Archive for Monday, January 19, 2009


Tall tales for children difficult to maintain

January 19, 2009


Spoiler Alert: Do not read on if you want Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny to remain mysteries. Parental guidance is suggested.

In my last column I wrote about tall tales told by kids, but this being the Bad Mommy Club and all, well, I’ve been thinking about tall tales told to kids by adults.

And that, of course, led me to consider Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and others of their ilk. I love these stories. I love sprinkling magic dust (glitter) around the house, taking a bite of Santa’s cookies, swapping change for a newly lost tooth and hiding hard-boiled eggs. It’s fun (with a hint of scary) sneaking around like a reverse-thief at midnight in your own house. And it’s all in good fun, it’s tradition, it’s magical. Totally! But it can get complicated.

Take, for instance, the predicament I found myself in when my daughter had a big tooth-losing year, which also happened to be a big tall tale telling year. You see, the tooth fairy was coming around a lot and so, not surprisingly, my daughter saw her and gave a very detailed eyewitness account. In fact, her description was so exhaustive, so thorough, that it was rivaled only by the extensive description of a night-visiting, tooth-collecting pixie which I had told to her. I wasn’t exactly standing on righteous ground for discussing issues of truthfulness. And I definitely couldn’t call her on this particular tale. It would blow my cover. I decided to go along with the fantasy and, to be honest, it wasn’t even a hard decision.

My step-mom has a story about the day my little sister came home from first grade having heard rumors that Santa wasn’t real. She wanted the truth. My step-mom told her, “It’s true. Santa isn’t real but we love the idea of him so much that we will always pretend that he is real.” My brother, who is two years older than my sister, was there and added, “Yeah, Santa isn’t real, not like the Tooth Fairy.” My step-mom remained silent.


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