Lies or Leverage

Daily Prompt: Fantasy

The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .): a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?

tempertantrumsThis is a great question, one I have been pondering for quite some time actually. I will be the first to admit that the single, childless me may have frowned upon setting the wee ones up for a disappointment. However, the married mother of a 3-year-old me found herself asking “Why can’t Santa make an appearance during all 4 seasons?” Santa threats are what mothers consider…. Leverage. 

Oh, put your judgments away folks. I don’t care what anyone says, there is NO and I repeat NO negotiating with a 3-year-old who made the executive decision to let you know in a big way, that they no longer want to be shopping with you and NOTHING gets them out of their human plank position in the middle of the Mall faster than those 2 glorious words…Santa’s Watching. 

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Run for your lives kids!

Personally, I was never a fan of the Easter Bunny. The thought of a giant rodent coming into our house really didn’t bring on the warm & fuzzies, it sort of just scared the crap out of me. I never elaborated on his existence, probably due to my own phobias about that big ugly impersonator they have at the mall. If you ever need a good photo of a frightened child, just spend a few minutes at that display. I don’t find this one fun, harmless or a useful parenting tool…it’s just weird & scary.

Ah, my girl the Tooth Fairy, now this little lady rocks. I love the concept of a little fairy bringing cash in the middle of the night. Sadly she only works for teeth. I know when I was a kid I couldn’t wait to wake up to a nice shiny quarter or dime under my pillow. However, just this week I heard she is handing out an average of $2.50 per tooth. Makes one want to consider some extractions now doesn’t it? It’s 80.00 for a set of chops in case you were digging out the calculator.

tooth-fairyMy FAVORITE Tooth Fairy story is when I broke the news to my son. He was sitting in the back of the car, drilling me as if I were on trial, about the whereabouts of the Tooth Fairy. My daughter, who is just about 2 years older, let out a “Mom, just tell him!” Lord knows that’s all curious George had to hear before the “Tell me mom” chant entered the vehicle. This kid is notorious for wearing down the strongest pillars of parental strength with his piercing repetitive chanting. So, I broke the news that I was in fact the Tooth Fairy. Immediate silence came over the car.

Ugh, I felt so bad looking at his little face in the rearview mirror. He was so cute with his little glasses and toothless grin that my heart was just melting. Finally I asked “Are you ok Zac you’re awfully quiet back there?”  I NEVER saw this coming …”I’m ok mom, I can’t wait to tell my friends that you work, you make the best cookies in the whole world and YOU’RE THE TOOTH FAIRY!”  Needless to say we had to take our conversation a tad further until it all sunk into that cute little head. He was actually relieved I wasn’t going into strange homes. 

Sadly, they're too old to be calling Santa with a wish list.

Sadly, they’re too old to be calling Santa with a wish list.

Now back to the question on hand. The only real problem I have with this “lying” is it doesn’t last too long today. Parents don’t get nearly as much mileage out of the farce as their parents did. Kids today are hip. I was so gullible believing well into 7th grade, so breaking the grim “There is no Santa, Giant Rodent or Fairy” news to a 13 year-old really wasn’t a big deal. Parents today are discussing drugs, alcohol & sex to their 13 year olds. Which to me is a much bigger deal!

Lying about fun and harmless fiction is not an issue, however lying about your child’s age to open a Facebook account is. The legal age is 13!  Children today are already lacking a childhood, or my definition of one anyway, so lets hang on to what we can these days. We already have technology & academic pressure pushing the fantasy of childhood right out the door as it is, so if telling a few tales to ignite some good old imagination, I say bring it on. There’s plenty of time to be grown-up…let kids be kids and Enjoy the Ride! (In the slow lane)

24 responses

  1. I don’t remember how long I believed but it was a long time.

  2. free penny press | Reply

    My sorry cousin shattered my world when he told me there was no santa and my parents confirmed it.. I have never recovered from that shock..
    Wait, the tooth fairy is false too? *hangs head and limps away*

    1. Hahahahaha….cousins are like that sometimes. I’m still disappointed that I’m not the Tooth Fairy.

  3. Your manipulation of your children is amazing. Using the Santa Threat year around.,, brilliant.

    Unfortunately we come to your last paragraph, and it’s all becomes real. The age for being a child grows less each year. The fantasy is going away.

    1. We were recently out to dinner and a 3 year old was in the waiting area with us on an iPad. Well, as 3 year olds do, she dropped in screen first onto the stone floor. Every adult gasped…except her parents who let out the ole “I told you to be careful.” It wasn’t even in a case..and IT’S NOT A TOY. Our future leaders scare the crap out of me.

  4. Hell, if it keeps them quiet tell them that there’s somebody who’ll send any and all knowledge of their misdeeds to Santa, Easter Bunny et al. I’ll take the job.

    1. Hahahahaha! I hear they’re hiring.

  5. Bravo!!! Great post and I totally agree with you. Love this!

  6. I think I reacted pretty nonchalantly… one of my notorious blank stares with a shoulder shrug and an “Okay”. I kept the mystery alive for my nieces and nephews until THEY said something me along the lines of, “But Aunt Sarah… The Easter Bunny isn’t REEEEE-all.” Complete with the exaspirated shoulder shug/eye-roll combination. 😉

    1. Hahahaha….I know that tone and shrugs all to well!

  7. I LOOK for things to lie to my son about now that he’s 21 — just so I can get that feeling of control back. Alas, it’s gone.

  8. I love when the children still believe in the fantasies of childhood. They’re so innocent & easy to fool!

  9. Finally someone who agrees that the easter bunny is scary! He isn’t cute, it’s a giant rodent with big red eyes! He’s probably angry about your grandpa’s lucky rabbit’s foot charm too. Beware! He’s coming to get you.

  10. You would have been a great “global” tooth fairy. Imagine the travel. You could have kept the wee ones in line I’m sure. On another note, are you saying there is a legal age for having a facebook account. This has been a bone of contention with one particular grandchild who has been allowed to have an account. She is 10 and it is driving her grandfather mad.

  11. To this day, my darling daughter and I continue the tradition of Santa presents in the stockings and presents from people under the tree. Some things are better left unsaid and just a little fuzzy! lol xoxoM

  12. Even as a kid I didn’t understand the Easter Bunny thing. Maybe I was a jaded little kid, who knows.

    With a 4-month-old we’re edging up on the time on how to handle The Santa Question. You’d think we were planning a military campaign across Asia, it’s so intricate and cautious. I’m sure it’ll all be chucked out for a simple “Santa! Yay!”

  13. When children have the ability to humiliate their elders in public, parents need all the leverage they can get. The “Santa maneuver” is totally valid.

  14. […] Lies or Leverage | Life With The Top Down […]

  15. Kids grow up way too fast. If my daughter was still little, I’d use Santa for all he’s worth. That little lie is so much better than the woman I heard at the super
    market the other day telling her son… “Why do you have to sit in the cart instead of walking like a normal kid?” note, I said telling her son rather than asking him because in my mind, she told her son he is not normal! I’m sure he’d rather be lied to about the Easter bunny than have this stuck in his head for life!

    1. I recently heard someone in Target talking to a baby….an infant in the cart as if she were in a board meeting. Discussing the entire day, all the purchases…everything. The baby looked like it was saying “Shut it! just Shut it and get friends”
      No doubt this little bundle is looking forward to a Giant Rodent entering the house.

  16. So true. These kids can’t be fooled nowadays. They grow up with computers and much quicker than we did. I used to love finding that money under the pillow from the tooth fairy. I believed in all of it.

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