Sunday, 30 January 2011

Tooth Fairy Cushion

The other day my four year old son asked me when he was going to get his ‘big’ teeth.  As I looked down at him and saw his two rows of perfectly formed baby teeth, I could picture in my mind the pain of extraction, the toothless grins, the not so perfect ‘big’ teeth, the braces, the excessive orthodontist bills and felt a touch of sadness that my babies are growing up.  If only we could keep them at this age of pure innocence forever.    

Anyway, this very innocent question did get me to thinking about the traditions that surround the loss of a childs' tooth.  There is a lot of info on the internet about the origins of the tooth fairy which makes for interesting reading.  Most of the research takes us back to the Middle Ages when it was believed that witches could gain control of you if they had a piece of you – hair, teeth, fingernails – with which they could work their magic.  Hence the importance of disposing of all teeth properly.  As an adult I find this quite interesting but I am not sure I would want to pass this history on to my 4 year old and risk a sleepless night as he dreams of witches and magic.  A lot of research moves from the Middle Ages on to the more recent tradition of placing the tooth under the pillow for the tooth fairy who very kindly leaves a coin or a treat.  The cynic in me thinks that the transition from witches and magic to cute tooth fairies and monetary gain is more about our need as a parent to ease our child’s suffering by offering some incentive and dressing it up with tales of fairies – what child does not like a story about fairies?  Will I carry on this tradition?  Of course I will which leads me to my latest project.  No longer is it good enough to place the tooth under the pillow – we need to have a special cushion in which to place the tooth and in which the fairy can place the coin.  I had all this lovely pink fabric in my stash and had recently purchased a set of fairy designs for a previous project so set to work on my tooth fairy cushion.  This was the result which I was really pleased with – the only problem being that it is very pink and girlie and I have a boy. 


How do I make a  tooth fairy cushion boyish?  I was thinking along the lines of embroidering a pirate instead of a fairy and making up a story about the tooth fairy delivering all the teeth to the pirates in the middle of the ocean who then grind the teeth down to make fairy dust which the tooth fairies throw up to the night sky to shine amongst all the stars.  Who knows – in 100 years time this might be the story which all children believe in.

“And that’s the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth”. (quoted from The Straight Dope)


  1. Your tooth fairy cushion is beautiful and I think the pirate idea for a boyish version is wonderful. It is fantastic to see your creativity blossoming after years of dreaming about a better life at home. I love your blog and am looking forward to future posts.

  2. Good for you planning ahead!
    I made William's tooth pillow the night it fell out.
    I still like it, though.... I think I like your pirate idea better!