Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Tooth Fairy Deception & Joy

Recently my 6-year old daughter, Tamia had a shaky milk tooth. At first it was not clear to me why she resisted having it pulled during the day and was only too willing to get it done at night. The tooth was eventually pulled out and she went into a brief state of mourning when it got lost. I tried telling her it was only a tooth and she would grow another one in a short while. That did little to comfort her and I only understood her position when she told me about the tooth fairy. Apparently if it was done at night, she would have safely placed it under the pillow and the tooth fairy would later take it and replace it with some money. I shook my head. When I was young, we simply yanked the tooth and threw it away in the nearest bin.

Fast forward a few weeks later and another tooth was loose. I got home to find her gurgling water and spitting blood into the sink, tooth firmly clenched in hand, a smile on her face. Her mother had yanked it out for her (she does all the bloody work in the house while I only take on chores that will endear me to the kids). This time she was determined to place it under her pillow and get her money. I struggled with the temptation of telling her that all this was nonsense and that tooth fairies do not exist. I did not want her to get disappointed when she got up and only found a tooth under her pillow. This is the time to start teaching her the reality of the world, I reasoned.

A voice inside however told me that maybe it only wise to let children enjoy the age of innocence, and the fact that I did not enjoy the same when I was a kid is no excuse to deny Tamia the same. I reluctantly gave the mum some coin to put under her pillow once she was fast asleep. The look on her face when she woke up was priceless. I was glad I did this because it is better for me to see that joy on her face, despite knowing that the whole story is a lie, that to see the disappointed that would have greeted me though faced with the truth. And I went to work a happy man that morning.

I wonder whether Tamia used that money to do her hair!


  1. Cute story! Good thing (for both of you) that you decided to let her keep her childhood innocence.

  2. Hey, Nicone, thanks for dropping by, yes, it was especially good for me!

  3. How I wish we could just grow permanent teeth from the word go. Just a thought. I remember that process of shedding teeth only too well. Not pleasant at all.

    Tamia be cute!

  4. Let kids be kids. Even Santa is real :)

  5. Yes, Mrs Mwiti...that is a lesson I have learned to embrace

  6. What an awesome post, Charles! As a dad, it is necessary for us to teach our kids more of what's really happening in the reality, than those in fairy tales. And I commend you for that! My kids didn't believe also in tooth fairies, because they grew up on that. The only thing they believe when it comes to teeth is that they must not fear dentists, especially their dentists in Myrtle Beach, SC because they will make your teeth look great. That's what we must teach our kids these days for them to know the reality, even at their young age.