Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another Visit from Ratoncito Perez

I always find it interesting when I reflect back on the things that the kids have experienced here more than they have in the US.  For instance, Aidan has actually been in the school system here longer than he was at home.  And Liam is close to the point where he will have lived here longer than he has lived in the US.  Another, more minor item, I guess you could say, is that all of the baby teeth Aidan has lost so far has happened here in Barcelona (I had to confirm this with him as I thought at least one happened at home, but I guess not). 

As we've learned from our time here in Barcelona, some traditions are similar to those we have at home... with a little twist.  Take the Tooth Fairy.  I imagine her looking similar to Tinkerbell and she very stealthily (is that even a word?) grabs the tooth from under your pillow replacing it with some money, in Aidan's case 2€.   She's cute and harmless as far as the kids are concerned.

However, there is a slight twist here in Barcelona which I suppose is to be expected, Tooth Fairy's cousin, Ratoncito Perez.  Since the late 1800s, the children are not visited by the Tooth Fairy, but by Ratoncito Perez, a friendly little mouse who, like the tooth fairy, plucks the fallen tooth out from under the pillow.  However, unlike the Tooth Fairy, Ratoncito Perez is supposed to leave a small present. 

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

Not long after the tale of Ratoncito Perez began to make its way into Spanish culture, writer Luis Coloma used the character of Ratoncito Perez and wrote a story for future King Alfonso XIII when he lost a tooth at age 8.  The tale states that Ratoncito Perez lived in with his family in a box of cookies in Madrid.  Apparently he was not fond of home and ran away quite often thru the pipes in the city where he would end up in the bedrooms of children who had just lost their teeth.  And behold, a tradition is born. 

Aidan's not so hot on a mouse anywhere near his bed, so we've assured him that the Tooth Fairy is aware that he lives in Spain and she makes a special visit to him here whenever he loses a tooth.  However, I thought it was a cute, different, tradition that I would share with all of you since once again, we'll be leaving a note and a tooth out for the Tooth Fairy tonight!


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