Before you condemn me as an opponent to imagination and creative play, let me stop you in your indignant tracks. I’m all for fairies and am not about to banish them from my house, but I do fear that I opened my arms too widely when I invited the magical beings into our home. I should have laid down a few ground rules before just letting them take up residence willy-nilly.
Our resident fairy is called Twinkle Fairy Night and she arrived into our home ceremoniously via a fairy door from the Irish Fairy Door Company. I don’t think a small painted piece of wood has ever inspired such greatness before. I have gifted these doors to a few children and I hope each time a fairy found their forever home.
Life with a fairy can be wonderful, the conversations and games which come from this set up is beautiful. We discovered shortly after Twinkle moved in that her cousin, Tallulah Flower Belle, is the local tooth fairy! Letters to Santa can also be sent to the North Pole by fairy post.
All this fairy dust is intoxicating, but very quickly your new house-mate can give you a headache.
The fairy and humans can sign a lease agreement which was provided with the door, which is very sweet and entertaining. However, if you are taking on a magical lodger I would recommend you tag a few extra terms and conditions to the end of that bad boy. In my experience it is best to get some matters resolved in advance, and save you from magical mayhem. Nobody wants fairies running riot in their home.
- Clearly defined visitation schedule – put it in writing that the fairy can only visit on certain days and those days only. It does no good for weary adults to discover that unbeknownst to them the child left a note out for fairy which the fairy never came to collect. Nobody likes tears first thing in the morning before they even get a sniff of coffee. To prevent this, make sure the child and fairy are clear on the days notes and gifts can be exchanged.
- A deposit box – in order to ensure that no notes or gifts are missed, have your child create a little box to leave them in. This can be decorated to their hearts content. This is closely related to point 1, and means that when you think that that scrap of paper lying there is just rubbish your error is quickly corrected. If it’s in the little box, it’s for the fairy.
- Weight limits – a fairy can only carry so much at a time. It is not reasonable for a little fairy to be expected to collect 3 notes, a pair of barbie shoes, a conker, paper flower and sticky jewel all in one visit. And if by some feat of strength that little fairy manages to carry it all, there can be no expectation that she returns something that same day.
- Tit for tat – follows point 3, you don’t just give to receive. A good life lesson! This means no whining because the fairy hasn’t left anything for your enthusiastic fairy fan despite all the
junkgifts they left out for their winged pal.
- Parental approval – fairies don’t have space for an awful lot in their little fairy homes. Parents have a good understanding of what a fairy family can or cannot cope with. Therefore, final approval must be sought before the brand new toy that Nana bought is left out to be taken away with the fairies. The same goes for objects the child is trying to get rid of – homework, uneaten vegetables and so on.
I know it’s only April now, and Christmas is a long way away yet. But a word of warning – one regular fairy is enough to keep a family busy. Stand firm and resist the lure of Elf on the Shelf when December rolls around. Ben and Holly might show fairies and elves living in harmony but in my house it was a disaster. Take it from me. Nobody has time for that much magic.
This post first appeared on the lovely M Word site.