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Go ahead, amuse me Mara

This weeks guest on Go ahead, amuse me is Mara Shapiro.  Mara has multiple blogs and here’s what she had to say about herself.


Mara is a mom of three kids, two dogs and one husband.  She loves to read, cook, practice yoga, and socialize (especially if there’s red wine involved).  She suffers from both momzheimers and an allergy to housework.  Join the party in Mara’s head on twitter (@chickymara), or on one of her blogs beniceorleavethanks and booksandbrands.  With delusions of becoming the next Jewprah (Jewish Oprah- get it? ), she also writes all over the interwebs, and makes videos when she feels like applying concealer.  Her mottos include: ‘Why do something when you can lay around?’  And, ‘Why cry when you can laugh at someone?”


The Mother of All Lies

If you believe in Santa Clause, please don’t read this…

Since its the ho-ho-holiday season, I though I would share a little ditty called, ‘My son ruined Christmas and made people hate me.’  A little bit of a backstory is necessary, to frame the single event that changed some kids’ lives (who I don’t know) forever.

On Hello Giggles, Julia Obst documents the lies she tells to wiggle herself out of tough situations with her kids  I mean, we’ve all done it, no?   Stories like,

‘The ice cream store is closed due to flooding.’ used when the child is begging for a treat after soccer but you really want to go home and watch So You Think You Can Dance.

Or, when trying to wean your toddler off of the pacifier, and after ‘accidentally’ dropping the last one in the toilet, ‘Oh No!  Mommy called the store and they are sold out of noonies.’

There is a lot of controversy surrounding surrounding the parental white lie, or as I like to call it, ‘reallocation of the facts’. The Early Show had Julia Obst on TV to talk about her affinity for falsehood (If they wanted someone on to talk about questionable mothering, they could easily have had me. But I’m not bitter).  Psychologist  Dr. Jennifer Hartstein commented that if parents tell little white lies to their children, they won’t believe them when its important (what’s more important than mommy not going to jail if her child doesn’t stop crying in the store?”). She also said that while we may think its fun or funny or convenient now, it may damage our relationships with the kids later (like duh, doesn’t everything we do potentially damage our kids?)

So, Dr. Hartstein, I bring to your attention the Mother and Father of all parental lies for your interpretation:  The Tooth Fairy and yes, Mr. Clause himself.  Because you know, and I know, and everybody else knows, that these are creations  of parental imagination and manipulation.

I don’t like lying, and try not to unless its absolutely necessary, such as in the above pacifier incident, or when I told my daughter that if she pooped in the toilet her doodies would be going to see their friends in poo poo land but if she put them in the diaper they’d cry forever.

But, I did play into to whole tooth fairy thing, to the best of my ability.  I didn’t want to ruin my kids’ childhoods by dashing their fantasies of twinkly tinkerbells dropping cash under their pillows.  The problem was, both my husband and I are very forgetful when it doesn’t benefit us directly.  So, when a child would awaken, excitedly reaching under their pillow, only to find a gross dirty tooth still there, he or she would run into my room hysterically crying, ‘The tooth fairy didn’t come.  She didn’t come!‘

We had to think fast to preserve said son or daughter’s (because yes, this happened with ALL three kids) tender naiveté.

‘Oh, the tooth fairy got lost last night.  She put the money in Daddy’s wallet.  Go look.’

Sometimes we’d get lucky and there’d be a five dollar bill.  Sometimes we’d get unlucky and there’d be a $20.  (‘Oh, honey, the tooth fairy thought you were especially brave this time, so she left extra.’)  The worst days were when there were no bills at all.  Then, we’d have to think really fast.

‘The Tooth Fairy told us that you deserve a video game or a new Barbie for that tooth. It was a special tooth.’

Obviously, my kids are smart like me, and saw right through us after the 10th time this happened.  They started just handing their teeth to us, palm up for the cash prize.

Which brings me to Santa.  We are Jewish, so there really was never a need to lie about Santa.  But, I did neglect to inform my kids that other kids believe in Santa, mostly because I didn’t want my own to wonder what else we possibly could be lying about.  When my second son was about nine years old, we were on our way to the Pedodontist, right about Christmas time.  I jokingly said to him, ‘Oh, hmmm I wonder what the tooth fairy will bring you after your tooth is pulled.’

My son, quite loudly, I might add, replied, ‘MOM!  You know there’s no tooth fairy!!’  A dramatic pause ensued, as a family toting four young children (blonde and nordic looking, and obviously Santa worshipers) exited the dentist’s office.  ‘And you know, THERE’S NO SANTA CLAUSE EITHER.’

I have never in my entire life received a look of sheer hatred from another human being as that mother sent my way.

I heard, as they walked away.  ‘Don’t listen to that boy, kids. Of course there’s a Santa Claus. That’s just a bad boy so Santa doesn’t visit him.’

