Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Scary Tooth Fairy

My nephew is five and a half and just lost his first tooth.  It's been coming for weeks, of course, and my sister has been busy regaling him with stories of the tooth fairy.  My nephew was not buying it.  "Will she come into my room?" he asked incredulously.  "But Mom, I don't even know her!"  She had an uphill battle on her hands.

He has always been cautious.  He likes to know all the rules.  He likes to have a complete game plan for every situation.  And he did not like the idea of some stranger breaking into his room while he was sleeping to steal his first tooth.  When you hear it that way, can you blame him?

So, the negotiating began.  She couldn't very well give up on the tooth fairy coming.  She has another son that may be in love with the idea.  My nephew came up with the compromise.  "Listen," he said.  "Why don't you just call her?  Let her know I'm glad to have her come but she can't come into my room?"  My sister agreed to make the call when she got to work that day.  When she picked him up from school he wanted a full report.  My sister said, "Well, she said a lot of first timers feel that way.  After you get to know her, she knows you'll be more comfortable with her."  She waited for his response but heard nothing.  When she peered into the rearview mirror she saw a look of smug satisfaction across his face.  "See," he said.  "Told ya."

The night he finally lost the tooth, they set up a pillow in front of his bedroom door and tucked the tooth underneath.  He was so worried that he stayed up two hours past his bedtime.  In the morning, he was moderately excited about the treasure but thrilled that she had not, in fact, crept into his room when he was sleeping.  

As parents we have all these great ideas about the memories we want to make with our children. The truth is, sometimes it's not as fun for them as we want it to be.  I love that my nephew stood strong in his position.  I love that my sister was wonderfully flexible with him even through her frustration.  In the end, it's a classic story that will be in the family for years.  

Do you have any traditions that your kids haven't wanted to buy into?  How do you handle their quirks?


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