Sunday, November 12, 2006

My life as a liar...

Found this post this morning from a fellow blogger that I really appreciated and I wanted to share it with you.

Some of the comments she got were people who were ADAMANT that they NEVER lie to their kids.
WOW! I kinda wish I could be that kind of a parent.

OK, I really don't wish that.

Yes, I confess...I lie to my kids all the time. We do the Easter Bunny and Santa and all that FUN stuff. Although the "Tooth Fairy" falls down on the job rather regularly. So I always blame it on in

"Oh RATS!! I forgot and locked the front door so she couldn't get in! She'll make it tomorrow night." The tooth fairy has actually been known to come while they were at school. She's more of a 24-hour service fantasy - slash - lie.

And #2 did inform me this weekend that she NO LONGER believes in the Easter Bunny. I say "Well, who leaves you all that candy?"

BIG eye rolling..."MOOOooooooM! You do!"

And I say "Serious?????" Like I'm all surprised.

Then she says "Yah, But I still believe in Santa Claus."

How cute is that? Oh, I think they know...and they CHOOSE to believe.
I don't know if you have ever seen or read "the Hiding Place"; it's the story of Corrie Ten Boom and her life during WWII. She retells a story of her childhood when she took a trip with her father and asked him that dreaded question..."What is Sex?"
Her father didn't answer; he simply asked her to carry his briefcase onto the train. She couldn't lift it no matter how hard she tried.
So he said, "You know, I would be a pretty poor father if I truly asked you to carry that heavy case. The same is true with information. Some facts of life are just "Too Heavy" for a child to carry. So just trust me to carry it for you until you are old enough to understand."

I thought that was SUCH a great explanation. I always swore, growing up, that I would NEVER do what my parents did and say "Because I'm the MOM, That's why!!"; I would always give my kids a REASON for what I asked them to do.

Now that I am a parent, I realize how unrealistic that is. Sometimes you cannot explain to a child how come they have to do something. Usually, because I don't have TIME to open the can of worms (barrage of questions) that would ensue. Call me lazy.
But sometimes, I just cannot think of a way to explain some things so a child will understand.
HENCE, the lies.

For example...

In a public restroom, you are juggling a toddler and a crying baby while your five year old boy is going "Potty" with you in the WOMEN'S restroom. He says "But MOOOOOooooom, WHY do I have to wipe myself?"
I'm sorry, I just don't have time or the energy to explain personal hygiene at a time like that!



We're late for school, I haven't had my coffee yet, #2 hit #3 and there is much chaos (crying, screaming, yelling, running)...and #4 wants to know WHY she can't have cake/cookies/brownies for breakfast.
Excuse me, Life, while I sit down and have a lesson on proper nutrition with a four year old.
I don't THINK so!


Then comes the kicker "But Mom, how come YOU can eat a brownie for breakfast and I can't have one?"
Because Mommy's tummy is built different than yours?
Because Mommy is lazy?
Because Mommy lives for chocolate?
I just CAN, that's why!
I didn't eat a brownie for breakfast! It was a special, hi-protein meal replacement bar that just HAPPENS to closely resemble a brownie.

Ok..I admit it. I'm a liar. :D

1 comment:

Connie said...

Hi Janean,
Thanks for your comment on my blog :) Antique mommy's post was the one that got me in my bloggy blah mood. Part of it was her response in email to me, and part of it was how other people who responded. It's more or less my own problem, but I still don't see lying to kids funny. However I must clarify - I have told my kids "Because I said so." That's not lying to them necessarily. There are times when they have to accept a parent's authority and that's just that. And I've also given them information on a need to know basis - we could use the "where do babies come from question" but I'll use a different one. When my husband was arrested, my youngest son was 4. For a couple days, he asked "is Daddy out of town again?" and I said "you might say that" because I wasn't sure what I should tell him. When I spoke to a counselor, she said to absolutely tell him the truth. Ok. So the next time he asked, I said "no, Daddy's in jail." Of course the why's started. "Because he hurt your sister and sometimes when adults hurt kids, they have to go to jail." That was good enough for that moment. Months later, when he was ready, he asked "well, how did he hurt her?" I said "He touched her in a way that adults aren't supposed to touch children." Good enough. A few months later, "Well, how did he touch her?" "He touched her private parts." OHHHHH. When he was ready for the information, he asked. I didn't offer it to him before that. That's not the same thing as lying. One doesn't have to explain in great detail to a 3 year old where babies come from in order to be honest with them.

In the spirit of your example from Corrie Ten Boom, You don't have to give them the whole suitcase, just let them carry a pair of sox from it and not only does it satisfy them, but it also makes them feel trusted.

We don't do Santa or the easter bunny because I'd rather celebrate what those days really are. We still have fun special holidays.

I was one of those weird kids who was terribly upset when I found out about Santa. I felt like I'd been lied to, betrayed and deceived. I felt like I'd been a fool of. Even if I didn't believe the way I do, I'd have a hard time with the whole Santa thing. I don't think less of anybody who does perpetuate the Santa story, and I don't necessarily consider that on the same level with lying to a child just because you don't feel like telling them the truth.

I can remember being 4 years old, on the verge of reading and asking my mom what the little piece of paper on in the hershey's kisses said. She said "it says "be quiet Connie."" And she kept insisting and wouldn't tell me what it said. If she just would have told me what it said, I would have shut up!

I'm not saying I NEVER lie to my kids, but I do my very best to avoid it when I can.

Anyway, thanks again for visiting my blog, and the kind things you said. I'm nobody's hero though, just doing what a I gotta do to make it through, ya know? :) I'll be back!