Your Tooth Fairy Ideas and Giveaway

So as you can see form the pics, L’s first tooth came out.  It fell out faster than I expected, and I felt a sudden sense of panic. I remembered it popping through as a baby tooth and felt a pang of nostalgia, I remembered the fairy magic my own mum conjured for me, and I realised I had no plan for this milestone. So I turned to facebook and Twitter.  Here’s what I discovered:

On the going rate everyone suggested £1 per tooth, although there are exceptions:

Becky at Baby Budgeting said

£1, except for when the tooth fairy is very busy and can’t make it that night (codeword ; mummy forgot!!!!!!) then she leaves double the next night to make up for it..the shame. If the tooth goes missing e.g swallowed /left in a library book at school you have to leave a letter on the bedroom door telling the tooth fairy what has happened.

My friend N also makes exceptions in special circumstances

the tooth fairy sometimes brings more for the big front tooth that had to be dragged out before the school photo to get rid of ongoing ‘Nanny Mcphee’ look

My friend M suggested molars should be £2. Bavarian Soujourn agreed, but in euros.

My friend T

Wrote to the tooth fairy appealing for a small donation even in times of recession (the 80s?)  My mother carried that letter round with her almost to the day she died… (I have to admit, she actually carried the tooth around for many years, until I told her that was revolting).


My friend F told me not to make the mistake of giving just a pound, but to give change. My sister in law agreed:

my standard rate is £1 but the little ones like it in change.  I also wrote little letters in tiny writing,once I made a fairy card out of feathers

Like my sister in law, lots of you get creative:

Super Amazing Mum is just what it say on the tin when it comes to the Tooth Fairy:

All of my kids have their “own” tooth fairy. They are the same age as the kids and write them lovely letters in very curly writing….both fairies say that if the kids are worried about anything, they can always write to them for advice…lots of mums around this way now do the same so we have a mafia of fairies who know each other and write personalised letters!

Emma of Bavarian Soujourn and Laura of Dichotomy of write letters, Laura writes

about what the tooth is going to build in toothtown.

The Ana Mum Diary tooth fairy even has her own email address.

I wrote about my mum’s creative approaches in another blog post;

Once my mum in role as tooth fairy, made a fairy playground out of the objects on my desk.  She also left a copy of Beatrix Potter’s The Fairy Caravan open on my desk.  It was the closest thing to magic I have ever come across.

@Milla64 suggested a fairy pot, her tweeted recipe goes as follows:

tiny jar (hotel jam) golden thread (misguided sewing project, churned up sewingmachine) chopped up wonky-writing note, £1 in pot.

Although Kate Takes 5 has a word of warning on creativity:

Start as you mean to go on! I got too excited on the first one and put glitter and a rose petal under the pillow along with the coin (I know I know). For the next tooth she wrote a letter to the tooth fairy asking for more glitter, more petals and a picture of the fairy. The next one she wrote 20 fairy questions she wanted to know the answer to (plus picture, glitter and petals) etc. The more you feed it the worse it gets.

And on the tooth fairy extracting the tooth from under the pillow there were the following wisdoms:

Laura’s son…

used to make traps to catch the fairy…or a redfaced me.

Jen at Mum in the Madhouse

Made the boys a little heart with a pocket in to put their tooth in, this made it easier to find and exchange, or it would if Maxi didn’t swallow his!

My friend S joked on facebook minutes before I went in to do the deed that

you have to actually wear wings!


Jen at Love Chic Living thoughtfully reminded me:

if you throw the tooth away make sure L can’t find it later. I’ve had some near experiences!

I’ve loved reading all your tooth fairy ideas and I hope you don’t mind me sharing them, if I have featured you I will enter you all in the draw automatically.  I invite everyone else to please enter through the comments. Here’s how:


The prize is a £50 experience voucher for Experience Days.  And before you ask, yes you can get a WHOLE experience for £50 (jet ski, rally driving, afternoon tea for two, a fashion shoot to name a few), or put it towards something bigger.

Just fill in the rafflecopter, leave one of your best tooth fairy ideas, anecdotes, little legacies, reminiscences or link to a tooth fairy ideas post, in the comments below.

Competition closes 12 noon Wednesday 7th March.  UK entries only. One winner will be chosen at random.

Next week I will be searching for your wisdoms on a new topic, prizes and suggestions for topics greatfully received!

