What age do we give up on the tooth fairy and Santa?

My daughter said “I’m glad I’m in year 2”. “Why’s that?” I reply. “Because I get to see Father Christmas a the school fair”. I couldn’t understand her logic until she explained that once you are in the juniors you don’t get to meet him. “That’s sad” I said. My daughter reassured me that they probably will get to see him later. But it made me think. Is it because the Headmaster and teachers know that by the time the children reach Year 3 (8), cracks start to appear in their belief? Then you get an awkward discrepancy between those who are still convinced that Santa exists and those who think its all of a load of rubbish.

Like all parents, I am not looking forward to the time when my daughter concludes that Santa doesn’t exist. Not just because it signals the end of Christmas magic (its never the same once  Father Christmas goes and it doesn’t really come back again until you become a parent yourself – f0r my daughter’s sake I hope this doesn’t happen in her teens!) No, the additional worry is keeping the magic alive for my son who will be 2. We have a large ‘gap’ between sproglets because I knew I wouldn’t cope with a 2 year age gap and then, as things in life tend to happen this way, it took me aaagggges to get pregnant again. In fact we had pretty much given up all hope and were thanking our lucky stars that we at least had one child (experiencing infertility and, unfortunately for us, a miscarriage gives you a whole new appreciation for the miracle of conceiving and then surviving pregnancy and scorn for people who seem to conceive at the drop of the hat and plan the size of the family like they are counting smarties)

So, I am going to have to do my utmost to ensure my daughter helps us to sustain the Father Christmas campaign for my little boy otherwise he will be 2 and saying “When are you gonna fill up my stocking mummy?”.

As children get older it is also more difficult to keep up the charade. They get clever and start to think – damn them.

My life is manic and I went to bed the other night with that nagging feeling that there was something I was meant to do before sleep. The following morning I here “Mummy the tooth fairy hasn’t been”. Shit, that was it, bloomin tooth fairy duty. Its hard to keep up with it as they are dropping out of her mouth faster than I have 50ps (also another hassle making sure you have enough change). So I attempt to explain why the fairy hasn’t been:

1) “You didn’t leave the window open”  (daughter replies “I did”)
2) “Ahh but which one?” (“the other one is locked”)
3) “The tooth fairy must have forgotten her key (“she doesn’t have a key”)
4) “Yes she does lots of people have window locks to prevent kids jumping off 2 storey buildings to retrieve sunglasses fallen on the patio” (my Husband once caught my daughter doing precisely this hovering OUTSIDE the window her feet dangling over the drop ready to jump) (“she’s only tiny how does she carry all the keys around?”)
5)” Through fairy magic” (“how does that work?”)
6) “Well she sprinkles fairy dust and the key magically appears”  (……there is a pause…..””where does fairy dust come from?”
7) “No-one knows…..um…anyway I’m sure she will be back tonight”  (“oooh she might have been this morning while I had breakfast I’ll go up and check”)
8) “No wait (that gives me an idea) lets give her a bit more time and then check just before school OK?” (“OK” reluctantly)
a few minutes later
9) “I’m just popping upstairs won’t be a sec” – at which point I quickly grab £1, go up to her room and chuck it on the floor under her bed (bear with me) and then go to get the tooth but where the hell is it? I go back downstairs
10) (Her school friend arrives and she whisks her to her bedroom) “Mummy she found the coin!” friend says “Oh great where was it” “under the bed” “aaaah I know what happened there is a spider above your bed isn’t there and he must have descended down on his little bit of thread and frightened the fairy away so she dropped the coin under the bed (daughter says “but why didn’t she take my tooth?”) “Because she was so scared she forgot to pick it up”
Seemingly satisfied my daughter then goes to school.

I have a massive guilt trip that I forgot (this was the second time I forgot) so when she gets home and I tuck her up for the night I suggest that we attempt to put the tooth under the pillow again. I say “Let’s put it in the little bag that Grandma made for you to keep it safe?” “But the last time I did that the fairy didn’t take the tooth so I don’t want to use that” (the last time I forgot was the first time she used grandmas special bag and ever since she hasn’t used it (hence more guilt).

So that night I wait until she is sleeping at the right angle, I go in with ANOTHER £1 (paying my way through the guilt trip), lift the pillow a little and…..where’s the bloody tooth? Oh no she has set a challenge for the fairy to test the power of fairy magic. So there I am desperately fumbling around for this titchy witchy tooth in the dark all the time trying not to disturb her and getting ready to roll under the bed at a moment’s notice just in case she wakes up. I finally find it in the carpet (phew) and add it to my collection like something out of the Predator movies.

I will do anything to not be the person responsible for breaking the make-believe…….or is it???? I wish the tooth fairy did exist because it would be one less thing off my to do list. We are going away for Christmas this year so am already thinking about how ‘Santa’ is going to cunningly disguise pressie from our house to a cottage in Snowdonia. Why hasn’t a business set-up to be Santa Claus – they’d have to be pretty trustworthy for you to let them into your house in the middle of the night but I think it would be a PLC before too long.

 At least there is The Polar Express to fall back on when doubt starts to creep in…

I am blogging every day to fundraise for Unicef. If you are able to support the campaign please visit my fundraising page.

Thanks

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