Yesterday, Alex turned to his dad and told him there was no such thing as the Tooth Fairy.
Apparently, lying in his bed the night after Christmas, he had started thinking. He knows fairies don’t exist1. The Tooth Fairy is a fairy. Therefore, she doesn’t exist.
But he didn’t stop there. He went on to consider the problem of the exchange of teeth for money. Was there a more plausible agent than the now-deprecated fairy? Of course there was; he knows that I creep into his bedroom every night after he’s asleep to give him one last kiss and tell him that I love him.
So he reckoned that Martin or I would exchange the tooth for money in the night.
Coincidentally, he lost a tooth yesterday evening. He considered setting a booby trap to catch whoever was doing the money exchange3. But he forgot to put the tooth under his pillow last night. I’d left it on the shelf in my bindery.
This morning, I was in the bindery getting a hair stick. I called him in and pointed to the shelf where his tooth had been last night, and where a nice shiny Euro coin was now sitting.
He laughed and laughed. He accused me; I said I’d left a tooth there the night before and there was a coin there now. He reckoned it was his dad instead.
He won’t take the coin, either. Principled little guy.
- Why? I told him, in the context of Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book, and it accords with his very good reality/fantasy distinction2
- Unlike his reality/science fiction distinction, which is weak
- He’s capable of it; he has a couple of kiddie spy kits that have motion sensor alarms.
- This is a Murder of Roger Ackroyd reference, if you are familiar with the book.
5 thoughts on “Alex deduces”
I like that he doesn’t appear to be upset that there aren’t any fairies in real life, but just accepts them as the subject of jokes. So much for the need to protect innocence by pretending that all those shibboleths are real. Kids are a lot tougher and more flexible than we allow for most of the time.
I took Alex aside and had a little chat about secrets.
I pointed out that Fiona (and many of his playmates) haven’t worked it out about the Tooth Fairy, and presented the realisation as an achievement on the maturation process. (Indeed, I think it is.) In short, I suggested that he not tell other children what he’d worked out.
He can’t keep a secret in a sack with a lock on it, though, so I suspect it’ll slip out.
He took the Euro in the end, on terms of true honesty.
(Upset? Not in the slightest. He is entertained by worlds he knows are not real, and by the real world as well.)
How is he on the subject of Sint Nicolaas and his assistants?
Again, I am awed by your kids.
That’s a swell kid.
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