Elena is growing up — fast. Tonight Mark and I spent some time talking about parenting through puberty while raising a preschooler. I was trying to look at prepubescent parenting from all sides — including discussing with Mark when to talk to Elena about the birds and the bees.
“I just want to know one thing,” Mark said to me as he snacked on his dessert. “Are we going to tell her about the tooth fairy? Because I really think that should come first–before the birds and the bees, you know.”
I had no comment. Yes, it is true that our daughter still appears to believe in the tooth fairy. She had Santa figured out in Kindergarten, but for some reason she still has been holding on strong to the tooth fairy. I have no idea why. As you know from previous posts–we are the worst tooth fairies ever. You would think figuring out that being in denial about the tooth fairy would be her emotional barrier to being forgotten so many times. This summer Elena lost a tooth on vacation at the beginning of June. I totally forgot about it–I was dealing with vacation–and about 2 months later she made an off-handed comment about how after 2 months the tooth was still under her pillow. That night I made up some story about how the tooth fairy probably couldn’t smell it because her pillow was too thick. She then put the tooth fairy pillow in the window. I, of course, forgot about it, so she took the tooth out of the pillow and stuck it next to her head. Thankfully Mark remembered it. She now thinks that the tooth fairy doesn’t like her pillow.
Part of me wants to just tell her that there is no tooth fairy–without her finding out. That would take a lot of pressure off of me. Instead of trying to remember that the darn tooth was under her pillow, I could just trade it for money. Clean, easy transaction. But what about the rest of my kids? She’ll probably roll her eyes every time they mention the tooth fairy and ruin it for all of them. Mark is already a spoiled sport about any fantasy creatures–especially Santa Claus. I don’t need Elena ruining all the fun, too.
Mark offered, “I’ll just tell her. I already told her about Santa. Of course, I told Christina, too–she just doesn’t listen to what anyone says-even about Santa Claus.” As soon as Elena started questioning how anyone could deliver gifts to over a billion people in one night he eagerly told her that the whole thing was a sham. I think he enjoyed it.
I think Mark is right in this situation, though. I can’t tell Elena about the birds and the bees while she believes in the tooth fairy, can I?