C lost a tooth two nights ago. He has had three loose molars for weeks and I've been shocked he hasn't been completely obsessed with freeing them from his mouth. Afterall, this was the boy I had to worry about a few years ago because he was wiggling baby teeth that were not ready to come out so much that he prematurely pulled a tooth.
We put his tooth in the tooth fairy pillow and hung it on his door. As he struggled to get to sleep I struggled with how and when we were going to finally break the news that the Tooth Fairy is in fact me. We struggled with a similar situation this past Christmas when C's staunch belief in Santa and a few choice words with a classmate lead to a huge blow out and many tears. We had contemplated telling him about Santa then but held off, deciding starting with the big red jolly guy would be way too much of a shock. (Okay - I chickened out and A didn't want to be held responsible by C for "ruining his life" as he is fond of accusing A of already).
So I sat there that night thinking now is really the time to start the process. I was inspired by a recent post by MOM-NOS and how she tackled a similar situation with her son. I loved the way she handled it, slowly and gently leading her son to the answers he needed to have. I know in my heart that to not show my son this truth is unfair - it is unlikely he will get to the truth on his own.
Or so I thought.
See, the tooth fairy, in her exhausted state fell asleep waiting for the boy to fall asleep before visiting. The money never made it into the pillow. Thinking fast in the morning I told him that was because he was awake until after midnight (whole other post) and the tooth fairy cannot come if you don't fall asleep early enough. I told him tonight she would come IF he went to sleep early. Smart right??
He was supposed to be asleep last night and instead he kept coming out for various reasons. Finally he just looks at me and says "Hey, guess what I know?" and before I could say anything he answered his own question "You are the tooth fairy".
He looked expectantly at my face, waiting for my response. In my head I spun through possible answers. Remembering MOM-NOS I looked him in the eye, all the while thinking maybe he was not ready to hear this. I forged ahead, taking a deep breath and said "you are right". His face lit up, my stomach stopped twisting in knots. He jumped up and down yelling "I knew it! I knew it" and then he asked me "Really?" a couple of times to ensure I wasn't going to change the answer. He walked around the house for a few minutes muttering to himself "my mom is the tooth fairy" and I thought "uh oh, he thinks I am THE tooth fairy!!!!" so we talked and sorted it out that I am HIS toothfairy, not THE toothfairy.
I've made him promise not to tell his brother who is only 5, has not lost a tooth and who cried desperately last week when I informed him that Hannah Montana is not real (oops). We talked about the responsibility of being the big brother and not ruining things for him. I am hopeful he can do it.
I wonder if he'll figure out Santa and the Easter Bunny after this??? He usually doesn't transfer information well from one situation to another but then again, I didn't see this coming either.