I was going to tell you about my adventures in caffeine today, but I have been slightly side tracked by the perpetually thorny issue of the Tooth Fairy.
The Tooth Fairy has loomed large in my mind again because Tallulah lost one of her last baby teeth on Sunday. The Tooth Fairy, who is, like most things in our life, somewhat shambolic and disorganised, failed to bring money on Sunday night, and had to be firmly brought back into line last night and reminded of her duties with regard to the molars of the young. Jason drew the short straw as to which of us had to stay up.
Back in the day, when I was literally hacking away at the coal face of full on parenting 24/7, I blogged about the Tooth Fairy a lot.
This is another thing you don’t figure out until parenting is upon you like a mildewed ground sheet harbouring the occasional hysterical making beetle, teeth are almost as time consuming as pooh in your parenting journey, and much harder to dispose of. Babies are born raring to grow teeth, which they resist with might and main every time a tooth starts to emerge. This happens until you are all wide eyed, and covered with sweat and spit and Calpol and your child hates you with the heat of a thousand suns for not being able to make everything better.
You get through the horrors of them cutting their first set of teeth, which takes approximately four years if you’re lucky. Then, you might get a few months off for good behaviour, mostly just enough to lull you into a false sense of security, and they’re off again, losing all those hard won teeth.
This time there is slightly less Calpol involved, but there are other things that make it just as traumatic. Things like them being massively squeamish and unable to pull out their own dangling teeth, and not wanting you to do it either, so they sit at the dinner table for about six weeks, flicking, flicking, flicking the tooth which is hanging by a thread until you are driven mad.
Pulling teeth out for them is pretty grim too. Teeth make far too much of a crunchy sound for my liking. What usually happens though, if left to their own devices, is that they inevitably pull the tooth out and then eat it/drop it down the sink/lose it at school/bleed all over the bedroom carpet. The list of horrors is endless.
And that’s before you get to the fecking Tooth Fairy.
What I want to know is, which deranged idiot came up with this idea?
Who sat there one evening (Friday probably, up against deadline. Booze almost certainly involved) and said:
‘I’ve got a brilliant idea. You know how we have Father Christmas right? And the Easter bunny?’
The assembled congregation shuffle nervously: ‘Yeees.’
Drunk (marketing) genius: ‘Well. Well! I’ve got a fantastic idea. You’re going to love it. Really.’
Other Bod: ‘Is it like that idea about a magical, flying dog to celebrate Whitsun?’
DG: ‘No! Well…a bit.’
OB: ‘Oh God. Let’s have it then.’
DG: ‘So, well, yes, you know right, when kids lose a tooth?’
OB (horror creeping into their voice): ‘Yeeees.’
DG: ‘Well, what if, what if right? You’ll love this. What if, we create a Tooth Fairy?’
OB: ‘What in the name of all that’s holy is a Tooth Fairy?’
At this point, there is a lot of head shaking going on. Someone in PR is gently weeping while someone else pats them soothingly on the back.
DG: ‘No. Right. Really. Just bear with me. It’s brilliant. Because, you know how you’ve got all these teeth, right?’
Assembled Bods: ‘mmmmm’
DG: ‘Well, what if we tell kids that when they lose a tooth, they have to put it under their pillow and then. This is the awesome bit. Then, a Tooth Fairy comes and collects it.’
DG: ‘Well, I’m not sure why. We’re just at the broad brush strokes phase here. Why what, anyway?
OB: ‘Why do they put it under their pillow? Why not in a box, or put it in the post, like letters to Santa or something?’
DG: ‘No mate. It has to be a pillow.’
OB: ‘But why? Children wriggle around. Beds are really difficult to burgle when there’s someone in them. I think a box would be a better idea.’
DG: ‘Mate. Mate. Look. You’re getting all snarled up in the details here. Can’t you see what an absolutely epic idea this will be?’
OB: ‘No. OK. Why a fairy?’
DG: ‘Because everyone loves a fairy mate. Be fair. Fairies are fantastic aren’t they? I mean they fly and shit. And there’s all that glitter and wands and stuff.’
OB: ‘But, the ‘Fairy’ is going to be the parents right? I mean, not an actual fairy. You don’t actually believe there is a Tooth Fairy do you?’
DG: ‘No! Of course I don’t. What do you think I am? Mental or something? No! The parents pretend to be the Tooth Fairy and take the tooth from under the pillow.’
OB: ‘Will they dress up?’
DG: ‘Are you mental now? Why would a parent want to dress up as a fairy?’
OB: ‘Well, that’s what I’m asking you? How will the child know it’s a fairy if the parent isn’t dressed up?’
DG: “Oh for God’s sake! Do I have to explain everything?’
DG: ‘LOOK. The parents wait until the kid is asleep, right? So that they don’t have to worry about being dressed up and all that shit. Then they go into the kid’s bedroom and take the tooth. It’s simple.’
OB: ‘Well why is it a fairy then?’
DG: ‘What? WHAT?’
OB: ‘Well, why isn’t it a rhino or something?’
DG: ‘Because it’s MAGIC. DUH.’
OB: ‘OK. Well how will the kid know the difference between it being a magical ‘fairy’ and them having been burgled by a really pervy, tooth obsessed burglar?’
DG: ‘Hmmmm, hmmm. Good point. Yeah. That would be bad. We don’t want them being scarred for life.’
Everyone waits expectantly…
DG: ‘No! Wait! Really! That’s genius! They leave some money for them.’
OB: ‘Fairy money?’
DG: ‘No, you knob head. Real money. What’s a kid going to do with Fairy Money? It’s not legal tender.’
OB: ‘Sorry I spoke.’
DG: ‘Yeah. Well just think things through next time, yeah?’
OB: ‘OK. I do have another question though?’
DG: ‘Yeah? I knew you bloody would.’
OB: ‘So what do they do with the teeth?’
DG: ‘What teeth?’
OB: ‘The teeth they take from under the kid’s pillow while they’re pretending to be a fairy.’
DG: ‘Oh, right. Well, I don’t know, I can’t think of every bloody thing can I? I mean give me a break here. I’ve stormed this, and you’re all nit picking about the details. Something magical, yeah? We’ll iron that shit out later.’
OB: ‘Can I ask another question?’
DG (Massive sigh/eye roll): ‘What now?’
OB: ‘Why are we, you know, making a magical celebration about teeth? Why don’t we just find another religious festival and stick some celebratory crap to that instead. Your magical Whitsun dog idea might fly.
DG: Are you insane? Who the fuck is going to believe in a magical flying dog who wants to celebrate Whitsun? That shit’s old, man. People aren’t going to buy that any more. We need to move with the times.’
OB: ‘You mean the times that say people are totally going to buy into a non-commercialised celebration of the fact that kids are a massive pain in the hole?
DG: ‘Yes. Yes. That’s exactly what I mean. Let’s move on now…’
OB: ‘What, so that you can come up with the Secret Snot Ogre, or the Ear Wax Kid?’
DG: ‘Do you enjoy being so negative? Do you? Do you? Cos thats what you are? I’m getting another pint. You sit and think about things for a minute, yeah?’
OB (mutters): ‘Oh just fuck off…’