My life as a pop video

I thought I was cool with my husband working away, but I’m not.  The kids have started sneaking into bed with me, I’m not bothering to cook proper meals, my patience has flatlined and I feel like I’m under curfew after the kids are in bed.

We’re pretty experienced at living apart some of the week, in fact most of the last 13 years we’ve done it in some form, whether that be a couple of nights away a week or a week away a month. We’re professional live aparters. I cope fine on my own, I just go into organisational overdrive and collapse in a heap come Friday night. What I can’t stand is the switching between two realities.  It just confuses everyone.

More to the point I miss him.  I was reminded of this video last week, as I stood staring into the fridge, listening to it buzz and waiting for ‘dinner for one’ inspiration to hit me.  Of course to be authentic, this video needs toys strewn across the floor, a pile of unwashed dishes, a 3yo wrapping the house top to bottom in toilet roll and a 5yo demanding to be fed treats. Replace the white, minimalist, modernist living space with a dusty, ramshackle Victorian semi, clad in crayon, toilet paper and weetabix. And Mel C, replace her with a dishevelled and grumpy 34 year old with a mobile to her ear shouting over screaming kids ‘I hope you’re coming back real soon, because I don’t know what to do! This is torture, this is pain, it feels like I’m gonna go insane etc etc.’

And Bryan, yeah best replace him obviously.  But, we’ll keep the dog.

The upshot is I think we’re pretty much certain to be moving sooner rather than later.

If your life was a pop video right now, what would it be?

Week to View

Top left – batch cooking seems to be the only way to survive the week on my own with the kids.  Spent Sunday afternoon making Veg stew, Lentil Shepherd’s pie and broccoli/macaroni/ caluiflower cheese.  The stand off with 3yo G continues, as he attempts to live on weetabix, bananas and peanut butter sandwiches.

Bottom left  – Miss L lost her first tooth.

Middle – Sunday was gorgeous, first time the washing got pegged out on the line and the kids got sent to pick lots of herbs for all that food. Mr A and I fixed the trampoline.

Top right – My little legacy for last week. I’ve clocked up 31 now. I keep saying that’s the last, but they keep on coming.

Middle right – If you want to know who these ladies are you’ll have to read my Lazy Daisy post this week.

The WWF animals I adopted for the kids at Christmas now go everywhere with them on their scooters.


Landscapes – The Gallery

It’s taken me ages to work it out, I’ve tried living on the seafront in Brighton, on the flat in Hull and Nottingham, in the smoke in Streatham, but the only landscapes that make me truly happy are hilly ones.

This is Cheshire, on the edge of the Peak District where I grew up.  It’s the hill my mum scattered her mum’s ashes on, and where we scattered hers.  Despite the connection to my family, I still don’t think I have ever found a landscape that feels so much like home.  Forests, cities, seasides, they’re great, but they make me feel like a tourist.  Suburbia makes me feel stifled.  A hill though, it makes me feel on top of the world, I can see for miles, literally and metaphorically, even when it’s foggy and the sun is setting.

What about you?  What landscapes make you feel at home?  The theme at The Gallery is landscapes this week.

Week to view

I have to say documenting our lives in pictures has become quite addictive. I’m loving it, particularly the excuse to use mundane photos because they capture important stuff. As a media teacher I was always fascinated by the amount of time we spend artificially creating a ‘representation’ of life in image and film.  Hence I have a thing for the photos people try to delete.  Unless they are really really rubbish of course.

Top row L-R Trip to the beautiful Rufford Abbey, lovely walks, my shadow waving in an attempt not to be erased from family photo history.  The first snowdrops, which will forever be bittersweet in that they remind me of losing my mum, but beautiful.  A rather nice sculpture.

The arrival of our child sponsorship pack from Action Aid, more on that later this week.  Emotional and exciting in equal measure.  My daughter drawing a picture for the child we sponsored.

Bottom row L-R tickets for the fabulous children’s theatre, Goldilocks at Lakeside Arts.  I am loving being a blogger in residence.

Mr G building a space machine to get to the moon (paper lampshade). Must finish that kid’s book I started on that very matter.

Baking Valentine’s heart shaped cookies last Monday, unfortunately Mr A was delayed and when he got home on Thursday, they’d all gone, but we’d made jam tarts instead.

Miss L trying to entice a Robin to feed off her hand at Attenborough Nature reserve.  It so nearly did too.

I’ve been talking on Lazy Daisy radio about my experiences of birth and parenting this week, and writing for Lazy Daisy about how children change your friendships.

