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Honour the Child

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Wednesday, 2 March 2011
Not yet, although if the frequency of Rowan checking for a loose tooth counted, she'd be all gums by now!
Her peers have begun to lose teeth.
Each week when I volunteer in the classroom there is another changed smile or two.  One little guy just turned 6 and has lost 7 teeth (and his 4 year old brother asked big bro to knock one of his out so he could get some money from the Tooth Fairy, too!).
Happy Tooth by the Awesome Sighfoo
 And this got me thinking about the Tooth Fairy.  Rowan has always liked the idea, and often the Tooth Fairy has figured into her play.  She once read a book where the Tooth Fairy sat in a room full of furniture made from teeth (kind of macabre if you ask me!) and that really captured her imagination.

Growing up, we put our tooth in a cup with a bit of water and put it by our bed. It was always a Holly Hobby egg cup for me. And in exchange for the tooth, we would find a coin in the water (back in the days before the Toonie and Loonie/ $1 and $2 coins here in Canada!).   We were always offered large cash incentives if we would let my stepdad tie a string to our tooth and to the doorknob... and let him slam the door.  I don't think he ever got the satisfaction.
I have been thinking about the opportunity to implement the tooth loss tradition in our home. I did notice that Canada Post is selling a 2011 Tooth Fairy quarter in a display envelope, which might make a nice way to mark this milestone.

On the other hand, a ring made of human teeth? Not so much.

The loss of a child's 'milk teeth' has always been a significant event in cultures around the world, marking a new age for the child and a new role in the community in many cases. I did an quick survey of some traditional practices:

In Japan: An upper tooth is throw below the floor and a lower tooth upon the roof so the new tooth will grow in the right direction (the lower tooth up and the upper tooth down).
In Mexico:  The tooth is placed under the pillow of the child, but it is a mouse that takes it and leaves money.
In Mongolia: The baby tooth is given to a young dog, who is considered a guardian angel. The dog eats it and ensures a strong tooth will grow in its place.
In Italy:  The tooth is kept as a keepsake.

Most North Americans place the tooth under the pillow of the child and the Tooth Fairy replaces it with money in the night...

How do you mark this milestone at your house?


Pumpkin Pie Baby said...

My grandmother made us a special tooth fairy pillow that was small and round, and she had sewn a tooth shaped piece of felt onto the back to make a pocket. We'd put our tooth in the pocket and the tooth fairy would always leave us $1.25. My oldest now gets to use the pillow when she loses her teeth. After she lost her first tooth, she wanted to know if the tooth fairy was real and who put money in her pillow. When she really pressed us on it, I told her that her dad and I put the money in (because how many characters who bring presents to the kids can I really keep track of?) but since then she's chosen on her own to believe. She even built a fairy house for the tooth fairy complete with furniture and tea lights.

Lori @ Beneath the Rowan Tree said...

Good ofr her! I think it is even more magical if she chooses to believe it! ♥

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