Parenting Gone Awry

By Tina

George Washington, the father of our country, is often quoted as having said, “I cannot tell a lie.” And that is why he is the father of our country and not the mother. Mothers lie. We have to. It’s a survival skill.
Now, if you are reading this and saying to yourself, “I am always honest with my children,” you are in fact lying, at least to yourself.

Who among us has not scarfed down the last Oreo while standing at the sink only to hear a tiny little voice from below ask, “Mommy where did my Oreo go?” And as you are wiping the luscious rich black crumbs from your mouth with your sleeve, you respond, “Idoftnowhuthppndtoofit! (cough cough) “Maybe a bear came in and got it.”

Other times we deceive our precious babies in an act of self-preservation.

Today Sean insisted on putting salt on his food. Do you think I’m crazy enough to hand him the salt shaker? And do you think I want to spend my one last nerve on this conversation:

Sean: I want to put salt on.
AM: No. No salt.
Sean: Why not?
AM: It comes out too fast and it’ll make a mess.
Sean: No it won’t.
AM: Yes. Yes it will.
Sean: No. No it won’t. Please?
AM: Sean, I think I know how our salt shaker works, okay? Trust me on this.
Sean: I want to put salt on.
AM: No.
Sean: Why not?
AM: Because I am a mean mean salt-hording woman, that’s why.
Sean: Mom, can I put salt on?
Pfffft! (That would be the sound of my last nerve fizzing like bad firecracker.)

So, instead I said, “Ok! Let me get the salt shaker for you!” And then with my back turned, I stuffed Saran wrap down inside the shaker and screwed the lid back on.

“Here!” I said as I handed it to him with a wicked grin, “Go crazy! Knock yourself out!” And he shook and shook and shook the salt shaker to his little heart’s content and we all lived happily everafter.

Now there are some things about which I will not lie, important things. Like the other day, when he asked me where babies come from, I looked him straight in the eye and said, “I have no idea. Go ask your father.”

Fess up ladies. You know you’ve told a little white one here or there to the kiddos. If you don’t think so, let me just jog your memory: Santa.

Tina blogs at Antique Mommy.

14 Responses to Parenting Gone Awry
  1. Ashley
    October 26, 2008 | 1:37 am

    LOL! the Oreo cookie thing makes me want to go hide! “maybe a bear came in and got it”. Haha!

    We lie to our kids all the time. We tell them Santa is coming to bring presents and the Tooth Fairy takes teeth and replaces them with dollar bills.

    We tell these lies so that our kids will get to feel that magical feeling that we felt when we were young and our parents were lying to us.

    I know not everyone agrees, but I don’t think my daughters will be in therapy one day because we set some presents out from Santa or put out an Easter basket.

    I love this post:)

  2. Steph
    October 26, 2008 | 7:33 am

    I love this post! And I’m going to have to tuck that salt shaker idea away for later, definitely…

  3. Courtney
    October 26, 2008 | 9:51 am

    Oh my how hillarious this is. Sometimes the truth from another mom rings so true. Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy (dont know why we keep this one going it only cost us money lol), if you cross your eyes they will get stuck like that, the lies just keep rolling but mostly as stated above so that our kids can feel some magic. Why taint their little minds so early in life. They have school for that lol!

  4. Heather
    October 26, 2008 | 11:21 am

    Our DD is 6 months old. I really don’t know if we’re going to do the fantasy characters (Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy). I had some bad childhood memories related to these (imagine waking up on Easter morning and having to clean the kitchen because the Easter bunny tore up lettuce and carrots and threw them all over the floor because we didn’t set out a snack for him). Yeah. Fun times. I’m sure my parents were just rolling in laughter…

  5. leah
    October 26, 2008 | 1:38 pm

    When I saw your comment about how of course you were not going to give him the salt shaker, I thought you had seen the same 20/20 news report that we saw Friday night: VERY SCARY. I totally believe the mom on this one – her adopted son downed salt while she wasn’t looking and she ended up in prison! Makes me scared to be a parent…

  6. Moriah
    October 26, 2008 | 7:44 pm

    I tease my kids all the time (good naturedly, to make them laugh) and have to fudge on things like where the last cookie went sometimes.

    But we don’t tell our kids Santa is real. They know it’s mommy and daddy *playing* Santa. Same with all the others… we don’t boycott those things, our kids just know the truth behind the fun traditions. Part of the reason is when they get older, I don’t want them wondering if Jesus is real. (I.e. because we had told them Santa was real and he turned out not to be.)

    Also, if there’s a “lean” year and we just can’t afford lots of beautiful gifts, well, I’d hate for my kids to think that it was “Santa’s fault” and they had done something wrong and were being punished. Does that make sense?

  7. Kelly
    October 26, 2008 | 10:11 pm

    When my kids really, really want a treat, I make them say, “Mom is the coolest person on the planet, and I would like to kiss her feet,” to get the reward.

    Is that forcing them to lie? Hmmmmm….

  8. Veronica
    October 27, 2008 | 12:01 am

    Just read this aloud to my husband and he laughed and laughed. Very true to our lives too.

  9. All Rileyed Up
    October 27, 2008 | 12:55 pm

    I throw away tatty falling apart art projects and broken toys and eat cookies and candy after the kids go to bed and if they notice anything missing the next morning, I tell them the dog got into it.

  10. Rachel
    October 27, 2008 | 4:15 pm

    Absolutely! I just blogged about this the other day. ( Unfortunately, I think the deception *HAS* to be a part of parenting for us all to keep our sanity!!!

  11. Candace
    October 27, 2008 | 4:32 pm

    My husband and I discussed the whole Easter Bunny, Santa, etc and decided we were not going to lie because we felt it was wrong to lie and then tell him the truth. Wouldn’t that defeat teaching him to not lie?

  12. Hannah
    October 28, 2008 | 10:55 pm

    OH, yeah, definitely.
    I experience a tiny twinge of guilt, BUT …

    Hey, love that salt shaker idea. I’m totally using that!

  13. Anton Mcdaniel
    January 9, 2009 | 11:23 pm

    good luck

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