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Why The Elf On The Shelf Will Not Be Coming To My House

"See, the Tooth Fairy has to have another job to support this tooth habit of hers. Wednesdays are the day that she works as a spy for the government. Because she's so small she can do lots of really important jobs that normal humans can't, and they pay her very well."
11/25/2014 06:10pm ET | Updated January 25, 2015
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Michael the Shelf Elf is tucked in stocking and the Enger's home in Downers Grove, Ill., Dec. 9, 2013. (Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)

My kids missed it. The whole Elf on a Shelf craze missed us. I'm not sure how, but, man oh man, am I ever glad it did.

I'm no Scrooge. I'm all for whatever makes Christmas jolly and bright for kids. I just have commitment issues. One lie per event is all I can easily juggle, and even that's up for some heavy debate.

You see, I can handle the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, but the second we stray from just those two, I totally lose it. Don't believe me? Let's talk Tooth Fairy.

I am a horrible, terrible, no good Tooth Fairy.

First off, I've kept all my kids' teeth. Somewhere. There are oodles of Ziploc bags around my house with teeth in them. Should I die alone in my home and the police have to investigate, let this testimonial stand as the reason they shouldn't consider me a serial killer of children who keeps their teeth as trophies. They are only the tossed-off teeth of my offspring.

Second, I never have cash on hand. I'm a debit card kind of girl. Cash on hand requires forethought, something I've never been really good at.

Third, my mind goes on vacation at bedtime. I can count on one finger how many times I've remembered that I had a job to do when my kiddo was toothless, sleeping and dreaming of greenbacks for a tooth he outgrew.

Fourth, my lies grow and grow and grow until there's just no controlling them. The very first time I forgot, Jimmy came to me in tears.

"That rotten old Tooth Fairy forgot to give me money, Mama!"

"She did?" Thoughts flew through my mind until the perfect lie formed. "Wait. What day was yesterday?"

"Wednesday," he said sniffling through tears.

"Oh! Wednesday! That's why, baby. See, the Tooth Fairy has to have another job to support this tooth habit of hers. Wednesdays are the day that she works as a spy for the government. Because she's so small she can do lots of really important jobs that normal humans can't, and they pay her very well."

He looked at me for a moment, smiled and ran off to put his tooth back under his pillow.

The second time I forgot, it wasn't a Wednesday. As he went into the bathroom to do what we all do first thing in the morning, I scavenged a dollar from Jim's wallet and tossed that sucker into his room just in time for him to open the door.

"Oh, my goodness," I said, feeling my eyes bulge out of their lying sockets.

"What?" he said with a sniff.

"I think I saw something. I'm not sure, but I think the Tooth Fairy was just here."

He ran into his room and whooped and hollered. "Man, she cut that close, Mama!"

Indeed.

As you can see, it's a good thing that the Elf on the Shelf missed us. I can't even handle the occasional tooth falling out. Can you imagine the pickle I'd be in if I had to hide a freaking elf every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas? I'd have to make up some story about him being caught in a big snow storm or about him being kidnapped in a spy ring headed by the Tooth Fairy. Somehow, an Elf with a criminal record doesn't sound so Christmasy.