Even though she hates me, I give that mother props. For that was the multi-layered Grandmother of all lies.  Dr. Hartstein, analyze that!

Go ahead, amuse me is a weekly posting I will be having featuring another funny blogger.  Or maybe not a blogger … you could just be a funny person.  So, if you would like to be featured all you have to do is email me at and send me a funny post.  If I AGREE that it’s funny, I’ll simply put up your post with a short intro that you write so that my readers will check out your blog.  Of course, you also need to put up a link to my blog saying that you’re being featured over here.


See? WIN-WIN … hope to hear from you … or not!

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  1. […] had big boots to fill (big black leather ones worn over a red suit), and hopefully I did, with this anecdote about my kids, the big jolly guy, and a little fairy who loves teeth. Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and […]

  2. Pamela D Hart
    December 15, 2011

    ROFLOL! At first I thought I might have been the one toting the blonde, nordic-looking kids, but remembered I only have two! lol!

    I LOVE how you handle the Tooth Fairy! I forgot one time and my son was so upset the next morning. So while he was preoccupied, I sneaked the money under his pillow and told him to LOOK again! So it wasn’t really a lie (I’m deluding myself as I sometimes do to make myself feel better).
    Pamela D Hart recently posted..Cleaning Out His BoyhoodMy Profile

    • mara
      December 15, 2011

      Hi there Pamela. Glad you liked it! So, you have blonde, nordic looking kids? You really have to think on your feet as they kids get older…

  3. Melanie
    December 15, 2011

    This made me laugh really hard, and I wanted to slap the other mom ’til I heard the lie to her kid. I mean, it’s not like you can control your son saying Santa and the Tooth Fairy don’t exist. Why shoot you the dagger look?

    Just last week I lied to a little boy at my dinner table. We were talking about the sourdough wheat bread our grilled cheese sandwiches were on. He set his sandwich down and said, “I don’t like sourdough wheat.” I quickly said, “Then you’re in luck. ‘Cause that other half of your sandwich I cut isn’t on sourdough wheat!” He didn’t get that it was the same sandwich bread, even though I’d cut it in two halves, and happily proceeded to eat the other half of the sandwich. I said, “Do you like that bread better?” He smiled and said, “Yes!”

    • mara
      December 15, 2011

      That lady was just mad that I almost revealed her for the santa-abuser that she is. Your kid is so gullible. Not like my son who I convinced to eat chicken burgers by telling him they were ‘dinosaur meat’. He invited all his friends over to eat dinosaurs at our house. HO HO HO

  4. Faith.The Blond.
    December 15, 2011

    I dunno about other households…but in MY household…we have to make an appointment with the tooth fairy lol Like you I am a cronic forgetter about stuff like that, so I actually have to write myself a note to go to the bank and pull out the money (I rarely carry cash on me now a days) so the tooth fairy can visit.

    This works now cause my 9 year old still believes in the tooth fairy. Both my daughters, (the other is 11 btw) know I am Santa but play along for their little brother (their father’s son with his wife) and also because they believe in the spirit of Santa, the “tis better to give than receive” thing, which works for me as well because then they don’t expect some outlandish present that I can’t afford to buy them.

    • mara
      December 18, 2011

      Its ok to believe if you want to believe. For example, I still believe I’m going to win the lottery, or that I’ll wake up a D cup and 5 ftp 6.

  5. alaina
    December 15, 2011

    I think that as much as we all hate to admit it, we all lie and don’t mind doing it when it’s not hurting anyone. Because I’m sure your butt does look big in those pants and I’m sure that your new handbag is hideous, but do we really want to hear that? I can imagine that seeing a kid’s face light up on Christmas morning or the morning after his/her tooth fell out, is worth the lie, until he/she is old enough to figure it out for him/herself.
    alaina recently posted..Merrily Decorating.My Profile

    • mara
      December 18, 2011

      Well said Alaina!!

  6. Whit
    December 19, 2011

    I lie to my kids all the time. If it weren’t for “white lies” I would have run away a long time ago. My daughter is almost 5 & she just realized this year that those awesome toys she sees in stores & tv commercials can be bought & taken home & played with. This new discovery of hers has of course led to more lies. I listen to her demands all day long. So now I’ve decided that instead of explaining why she can’t have everything she sees on tv, I just say “ok” to it all. She can’t remember everything I’ve told her she can have because I say yes to everything. I’m confident this will bite my in the butt eventually, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll have come up with something even better by then. My other favorites are telling her that those toys are for 6 year olds – or that she can have (fill in the blank) once we get a new house. Those should all hold her for at LEAST a year.

  7. OMG!! Maybe you should have said the tooth fairy has Alzheimer’s and that’s why she sometimes forgets to stop by? You know, give it a clinical medical condition. Although the “got lost” works too I suppose…although now we’d have to say the GPS was down or something. :-)

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