It’s 2:39am and I’m sitting at my laptop writing a letter to the Tooth Fairy. It began with the first lost tooth quite a few years ago now when a family friend suggested – within listening distance of my daughter – that in her house the Tooth Fairy is called Stephanie and she writes a letter every time she visits. My daughter then decided to pre-empt the Tooth Fairy’s visit and write her a letter first, asking her all sorts of questions about Fairyland, which she tucked under her pillow with her tooth. The first two or three times were very sweet – questions about Stephanie’s likes and dislikes; how she hopes the Tooth Fairies will be proud of her teeth; asking what they would do with them… However, two children later and the Tooth Fairy is running out of things to say (so far, Stephanie has written 11 letters to my oldest and 15 to my younger daughter).
These visits always seem to come at the most inopportune moments, as though to test my creative reserves. Ten minutes ago, I found myself sitting bolt upright in bed suddenly realising at a God-awful time of the morning that I needed to write another sparkling note, full of magic and rainbow unicorns, as well as find a quid to go with it. Can I also add that I’m half-pissed after hosting a dinner party that only ended half an hour ago. Yes, in our house, the Tooth Fairy only needs to hear the sound of a cork popping for her to magic the teeth out of small mouths.
Besides the obvious disadvantages of forgetting to write a letter, not being able to find a £1 coin when inebriated or the perils of using a laptop under the influence (many a regrettable Facebook post has immediately preceded the art of letter writing in such situations), there are some advantages to being a little bit squiffy when playing my alter ego. In years gone bye, I have concocted stories about whales as best friends, palaces made of teeth and fairies winning their wings like Oscars through creating elaborate kids’ dreams. Anything can end up on the page and the more far-fetched the better when talking all things magical.
This time around, I think I’ve done a pretty good job. Prosecco fuel has conjured up what Stephanie the Tooth Fairy’s favourite film is, the Queen’s favourite books to read and how proud she is at the magical teeth she has procured against all odds, such as wild dogs and stalking cats.
I should relish each adventure into Fairyland as who knows how long this will go on for. My oldest turns 12 in two weeks and it is a small miracle that she still believes at such a ripe old age. To be honest, I don’t think she does; I think she is keeping up appearances for her 9-year-old sister. The clue to this may be in the fact that this time around she waited until four teeth had fallen out until she put them all under her pillow in one go, apparently hoping Stephanie would leave a fairy fiver.