As my eldest son is now six we are all eagerly awaiting his first wobbly tooth. Lots of his friends are beginning to sport that distinctive gap toothed grin, but so far his pearly whites are all staying stubbornly put. No surprise really, he's always been a late starter and if things follow their usual pattern he will retain all his milk teeth until most of his classmates have a mouth full of new gnashers and then suddenly all his teeth will fall out in one go, only to reveal a brand new set beneath.
But the real point of this post was to share a gem that was passed on to me by my dentist when during a brief chat about when we might see the back of eldest sons' milk teeth. Now back in my day when you lost a tooth you were thrilled to find a shiny, sharp edged 50p under your pillow, but now the tooth fairy's rates seem to have undergone inflation like so many other things in life.
Naturally I would expect some degree of increase, but given my sons consumer desires run no higher than sweets, of which I am sure the fairy would disapprove, and cheap toys, I think that £1 is more than fair. However, it seems like I am way off the mark with my miserly sum, or at least I would be if I moved in the same rarefied circles as the rest of my dentist's clients.
He told me that when his rich clients' children come in, with the nanny in tow rather than mummy who is far too busy lunching and spending to bother herself with her babies, he loves to ask them what the tooth fairy left for them under their Frette pillowcases. I have asked everyone I know to guess how much the answer is, but that doesn't really work on a blog so I will have to reveal all and just imagine your shocked gasps of horror.
It turns out that the going rate amongst the monied classes for one dinky little tooth is £150!
Now even if I were a billionaire there is no way my child would find £150 under his pillow in return for his baby tooth. It's a terrifying insight into people who clearly think that pounds mean parenting. How could any mum and dad really believe that a child should receive such an enormous sum from the tooth fairy. How would her tiny wings carry it in the first place and, while slipping a coin under the pillow of your sleeping child is relatively straightforward, wouldn't the rustling of all those crisp notes disturb their beauty sleep?
Mind you rich folk are clearly crackers as the other tale he shared with me before shooing me out of his chair in favour of those patients with far more cash to splash was about one yummy mummy who trilled: "We gave the children a real treat this weekend, they went on a bus!". He looked a bit puzzled, after all these kids live in London where buses are a pretty common form of transport. "Have they never been on a bus before?' he ventured. "Oh no, nanny took them on for the first time just to see what it was like. But don't worry we had the chauffeur following behind, so when they got tired of it they could get off and back into the limousine", she explained.
I suppose when you are accustomed to a life such as this you'd better save up all the pennies or pounds the tooth fairy leaves as you are sure to grow up with very expensive tastes.