CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Cotswold Mother: The dreaded Tooth Fairy

PUBLISHED: 11:55 23 March 2015 | UPDATED: 12:10 23 March 2015

Maybe when my son becomes a dentist, he can pay me back for all these teeth

Maybe when my son becomes a dentist, he can pay me back for all these teeth

Archant

When Clare Mackintosh’s children aren’t talking about how much cash they will garner for their teeth, they’re discussing how to hasten the extraction

If ever I write a parenting manual (and I’m unlikely to) it will include practical tips on things that really matter. Like how to wrestle a toddler into a car seat when their legs are splayed out like a starfish, or how to extricate yourself from the bed of a sleeping child without disturbing them. And I would dedicate an entire chapter to the Tooth Fairy.

To a six year old there is little more exciting than the discovery of a wobbly tooth. From the second a hint of movement is detected, to the eventual extraction, the owner of said tooth thinks about little else. Every day is dedicated to the analysis, discussion and management of the wobbler.

Perhaps it’s just my own children, but the issue of cold hard cash plays a large part in conversations. “The tooth fairy brings a golden coin for every tooth!” I remember Josh saying, long before his own teeth were ready to depart. “Does she?” I said, horrified by the rate of inflation that had apparently occurred in Tooth Land since the 1980s. “A gold one? I thought she brought silver ones. Silver is much better.” His eyes lit up. “Silver coins – wow!” Currency agreed, we settled on fifty pence, although conceded that the first tooth would probably merit the full pound.

Imagine my horror when the children bounced home from school one day, before any wobblers of their own, to tell me that Rupert Accrington’s tooth had fallen out, and the tooth fairy had brought him five pounds. FIVE POUNDS? That’s a hundred pounds per mouth! I could barely speak, I was so apoplectic with rage. Raising the bar by giving children more than a pound per tooth is completely unacceptable: a breach of the Parental Code second only to buying bespoke jewellery as an end-of-term teacher gift, when the rest of us are wondering if we can get away with home-made fudge. It simply shouldn’t be done.

“Why does the Tooth Fairy give Rupert five pounds, and only brings us fifty pee?” Georgie asked. “I imagine Rupert’s Mummy and Daddy are rather well off,” I said through gritted teeth. Too late, I realised my mistake. “But,” began Josh, always far too quick off the mark, “why would it make any difference how much money they have? It doesn’t come from them.”

As the cogs began to whirr in his six-year-old head, I saw his childhood innocence disappearing. Next step: Father Christmas. I hastened to correct my error. “No, of course it doesn’t, darling, but tooth fairy money is… er… sort of means tested. In reverse. She brings more money to people who already have it, because they’re… er… used to it. And we’re not.” As arguments went, it was somewhat flawed. “Well, that seems like a rubbish way of giving out money. It should go to the people who need it, and miss out the rich people altogether.” (David Cameron, take note).

When the children aren’t talking how much filthy lucre they will garner for their teeth, they’re discussing how to hasten the extraction. Like women exchanging diet tips at the gym, they swap anecdotes over their post-school snacks. “Well, Anna’s came out when she ate an apple. Can I have an apple, Mummy?” “If you twist it when you wobble it, the root breaks more easily.” On and on and on.

Soon after Christmas, Evie proudly showed me her first wobbly tooth, and I fully expected it to come out that evening. But on it clung, despite heroic efforts from its owner, and weeks later it was still hanging on by a thread, the replacement tooth already coming through behind it.

“You could just give it a yank,” I said, half repelled, half fascinated. She shook her head. “I can’t.” I didn’t blame her. “I’ll do it,” said Josh cheerfully, now eight, and an old hand at losing teeth. Evie opened her mouth wide and didn’t bat an eyelid as Josh reached in and gave a sharp tug. “It’s out!” she cried gleefully, unperturbed by the blood pouring from her mouth. “Now I’ll get money from the tooth fairy!” So excited by this prospect was she, I half expected her to ask Josh to tackle another few gnashers.

“Well done, Josh,” I said, rather proud of such gallantry. “I think I’ll be a dentist when I’m older,” he said. An excellent career choice, in my view. Perhaps then he can pay me back for all these teeth.

-------------------------

This article by Clare Mackintosh is from the March 2015 issue of Cotswold Life.

For more from Clare, follow her on Twitter: @claremackint0sh

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

What started as a business ploy by one Cotswold firm has developed into an inspirational garden

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

If a bit of English eccentricity is your thing, spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the delightful follies of Faringdon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search