The Age of Not Believing

Em is 6. Granted a very smart 6, but still 6. She may socialize with kids 2+ years older than her and I love that about it, but I still want her to be my baby.

That baby was almost lost last night.

I went into Em’s room last night as she was getting ready for bed. Randomly (I still haven’t figured out what prompted the conversation) she told me that fairies aren’t real. I am very mad at myself for not telling her that she needed to clap RIGHTNOW to keep alive whatever fairy she just killed by saying that. Disney-mom fail. I put on a pouty face, like I was just hearing this news for the first time. I asked her what about TinkerBell was if fairies aren’t real. She said that the one that flies over Disneyland is a machine and that the one in the movies is an actress wearing makeup and costumes. She also said that Dumbo wasn’t real, just actors in a costume like the ones at the Lion King musical we saw.

I asked about the Tooth Fairy and it dawned on her that perhaps not all fairies were real. She surmised that maybe the Tooth Fairy was like Santa Claus (no clue what that mean, but I went with it). I asked her if that meant we should leave out cookies and milk when she loses a tooth; all I got was a “Mo-oom!” look. “Since fairies aren’t real, that means they can’t fly, so the Tooth Fairy can’t come down the chimney.” Deciding that it was best not to question that logic, I asked how she gets in the room to exchange tooth for coins. I almost thought I stumped her! No such luck.

“The Tooth Fairy is a ghost.”

Oh boy.

Wait, if the Tooth Fairy is a ghost, then how does she bring in the coin through the window and take the tooth out? Can ghosts hold anything?

Em said that when the Tooth Fairy holds the coin or tooth, then those things don’t fall and can go through windows, too. But I could see that she wasn’t quite sure she liked the idea of the Tooth Fairy being a ghost.

“The Tooth Fairy is an angel!”

Now that I could accept. So the Tooth Fairy is an angel. But TinkerBell’s not real, right? So I asked Em if the Binky Fairy wasn’t real either.

Blank stare.

I explained about the Binky Fairy (trade “tooth” for “binky/pacifier” that a child has outgrown but reluctant to give up). Em got very quiet and I swear I could see the little gears in her brain working hard to come up with an explanation.

“Ok. So the Tooth Fairy and the Binky Fairy are real fairies.”

So I asked her again about TinkerBell.

“I’m not sure. Maybe.”

Whew. I can deal with “I’m not sure” a lot easier than I can with losing my “baby” so fast. Hopefully the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are welcome guests for a few more years.

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