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The Tooth Mouse vs The Tooth Fairy
A pretty glittering fairy or a cute cuddly mouse?
This all started with a conversation I had with my sister-in-law on Facebook - one of her kids had lost a tooth and was proudly displaying a gap in his smile. I commented that "I hoped the tooth mouse gave him lots of money!" I was immediately shot down in flames and told it was a tooth fairy that collected their teeth to build castles with.
We grew up with a mouse in our house. We felt sorry for the poor kids who only had a fairy. Sometimes the mouse would be busy on the other side of the world and not collect the little molar carefully positioned in the slipper on the floor at the bottom of the bed. We would be horribly disappointed but would totally understand because we knew for sure it would definitely arrive to collect said tooth the following night. It always did.
My kids had a mouse too - naturally! On the odd occasions the mouse would also forget and long stories would be concocted as to what had happened to delay the furry little rodent. My younger daughter, Emma - a squidgy-hearted animal lover - would weep bitterly just thinking that said creature may have been hurt in an accident en route.
On one occasion I was working late and Emma had a wiggly tooth that was refusing to fall out. Her father tied a string around the little tooth and attached it to a toy xylophone which he then gently dropped. This did the trick. The next day when I went to collect Emma from play school I was summoned into the head-teacher's office. Apparently we had used a "piano" to rip a tooth out of her mouth. She was most concerned and was considering calling the child welfare people. I laughed uproariously and explained carefully what had actually transpired. It took a few goes to explain properly and have the humorless head understand completely. The rotten little kid had told her teacher that her dad had tied a piano to her tooth and then dropped it.
I still have those little teeth. Not all of them - just a couple. Used to chuck them in my earring box - luckily by the time they got discovered the Mouse had been buried along with Santa and the Easter Bunny. Another crazy lady I know saved every single one of her kids weeny teeth and then presented them with little baggies of fangs when they turned 21.
I recently came across a person who makes the most gorgeous fairy houses and somebody had written in on the tips and suggestions section of their website saying that they use their fairy house to put the kids teeth in when they fall out. It's much easier for the fairy to collect them and leave the money in return. No grovelling under the pillow. What a seriously cute use of a fairy house - as long as the weather plays ball and you don't have to brave the elements to negotiate with the fairies at the bottom of the garden.
What is the exchange rate these days?
How much does one have to cough up for your kids' teeth?
When Lauren, my older daughter was tiny, I was a tad on the bankrupt side and used to raid her own money box for Mouse money.
When Emma was little, and did not know the value of money - I was still financially challenged though not quite so badly - I used to put a handful of small (very small) coins into the slipper in exchange for the tooth. When she got a bit older, I figured a nice R5 coin would be much appreciated. The next morning she came stumbling into the bedroom at the crack of dawn howling dementedly... "The mouse had only given her one money." She was totally devastated. The offer to swap a handful of 5c coins for the R5 piece was grabbed with alacrity.
Once I overheard a conversation in the school yard... a little boy said he did not brush his teeth because he was hoping they would fall out and he could get lots of money from the tooth fairy. Being a mom - I chipped in and said that the fairies only gave money for good condition,nice, clean and shiny teeth! They used them to build fairy castles - not goblin caves. The poor kid looked totally horrified and promised that he'd brush his little fangs in future.
Who comes to collect your kids teeth...
Who do you believe in?
This poses a few questions and I'd love to know what you all think...
- What is the going rate for a tooth these days?
- Where / in what does your child put their offering to be collected?
- What do you do with your kids teeth?
© 2017 Ginny Stone