But last night, she started in with the honesty thing and I started to wonder if perhaps it would be better if she had a bit more of Julio and a bit less of me in her.
Setting: Family dinner---all 5 of us present
8yrold: So it turns out there's no Tooth Fairy.
8yo: Yeah, this girl at school did an experiment and found out that she doesn't exist.
6yo: Yes, she does.
8yo: No, she doesn't. My friend has proof.
Me: What was the proof?
8yo: Her tooth fell out and she didn't tell her mom and the Tooth Fairy didn't come.
Me: Huh. Well, maybe the Tooth Fairy forgot. That's happened to you before (Yes, I totally forgot one night...okay, maybe 3 nights but whatever, she got her quarters and a really good apology note the next night).
6yo: Yeah, she's forgotten with me too. (Okay, I might have forgotten with him also but it was only the one time.)
Me: The Tooth Fairy has a lot to do. She's probably not perfect.
8yo: Yeah, kind of like you, Mom.
3yo: Can I have more butter, pwease?
8yo: Hey Mom, how come Santa has different writing every year when he leaves me a note?
Me: How do you know that he has different writing?
8yo: I kept the notes and compared them. They are definitely different.
Me: Maybe he types them on the computer and the fonts are different.
6yo: No, I saw them. They are handwritten.
Me: Well, maybe his staff helps with writing the notes.
8yo: Huh. I don't think so. (long pause) It would be a bummer if there is no Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus.
3yo: More milk, pwease.
6yo: Yeah, that would mean we wouldn't get money OR presents.
Julio (finally): Exactly. Better to keep believing. Is there any more stew?
I am a fiction writer. I like the magic. But when do we come clean with our kids? Montessori school is tricky because the kids are grouped in 3 year cycles. That means that my 1st grader is exposed to 3rd grader insight. This can be awesome sometimes, but it also can lead to the following:
6yo: Hey mom, the F-word was written on the bathroom stall in Chinatown.
Me: How do you know the F-word?
8yo: He heard one of the 3rd grade boys scream it really loud one day at recess.
Me: What was he doing saying the F-word at recess?
8yo: He was trying to explain what it meant to one of the first graders in my class.
6yo: Yeah, but I couldn't hear what he was saying.
Me: Thank God.
8yo: Hey mom, what does sex mean?
Damn you, 3rd grader with way too much knowledge! I'm going to be taking you to the Peace Table pretty soon.