The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .) : a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?
Quite an interesting little prompt don’t you think?
I was convinced, utterly and totally as a little girl that there were faries at the end of my grandparents garden. It was a long garden (or long to me then) and i couldn’t see all of it from their patio doors. No one ever encouraged me to think it, that’s just what happened, i used to dream about it even. A dream so vivid i remember it now, with mushroom “fairy rings” sprouting out of the ground and surrounding me, and little fairies dropping from the gills of the mushrooms and flying about in the night.
I actually found loosing my first tooth rather traumatic … it hurt, and it bled (i used to be awful with blood) and i meant i was not ‘little’ any more, which upset me no end. But the promise that a fairy would come an take the tooth away, and if it was a really nice one i would get some money, was really exciting and made the distress of finding my tooth lodged in a pear far less so.
I continued on my merry little way, loosing teeth and fighting to say awake long enough to see that sneaky fairy, eventually i began to realize that there was no fairy, after all how could one fairy visit all those children? But i still played along with it (because as you get older you get more mercenary) Until one night, i was having trouble sleeping, i heard my dad come into my room, so i pretended to be asleep, he reached under my pillow, took the tooth, put a pound coin in it’s place, and then started talking to my mum on his way out.
I was never resent full, or angry that i had been lied too, as i had chosen to believe it.I didn’t trash the house, or throw a tantrum and cry and shout at being lied too. I just went to my mum the next day and said conversationally “The tooth fairy sounded kind of like dad, she was pretty big and wriggly too” my mum for a moment attempted to convince me other wise, not because she is malicious, and wanted to lie to me. But because she realized, and no doubt was heart broken over the fact that i was not her “baby” any more.
Personally i can think of far more pointless justifications for lying to children, and far more damaging ones too. Telling your child grandma is on “holiday” rather than dead, in order to “not hurt their feelings” is a blatant, and cruel lie. The Tooth Fairy, Santa, Easter Bunny and all other mystical beings and creatures are, harmless embellishments to make an even more exciting and interesting. And can also be beneficial, i was told that the Tooth Fairy only wanted nice teeth, not rotten ones full of holes – my dental regime from the age of 4 was the best. No crappy teeth that the fairy didn’t want for me! It helps children develop their creativity and imagination. Literal children will not believe in what ever you tell them any way, they will always find a hole to pick at to prove an adult wrong … i know kids like that … they drive me mad. Usually because they try and argue something with me that i am agreeing with them over!
The only victim in all of it i can really think of in all of this are the 100’s or rabbits that are bought on impulse every year as Easter gifts for children. (But that’s another post all together!)
No kid has ever, gone off the rails because the teeth fairy isn’t real have they? They haven’t killed, abused, or attacked in the name of Santa as some youngsters do in the name of religion or ‘honor’ and ‘respect’ … have they?
(It was also a dead give away when Santa started being given chocolates and whiskey, instead of milk to keep him strong and carrots for the deer … but that is another story!)
Other post’s for this prompt: