Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Tale of the Tooth Fairy and El Ratón Pérez

This week my 6yo daughter lost another tooth. This kid. She didn't even bother getting her first tooth until she was 13 months old and now she can't seem to keep them in her head! Anyway, the tradition in my family was the Tooth Fairy and both my sister and I had special pillows our mom had made for us with little pockets on the front for our teeth. I remember mine had lace around each side and a snap on the pocket. We loved having this special pillow just for our tooth mail and I can see now how smart my mom was for employing this technique back before Pinterest or other crafting social media outlets. Seriously, who is capable of finding one tiny tooth in the dark under a pillow without waking up the (already suspicious) child asleep in the bed? Not this mom! Im just not that stealth and my kids are far to easily disturbed. 

About a year ago, when her first tooth was showing signs of evacuation I set to work making a tooth fairy pillow for L. For her special pillow I recycled a pink cable-knit sweater and used some ribbon I had on hand for a handle. I made it tooth shaped-ish and included a pocket with a heart on it. 
L with her Tooth Fairy Pillow
I think it turned out cute.

Back to my story. On Monday she lost another tooth early in the morning just after the girls got up. When their babysitter arrived L ran to her and told her about her tooth. To this Tia (this is what the kids call her) said in Spanish "El Raton will come to the house tonight!" this had us both a bit worried. I don't know about you, but having a rat come to my house, sneak into my daughters room, and take her tooth is slightly unpleasant. But whatever, right?

That night as I was putting the girls to bed L said to me "Mommy, if the Tooth Fairy isn't real, would it be you or daddy that was doing it?" to which her sister (the 4yo) said "Duh! Mommy! Cuz fairies are girls!" which put them both into giggles and thankfully changed the subject. This comes after a conversation she had with my husband at Christmas where she explained to him that she was fairly sure that Santa doesn't exist. Six years old. Ugh. Anyway, already on to her I had prepped myself. We put the tooth in a tissue before putting it into the pocket. The Tooth Fairy replaces the tooth in the tissue with the money (and sometimes glitter) like magic! So I had a tissue from the same box in my pocket with her money and as I put them to bed I replaced switched out the package and took a huge sign of relief as I shut the bedroom door. Good thing I did the old switch-a-roo! Because with her parting words she warned me that she was planning on staying up all night to see the Tooth Fairy and find out how it all worked. HA! HA! Victory for now!

The next morning she was so cute. She came out and asked if we could look up Tooth Fairy traditions around the world and find out why Tia had said a rat would come to the house. So we read about the traditions of the Spanish, French and Italian speaking parts of the world that believe a mouse comes to their homes and takes the teeth. Sometimes the mouse or rat had a last name, Pérez, and sometimes it was the mouse of the teeth. We also read about what people did before these traditions started and how parents would burry or burn children's baby teeth to save them from witches or help usher their spirits into a favorable afterlife. Our favorite of all was the regional Scottish myth which blended the story of the fairy (which seems to originate in Scandinavia) and the Ratoncito by making it a mouse fairy. How cute is that? 

Hey look! They even made a movie about El Raton!

After all of this the good news is that I am still able to outsmart my 6yo for now anyway…...