June 23, 2008

The third tooth

My son is seven.  He asks a lot of questions about what is real and what is not.  He really enjoys fantasy and so he prefers to think some things are real but others are not as interesting to him.  For example, he loves Doctor Who.  In his mind, the Doctor is out there in his TARDIS with Rose (and sometimes Martha) battling Daleks and Cybermen.  He fully expects them all to show up at any moment.  Sometimes the Daleks are evil and want to destroy us and other times they are just cool guys that want to hang out.  I think somewhere deep down he knows none of these things exist.  When he asks me, I vary my responses.  Sometimes I ask him what he thinks.  I want him to think for himself and not always take my word for things.  Other times I tell him it is just a show on television and while the story itself exists, there is no evidence that there is a real Doctor or a TARDIS.  I have also been known to just answer "I don't know." and then we talk about how cool it would be if the Doctor was out there right now.  After all, part of fun *is* believing.  

In January of 2007 my mother-in-law and step father-in-law  were in a very serious car accident.  It was especially hard for my son because they were very close.  He spent nearly every weekend with them before the accident and they live less than a mile from our house.  Then for months he was unable to see either of them.  It was an awful for all of us.  My mother-in-law was less injured but she had to spend all of her time working to pay the bills or at the hospital.  During this time, fairy godparents became almost an obsession.  Were they real?  Could they fix everything with the wave of a wand?  Most of his conversations started with "If I had fairy godparents..." so I think he knew they weren't real.  Very fortunately, not only did his Papa get to come home, but he is now well on his way to being able to walk again.   It's still a long road ahead in that respect, but we are very thankful.  Most of those questions stopped when he was able to see his Papa again.  Still a residue from those questions has remained.  He isn't interested in the Tooth Fairy.  

Say what you want about fostering a false belief in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, but we did.  Someday I'll post about my own experience with that but it wasn't a decision we came to lightly.  While my son believes in Santa, at least as recently as last December, he does not seem to care about the Tooth Fairy at all.  He lost his first two teeth this year and we did the tooth under the pillow thing but without much fanfare.  In fact, we forgot for a couple of days and he wasn't all that impressed with a couple of dollar coins under his pillow.  At first I thought it was a lack of appreciation but I changed my mind when he lost his third tooth.  It's been a week now and he has yet to ask where the tooth is, or if the Tooth Fairy is coming, or really anything to do with it at all.  If his grandparents have brought it up to him, he hasn't mentioned it either.   I realized this morning when I went to put his tooth away that the other two are missing.  I have searched high and low but I can not find them.  I finally asked my son if he took them.  He said he did not, but then suggested that the Tooth Fairy had come back for them.  (He knew I had them because I left a note for the TF to please leave me the teeth instead of taking them with her.)   And even with all of this talk about the TF, he never once asked me why he had not received anything for this tooth.  I find it so interesting that he thinks she exists but doesn't seem concerned that she has not left him anything for this tooth.  

Easter was pretty much a non-affair as well.  He did not mention a bunny at all.  He credited B and I with the treasure hunt and the iPod Shuffle.  I wonder how Christmas will go this year?

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