The Small(er) One is close to losing her two front teeth and is terrifically excited at the prospect of crossing this latest Big Girl threshold. Firstborn, delighted she can parade her prior expertise in the tooth losing arena, has been dispensing knowledge at every available opportunity with the occasional scare story thrown in for good measure ("It only bleeds really badly for a little while, don't worry").
Yesterday Firstborn drew me to one side with a very serious expression on her face.
"Mummy," she said. "I am in two minds about something."
I raised my eyebrows: "Two minds? Really? About what?"
"Well," she sighed dramatically. "I think I should be telling the truth about the tooth fairy."
"The truth? Er, what do you mean?" I stuttered.
"Well, Mummy, I know." She paused, "I know that the tooth fairy isn't real."
"Rubbish!" I exclaimed, "Who told you such a terrible thing?" I looked around wildly, possibly to identify the perpetrator of this outrageous truth-telling or perhaps to identify the nearest escape route.
"Mummy!" Firstborn grinned at me, looking very pleased with herself. "You don't need to pretend. I know."
"And what do you base this erm knowledge on?" I asked.
"Oh Mummy, you're so silly. I know that the Tooth Fairy is YOU!" The grin took up most of her delighted little face.
"Nonsense!" I spluttered.
"I found the little box with all my baby teeth in it!" Firstborn looked fit to burst, so happy was she in having blown the lid off the whole adult con. "Why would you have them if the Tooth Fairy is real? She would have taken them off to fairy land! So it HAS to be you!"
Dammit. Rumbled. By 7-year-old logic, no less. But we had to come to an agreement in order to preserve the excitement for the Small(er) One - so the deal is that Firstborn keeps schtum and lets the legend of the Tooth Fairy live on and I generously allow her keep all the money she's made out of the Tooth Fairy over the years.
We shook on it with an overall feeling of satisfaction, but for me there is a lurking nugget of sadness - because what comes next? Father Christmas is a big fat commercial pile of twaddle? Babies don't come out of tummy buttons? Mummy, I'm an athiest? I guess I've got to face up to the fact that my little girl is already halfway to Grown Up.