I had a running battle with Miss17 for about ten years over the existence or non-existence of these daft little critters. And now she's spreading her special blend of madness amongst her young siblings because she knows how much fun she had with me as she was growing up.
"Stop it," I pleaded with her. "I don't want the kids growing up believing that rot." Once it gets into their heads it's hard to get out. I know this for a fact because it's stuck in Miss17's head like honey to hair. Or so she made out. "I want them to believe in things like fishing and making their beds," I added encouragingly.
I'm not saying I don't believe in silly things myself - like my wife will actually have sex with me when she promises to - but aside from Santa I'm not keen for them to actually believe nonsense. I know I'm in the minority here, but in my defense I rarely get to actually say anything about this pet hate because unlike mythical creatures, my wife is very real. My good wife is the Gargamel of the real world and I am sensibly very scared of her and she's happy for them to believe in whatever they like.
So while I want to draw the line at mythical creatures, even small ones in green dresses, I mostly tend to hold my disbelief in and bombard the kids with mental messages. Not that I've had much success with this approach.
Although .... some good news this week. When it comes to fairies it seems my young son agrees with me.
"Fairies. Aren't. Real!" Master7 yelled at his sisters the other day after they watched a Tinkerbell movie and heard them chatting.
'Alright!' I thought. 'One little kid down: four to go.'
But then a pensive look flashed across his face. Something had occurred to him.
"Except for the tooth fairy," he said. I mean, obviously."But that's the only one!"
When it comes to the dollars, he's got good sense.