Keeping make believe magic alive for children is – for whatever reason – just something that we parents are supposed to do. We buy a sackful of Christmas presents and then pretend some fat man broke in and put them at the end of the bed. We skillfully lift sleeping heads up by the pillow to slip quarters underneath on behalf of that lazy ass tooth fairy and we run round the garden looking for perfect places to hide plastic eggs (not too hard – not too easy) that we spent two hours the night before stuffing with melty candy, and then lay all the thanks at the paws of the Easter Bunny. It’s a rough deal – but, whatever.
However – in a situation entirely of my own making, I have managed to notch the whole hooplaha up a level, and it’s all come to backfire on me in the way that only the very best of intentions can.
I’ve somehow invented the presence of a secret ‘fairy hidey hole’ that must be magically restocked with precious gems, rocks, broaches etc. every day in order for my child to sleep through the night.
So how did this come about?
A while ago Finn went through one of his ‘not sleeping’ phases. And online I read that I should spray lavender water around the bed so that when he woke up in the night he’d smell the same smell he went to sleep with, be comforted and go back to sleep. It was either this or I was going to have to start grinding up ZzzQuil to put in his milk at night so I duly bought some lavender water and started spraying it around his bed at night telling him it would help him sleep.
Finn: How does it work?
Mummy (very tired): The fairies smell the lavender and then fly down and watch over you all night.
Finn: Will I see the fairies?
Mummy (very very tired): No.
Finn: Why not?
Mummy: Because you’re not English. (?)
Finn: Then how will I know they’ve been there all night?
Mummy: Maybe they’ll leave you a present.
Finn: It’s important that I see the present now. Or I won’t be able to sleep.
Mummy: Ok. I’ll go and see if they left one.
Finn: Where will they have left it?
Mummy (delirious): In the fairy hidey hole.
Finn: And where is that?
Mummy. I can’t tell you.
Finn: Why not.
Mummy: Because you are not English. (?)
So I stumbled off, found some old broach and came back – Volia! A genuine fairy gift. He slept like a rock all night safe in the now ‘proven’ knowledge that the fairies were watching out for him. Every now and then I produce the odd rock or piece of jewelry that ‘the fairies’ have left in the secret hidey hole and all is well.
Recently he found a few pieces of onyx that I had inside a candle in my room and, over the moon, came to find me and tell me that he’d found the fairy hidey hole! And now he must be 100% English! Argh.
So now – every morning – he rushes in the bedroom room to see what the fairies have left for him. So far he’s had a jade lotus flower, a bell on a safety pin that my ex MIL once gave me, various polished rocks, a turkey with a bobbling head etc. Yesterday I ran out of items. I’d ordered a job lot of stones from Amazon but they hadn’t arrived yet. I searched the house and found…nothing.
Nothing, except for a sequined, red, adhesive-backed nipple tassel.
No. I’ve not had a past in a titty bar – a friend gave me them one year for a saucy b’day gift and, needless to say, they’ve never been used.
So. With no other options ahead of me, I put the red sequined nipple tassel in the fairy hidey hole. ’ It’s all about context,’ I reassured myself.
The next morning Finn was, of course, delighted and asked what it was.
Mummy: A fairy party hat.
Finn: It’s soooo cool! I’m going to take it to school for show and tell!
Mummy: No Finn – you can’t do that!!
Mummy (thinking quickly): Because then all the other children will wonder where the fairy hidey hole is in their house, but they won’t have one.
Finn: Because they’re not English?
Mummy: Ex-actly. Finn, exactly…