It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Time for the lying to commence!!!
I’m not anti-Santa. I think Christmas is magical and amazing and twinkly and all of that good stuff. I hope I can help to create magical, warm, lovely memories for my children. But I do ponder the dishonesty inherent in the holiday as we talk about Santa, and as parents all across this nation plan elaborate adventures for their Elves on Shelves (who, if you look at Pinterest for more than 4 seconds, you will note no longer hang out on shelves, but go hang-gliding, go skiing, and have other crazy adventures. I’m going with “Paws for Claus” this year and telling Pickle that Lula kitty is watching his every move and reporting back to Santa. Much easier.)
Long before I had children, a friend, who is a father of three, mentioned that motherhood involved a hearty dose of well-intentioned, creative dishonesty. Back then, I didn’t know what he meant, but I do now. Though my preference and default is honesty, I do find myself lying to my son on a regular basis. Every day. Sure there are the whoppers like Santa, but there are the little lies, too. These include:
- After hearing for the 45th time that my child wants/needs/must have donuts – “I know you want to eat 3 chocolate dunk dunks (aka munchkins), but they don’t make any after lunch.”
- After placing a bowl of beef and barley soup in front of him – “You will love this! It is ELMO soup!” (Note: Admittedly, I stole this trick from my mother, who served us soup called “Muppet Soup”. When I was creating a family recipe book – sometime after my 30th birthday, mind you – I asked her why it had that name. She responded, “So you would eat it.” Oh. Duh. Yes, it took me 25+ years to figure that out.)
- As my son complains of a bellyache 30 minutes past his bedtime – “Here, let me teach you some belly fixers!” And I proceed to show him some yoga-ish moves that he can do lying down on the floor or, even better, in his bed. To my credit, these moves are vaguely related to something I read once in Self or Real Simple that had something to do with some sort of old wives’ tale about helping babies pass gas. Or something. Very scientific! (Note: Another recent revelation was that my mother’s proposed cure for bedtime bellyaches was lying on my stomach, very still in my bed. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? She was a clever one…)
- When I am asked to watch a 3rd episode of Yo Gabba Gabba – “Oh no! I think the TV is broken!” More like, “Oh no! My spirit and sanity will be broken if I have to watch that whiny Brobee and his modeled-after-an-adult-toy buddy Muno for 4 more seconds.”
There are a million lies we tell our kids for convenience, to save or protect them from the truth, or just to avoid saying, “Because you can’t/Because I said so/No” one more time in a day. But honesty is the best policy, I know. And I’m sure that someday soon my kid-fibs will bite me in the bum. Until then…
If you sit too close to the TV, you’ll go blind.
Potatoes will grow out of your ears.
Your face will get stuck that way.