Have a fab week and did you know you can link up your pics with The Boy and Me of a Sunday?

Who’s been sleeping in my bed?

This afternoon we went to see some fab children’s theatre, Little Angel’s interpretation of Goldilocks at Lakeside Arts in Nottingham.  The story is told with song and puppets. It was an excellent reminder for me of why I take my kids to the theatre, and why children’s theatre matters.

I became really aware this afternoon of a gulf in how my two view what they see.  My son is 3 and still inhales theatre on a very sensory level, it makes him smile and chuckle and belly laugh like nothing else. Those moments in theatre happen to me as an adult too, but as adults I think we find it much harder to turn our analytical brain off. That’s why I love watching him watching theatre.

Something about the way the wooden bear puppets played with their toy cars, the way they danced and the way the performers made them behave, really tickled him.  He wasn’t alone, the boy in the seat in front cried when the bears left at the end of the show and could only be coerced to leave the theatre by the promise of meeting one of them as they waved the children goodbye at the exit.

My ponderings on whether furry bear puppets would have been more magical were quickly dismissed, there’s no need to patronise children’s ability to imagine, as children’s theatre of this calibre recognises. Children are forever creating stories out of whatever they have to hand. My son clambered up on his chair as baby bear escaped to the back of the auditorium and chatted away confidently to him as a performer brought him past our row of seats.  There was none of the fear of puppets children often experience from any of the children in the audience. They completely believed in the bears.

My son bobbed along to the music, a mix of blues and soul inspired songs sung beautifully by the two performers. He even tugged at my husband’s arm to nod and smile his approval.

My daughter is five and becoming aware of theatre on a new level.  That’s both a little bit sad, in that she’s not spellbound in the childlike way the 3yo is, but she’s fascinated in the mechanics, which I love.  She’s becoming aware of set ‘I think those boxes are the bears house’, scene changes ‘Is it an advert Mummy?’ (*cringe*), interpretations ‘It isn’t told like the usual story’ and conventions ‘Is the puppet Goldilocks?’

I heard several older children asking where Goldilocks was, expecting the fair skinned, human, golden haired version rather than a dark skinned puppet with jet black plaits threaded with gold; I really liked the way the performance effortlessly challenged these perceptions of race and representation with such a young audience. The piece is rich with a range of multicultural influences from costume, to music, to set, to characterisation.

Little Angel theatre are based in London and are one of only 3 building based theatre companies in England to specialise in puppetry. As well as performances in their Islington theatre they have up to 3 shows touring the country at once, click on the link if you want to find a Little Angel show near you.  Goldilocks is continuing its tour around the UK.

I love theatre because it communicates on so many levels, many of them subconcious.  I love theatre because it’s live, and it’s shared by a group of people.  I’m not religious but theatre is one of the ways I instill a sense of ceremony, ritual and spirituality in my children, as humans have been doing for thousands of years.  Oh and afterwards you can’t beat a hot chocolate, a cake, a walk and a play in Highfields Park, the stunning grounds of Nottingham University.

Disclosure  – I’m parent blogger in residence at Lakeside Arts and received tickets in exchange for my impartial review of this production.

How safe is your work?

Once as a teacher I had a guillotine thrown at me. A very literal ‘off with her head’.  I was on reflection, being incredibly annoying in teenager terms, I wanted overdue coursework finished there and then, plus I dodged the guillotine, doubly annoying for the child involved, but lucky for both of us. Continue reading

Global citizens Little Legacy 30

I’ve written previous Little Legacies, about how mum inspired my love of a nature and encouraged me to champion charities helping the developing world.  This week I’m thinking about how I am going to carry those little legacies on.

It seems strange to start a post about Action Aid by referring to the World Wildlife fund, but bear with me (no pun intended), one little legacy informs another here.

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Why do we drink?  To wind down, to wind up, because others do, because they don’t. because it’s early, because it’s late, because we’re celebrating, because there’s nothing to celebrate, to make friends, to forget enemies, to feel invincible, to feel numb, because we’re stressed, because we’re bored.

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Gatecrashing a crow funeral


I’m back on the running.  I got back up to 5k last week and it was actually pretty enjoyable, apart from gatecrashing a crow funeral.  Yes, after outing myself as a bit of a twitcher here a few weeks ago (yeah, I know, I am so cool), I thought a bird related tangent would be appropriate.

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