E+E Column: ​Embracing the Tooth Fairy

Sophia, finally, has two wobbly teeth. At six and a half she’s been waiting for some time as she’s gradually been seeing more and more friends appearing with gaps in their teeth, prouding clutching their spoils from the fairy. Neither of the two in question were actually particularly wobbly but a rather vigorous crunching on ice this afternoon resulted in the lower tooth getting much looser in a rather bloody fashion. As I type this, she’s sat next to me, absent mindedly wobbling it back and forwards, pondering how much money she might receive when she does manage to extract it. From what she’s surmised, there must be more than one tooth fairy as some award 50p, some £1 and some particularly extravagant varieties (and I suspect this kind will not be visiting our house!) award upwards of £2. Now I remember receiving 20p a tooth but I suppose this is a good example of inflation in action and I should be grateful that it’s not worse! 
It’s at times like this that I love the innocence of children. And whilst some might argue that kids these days are growing up too fast, that they are dressing and acting beyond their years, when it comes to these age old legends, their youth returns to take centre stage as they fully embrace the fantasy world of fairies and the like. I may be biased but I’d say Sophia is a pretty switched on kid but she genuinely seems to believe, 100%, that the tooth fairy exists. And I love that! 

It’s also a good reminder to me of how young she really is. She’s so eloquent, helpful and argumentative (not at the same time obviously!) that often I treat her in a more adult way than I should. I expect her to help me with her brothers, to behave in a way that she probably can’t actually manage and get frustrated with clumsiness that is just the result of being young and impulsive, not intentionally careless. I need to remember that at 6, she is a still a child and needs to act like a child. Whilst it’s good to teach a certain amount of responsibility I don’t want her to have more to bear than she needs to at this age. I want her (and her brothers) childhood to be full of playing, of having fun and of being free. So I’m joining Sophia in her excitement at the impending arrival of the tooth fairy and embracing all that she represents! 

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