Monday Club. Tooth fairies might be able to get money from anywhere but it would appear that stressed out mummies (with very full bladders) can’t!
I racked my brains to think where I could get the money for a very excited Junior. He was not going to buy my stories - "The tooth fairy has a sore wing and can only carry a 5 pence piece this time"/"the tooth fairy gave your money to the poor children"/"the tooth fairy is really poorly and has promised to being you £2 when she’s feeling better" - He’s six, he ain’t stupid!
Back home there was a frantic (but fruitless) check inside the settee and the pockets in the dirty wash basket. Junior was already upstairs putting the tooth under his pillow and the familiar ache of motherly guilt was beginning to unfurl in my chest as I imagined having to break the news to him that there was not going to be a special delivery. I started to unpack his school bag - half eaten packet of crisps, wet socks, chewed up homework sheet and the tin I give him for Monday club money. Imagine how my heart swelled when I heard it rattle. Inside was the £2 which he had forgotten to hand in to Babs! I’ve never been so happy to have a son with a memory like a sieve. When he goes to bed tonight I will write yet another letter from the tooth fairy and gently slide it under his pillow when he’s in the place “where dreams are made”. And I don’t feel too guilty for telling him porkies about the existence of fairies who take his unwanted teeth away to make beautiful necklaces. These are magical times and so short lived I will relish every single moment of them.
I was just having a little moan to my Dad on the phone about always having to fork out money left, right and centre for things that are out with the budget (i.e lost teeth) and he told me to look on the bright side. With two less teeth in Junior’s head at least I’ll save some money on toothpaste!


  1. You have a cool tooth fairy that writes letters. Our suffers from memory loss and has to try and push £2 under the pillow at 7am in the morning hoping that he sleeps for just another 5 minutes while you sneak out of his room! As for the scrabbling about the house for money, we had to raid Sam's piggy bank this morning to scape together £6.20 for school dinners!! There is always something that you are not prepared for ;-) xx

  2. I keep Junior's piggy bank at my mum and dad's house so I am not tempted to smash it with a rolling pin!