Emily and Phoebe

Monday, April 24, 2006

Nearly busted

"Daddy, do you believe in the tooth fairy?"
"Oh, I really don't know, darling."
I answer in what I hope is a reassuring voice, indicating that TF might well exist but that she's asking the wrong person, because, well, how could I possibly know? This is a well-rehearsed response to Emily's various opening gambits, ideally delivered in a slightly distracted manner to show that I am not really listening to what she's saying and so nothing I say should be used against me at a later date.
"I'm not sure if she exists or not," Emily continued.
"Oh yes?"
"I think perhaps someone else is taking my teeth from under my pillow and leaving me money." "..."
(Feebly attempting to throw Emily off the scent) "Sorry, darling. I was just wondering what we need to get from the supermarket. Do we have any milk at home?"
"I'm asking you about the tooth fairy."
(Playing for time) "Oh, um, I don't know."
"I think maybe you or mummy are leaving the money for me. What do you think?"
What do I think? I think I'm in a corner! I'm torn between outright denial, which I know will come back to haunt me as The Time That You Lied To Me, and confessing, which is bound to provoke Instant Rage in the middle of the High Street. With no time for hesitation and little room for manoeuvre, I tell her that there are some questions that parents don't know the answer to and that instead of telling her what I think, I'd prefer her to decide for herself what she believes in. Which sounds rather like a clergyman assuring his parishioners that belief in the Almighty is a private affair, entirely optional, and not a matter for him to advise on or interfere in. (Which may indeed be the official position of the Church of England, for all I know.)

Anyway, Emily accepted this as an answer, told me she thinks the tooth fairy does exist, and that one of her teeth is loose.

Phew! (For the time being)


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