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The Redster: Five and a quarter
The Cutester: Two

By the way, I’ve backdated a blog I should have written back in October if you’re interested…

I love being with the Redster at the moment. OK, she can be the stroppiest, cheekiest, bolshiest piece of work she’s ever been, but when she’s not – and that’s most of the time – she’s priceless. Five is so grown-up, so easy to chat to about anything, able to tell jokes competently (she has two so far. Why did the banana go to the doctor?) but so eager to learn and willing to be taught about anything. There is nothing uncool about parents yet. And at the same time she is still so dinky and dimpled and delicate. I just want to eat her.

I’ve taken to telling her that her little white teeth are so cute that I’d like to make them into a necklace. I might be getting my wish sooner than I’d imagined because on Friday she came home from school sporting her FIRST WOBBLY TOOTH. Oh, the excitement! – and one little pearl on a silver chain I could add to my jewellry collection! (I wouldn’t really.) There is just one enormous obstacle to this plan: the wretched tooth fairy.

I am very poor at this child-deception thing. Conversations about Father Christmas fill me with dread. My feeling is that if I lie to her about Father Christmas, when she finds out the dreadful truth, why should anything I said about Jesus be true either? So I have never out-and-out said that Santa is real. I refer to it as a game and this year I told her about St Nicolas, with heavy emphasis on his faith in the real reason for Christmas. But the poor child is in too deep. She’s convinced herself he’s real, even though she knows that the people who lurk in Satan’s Ghettoes, er, Santa’s Grottoes, are not him, and when she said ‘But where is the REAL Father Christmas?’ I couldn’t actually form the words, ‘He doesn’t exist!’ and then babyfather changed the subject.

So how we deal with the tooth fairy, I’m not sure. I’d be all for making a big fuss of her over the tooth when it finally comes out, then pocketing it for future sentimentality, and never involving any fairies at all. But I know what would happen. The Redster will tell everyone she knows including the man with the moustache at the grocer’s and the lady next door and the Big Issue seller outside Morrison’s that her tooth has come out, and one of them will say, ‘Did the tooth fairy come?’ and then she better had done. I seem to be in the grip of a child-deceiving society and what can I do?

Oh, the answer is: because it wasn’t peeling well.

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