I know that seeing great wonder and the joy of discovery on the face of your child is a delight like few others. I have witnessed and experienced this first hand on many occasions. On some of those occasions, the wonder was manufactured by my own lies about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and most elaborately, the Tooth Fairy.
One of my children lost a tooth tonight and is sleeping with that tooth under her pillow right now. Before going to bed, I will sneak in and replace that tooth with some cold hard cash. It's a fun ritual for everyone involved and it is one of life's small pleasures for which I am thankful.
The only problem is that my children have taken to leaving notes for the Tooth Fairy and, having set a precedent by responding to the first note, I am now locked in to an ever increasing chain of deceitful responses. They have asked many written questions and I have left detailed explanations about where the fairies live, how they got their names, if they know one another, what they do with the teeth, how they get inside the house, etc. These notes get saved and referenced by my kids as they generate more questions based on past answers. When I leave a reply that contradicts an earlier message, they grill the Fairy at the next lost tooth and I am left to spin an ever far reaching explanation to reconcile the expanding web of lies.
I know I should not get hung up over this but I really do not feel good about deceiving my children. Even though it is done for their entertainment and is not likely to cause any damage in any way, it just doesn't feel right to lie to them. I would be happy to play along if they didn't ask me such direct questions and didn't study my face so intently as I answered.
They are remarkably perceptive. This gives me great angst about the prospect of being caught lying to them but great hope that they will understand why I've done it.