Little Mudlet has had a wobbly tooth for days now and as she has been helping it along by way of persistent wiggling, it was no big surprise when I found myself presented with said tooth first thing this morning. Tooth loss is always a double edged sword for Little Mudlet, for much as she had the worst experience out of my three girls when these teeth first made their appearance way back when she was a baby, she also seems to be having the most pain when they are in the process of falling out. As she stands before me with each tooth, it is with a mixture of tears of pain and the joyous thought of yet another visit from the Tooth Fairy, whose ‘Cash for teeth’ policy, is one to which she wholeheartedly subscribes.
But what is the going rate for a tooth these days?
Personally I feel that the Tooth Fairy is an essential weapon in a parents armoury, with which to keep the joy and magic of childhood alive. We all know that children grow up far too fast these days and you only have to look at news reports to see that the mysteries and fairy tales that traditionally go hand in glove with childhood are disappearing at an increasingly younger age. Books, dolls and toys are pushed aside in favour of iPhones, tablets and computer games and, if recent news reports are to be believed: Facebook!!!
Facebook! At age 10! Is the world going mad. It comes to something when one of the main news items is the row caused because one primary school, quite rightly in my opinion, has sent out a letter asking parents not to let their children use Facebook and other social media sites, due to the knock on effect they see in behaviour, interaction and bullying within the classroom. Our own school sent a similar letter just before the summer break which stunned me because I couldn’t understand why a child Middle Mudlets age would need a Facebook account, or indeed any social media account.
We know from personal experience with Eldest Mudlet (sorry hunny) when she was 13 or 14 years old, that Parental Controls are about as useless as a chocolate fireguard, no matter how rigidly you set them because your childs’ friends will know ways to circumnavigate these, or, worse still, over write them, often by an action as simple as pressing a reset button on your hub, effectively wiping out your settings and allowing them far more access to the net than you may think they have, or approve off.
Furthermore, once they have acquired unrestricted access to the web, they can do all manner of things unbeknownst to unsuspecting parents, such as setting up a second profile on social media sites, which they can then share with their friends (both real and online) and on which they will happily post all kinds of information such as their home address, the fact that the whole family is going on holiday for two weeks and on what day which of course implies that the house (the address for which has already been posted online remember), will be empty for that period of time.
But each to their own and there I go digressing again.
Let’s get back to the Tooth Fairy and yet even this childhood icon is no longer the simple childhood collector of teeth who leaves a penny for each tooth. It pains me to say this but it would seem that the Tooth Fairy is fast becoming another tool in what seems o be a constant battle of one upmanship amongst some parents, a battle in which 50p is no longer a respectable payment for a tooth. It’s hard to explain to an 8 year old why the Tooth Fairy only pays 50p for her tooth and yet another child in her class gets £5 per tooth!
£5!!!!! Yoiks! Why? What on earth does that achieve.
I have to say that, rightly or wrongly, I did suggest that this was because the Tooth Fairy knows that Little Mudlet didn’t need so much money for her tooth because daddy often buys her little treats and we regularly split our loose change between her and her sister and pop it into their money boxes for them. Thankfully she was happy with this explanation which is just as well because our Tooth Fairy will never pay £5 for a tooth.
On the matter of Tooth Fairy rates though, I do recall one occasion when Eldest Mudlet was about 9 years old. Her best friend had just reached the heady heights of 10 years of age. Not long after her tenth birthday, the friend lost a tooth and her younger brother (7 years old) commented that his sister would be getting a visit from the Tooth Fairy that night.
“Oh stop being a baby,” the sister replied, “there is no such thing as the Tooth Fairy. Mummy or daddy puts the coin under the pillow!”
Needless to day the little boy was upset and the mother was not very happy with her daughter and spent the next half hour reassuring her son that his sister didn’t know what she was talking about. I remember thinking at the time that he wasn’t entirely convinced but the next morning when we saw them, he told me with the absolute certainty of someone who had witnessed evidence of justice being served to a doubter, that there WAS a Tooth Fairy. Beside him his sister wasn’t looking very happy at all and the reason for this was supplied by the mum, who informed me that her daughter had awoken this morning to find a mere 10 pence under her pillow, instead of the usual 50 pence and along with the coin was a note from the Tooth Fairy herself which read: