IT WAS the end of May 2006 and we were enjoying very unseasonably good weather. Oldest Boy was 12 weeks old and particularly cranky.
I did my best to quieten him and two days later my mother noticed a little white corner peeping through on his bottom gum. His first tooth! Hence the crankiness.
Fast forward approximately 6 years. Toothache and decay deemed it necessary to have 5 of those precious baby teeth pulled.
Four months shy of his ninth birthday and he (almost) has a mouth full of adult teeth. Yesterday the pesky one in the front finally fell out.
The first tooth in more than a year. Of course there was mention of the tooth fairy and he entrusted me with his pearly white for fear he might forget to leave it under his pillow or worse, lose it.
Before he went to bed he handed me a questionnaire for the tooth fairy, grilling him/her about his/her name, age and best friend.
At first I thought he was setting a trap. I had visions of him scrutinising my handwriting the following morning and accusing me of being the tooth fairy.
I wish! Imagine being that small and dainty. Although why I would want to collect teeth is beyond me!
But no, it seems the child was genuinely interested in how old his tooth fairy is, and any other information he/she might care to share.
He was still awake when I retired for the night. It is quite possibly a sign of things to come that I am asleep before him most nights. Anyhow 6.30am this morning saw me drag my sorry ass from the warm depth of my bed and tip toe across the landing.
Hugely aware of how it was automatically guaranteed he would wake early to see how much money the tooth fairy left, stealth was paramount. I was also expecting the dog to appear as is her wont when she hears my steps on the landing. She has a tendency to sniff the face of the sleeping person to wake them up. Usually mine. This could not happen.
Tippy tippy toe so as not to alert the dog or waken the slumbering boy.
Steady hand going under the pillow looking for the note. He also had his tooth in a tin.
All of them were right under his head. Another trap I thought.
I managed to get tin, pencil and note out of the room and with the dim light of the bathroom to guide me, answered his questions on the note in the smallest handwriting I could manage.
Part two was getting them back under the pillow.
I didn’t hang about once I’d returned them and sure as eggs are eggs, he appeared 15 minutes later.
He was delighted with his note and €2 coin. When I suggested he take it into school to show his teacher, he declined.
I suspect he feared he would be laughed at by his classmates.
And so it has started. The growing up, the doubting, the suspicion. I have already been asked if the Easter bunny really exists.
I fluffed my way through it as best I could.
At least he has written proof the tooth fairy exists.