Away with the fairies.

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.

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 junk gifts they left out for their winged pal.
  5. 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.


The Giant Bunny in the corner…

I am a self-confessed chocolate addict, I have stashes of chocolate hidden everywhere for emergency purposes.  You just never know when or where the need for a Toffee Crisp will strike so I find it prudent to make sure there is always one on hand.  I am a hoarder of all things chocolate.  We moved home last year, and the confectionery hauls that were discovered were impressive, even I had forgotten what was where!  From memory I believe that approximately 6 Easter Eggs from last year were located (I have to hide them from my daughter’s line of sight and ration them out, of course like any good mother I help protect her from herself and do my duty and eat a couple), I must start keeping an inventory.

Easter bunny2

So it’s fair to say I’m on board with Easter.  What’s not to like?  Chocolate abounds and it is socially acceptable to enjoy it in more than moderate quantities.  I am also very partial to the occassional Cadbury’s Creme Egg and the seasonal availability of these stresses me, so I always have a couple stored with the “For emergencies only” supplies all year round.

Clearly that’s a thumbs up for Easter eggs from me, but there is an elephant in the room.  Or rather a giant bunny.  It appears my 5 year old really does think a giant bunny hops around leaving little chocolate eggs all over the place for her to find.  I am not quite sure how this belief has crept in and am unsure what to do with it.  I usually encourage any magical thoughts as childhood is fleeting and the joy is so pure.  But the Easter Bunny was not part of my childhood, or anyone else’s in Ireland from a quick straw poll.  We all knew the American’s had him bouncing about the place, but we were content that he stay that side of the Atlantic.  It wasn’t like we didn’t get any chocolate without him.

Easter bunny1

But somehow his enormous furry presence is now casting its shadow over our emerald isle.  I blame our parental delight in creating little egg hunts so we can watch welly-booted toddlers clamour around damp gardens on Easter Sunday with baskets…. I think I have helped create this problem, by trying to only take on board half of the tradition without fully realising how small minds connect the dots. What do I?  If I start laying down the facts and gently directing her towards the truth I am afraid that will open a can of worms and her inquisitive little mind will start putting two and two together and questioning the magic I am happy to support.   On the other hand I am slow to start encouraging the notion as it’s a step too far for me.  So what do you do?  Does the Easter Bunny pay a visit?  Do you have an egg hunt but no bunny talk?  Or is it clear that it’s family and friends that bestow the giant Easter egg mountain on your children?

In the meantime, Tesco now have 3 medium Easter Eggs for €4.50 and rumour has it Dunnes Stores has the same deal for €4.00!  So bunny or not, it’s a good time to stock up.