A late-night visitor dropped by our house last night. Fortunately, we had some advance notice of his coming. He was here to visit my daughter, Jaelyn. You see, she lost her first tooth yesterday, and she decided with finality that the Tooth Fairy would not be stopping by our house. Oh, no. Only "The Mouse" would be stopping here to do an exchange for that tooth.
Just before my son lost his first tooth, we purchased a book, Throw Your Tooth on the Roof, from Ten Thousand Villages. It describes what various cultures all over the world do when a child loses a tooth. For some, there is the Tooth Fairy. For others, a mouse or rat visits and will exchange the tooth for money or a gift. One of the more elaborate ones is that the tooth is thrown on the roof and if the child is up before sunrise, there will be a new chicken in the coop that will make a lovely soup for supper! This last one is what my son thinks will happen when his next tooth falls out. Hmmm.
The Mouse almost has the same status as Santa Claus in our house. A note is written to The Mouse. The tooth is carefully laid in a slipper and set outside the door, because as much as they would like the gift The Mouse brings, they don't actually want a mouse in their room! The Mouse writes back, leaves the gift and takes the tooth. In the morning, children get up earlier than usual, and they are full of shrieks of joy.
The Mouse generously left a book for my little one's inaugural visit. It is called My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. She loves the pictures, but we haven't had time to crack it open yet. We're hoping tomorrow brings time, cuddles, and laughter as we read through the book.