As parents we strive to raise our kids to be kind, loving and know the difference between right and wrong. One lesson to teach our kids is not to lie. Of course this is something that most toddlers won’t exactly grasp until they are a bit older. BUT while we make every effort to require the truth from our kids, we parents lie straight to their faces….oh the irony.
The biggest examples of parenting fibs…a giant bunny that visits your house with a basket full of candy & toys. Last time I checked bunnies need all four paws to hop and don’t think they have the finger dexterity to carry those huge Pottery Barn monogrammed baskets. Or what about the fairy that removes your kid’s teeth from under their pillow and replaces them with money. The biggest example is of course Santa. The man who knows when your kid has been bad or good and will withhold Christmas morning presents if said kid has been visiting the time out chair too often. He has deer that fly and manages to visit all the kids in the world in one night. And with Santa also comes that very popular Elf on the Shelf. A spy for Santa that comes to your house each morning and watches your kid like a hawk to keep them in check.
Unless you’re a jehova’s witness (or you just detest anything fun & magical), you can see that yes you indeed lie to your kids. Fibs, white lies or tall tales…whatever you call ‘em…you are lying to your kids. My mom had to be the world’s greatest liar and coupled with my HUGE imagination and gullibility as a kid, I believed in Santa, the Easter bunny and tooth fairy way over the reasonable age limit. Sadly I found out the truth about all three imaginary tall tales in one day. Having suspicion about the giant bunny that delivers chocolate, I left a note on the eve of Easter for the bunny to sign the piece of paper. Yes I made the Easter bunny sign an avadavat to prove he was legit. Well The “B” in the bunny’s signature looked like my dad’s signature and I put two and two together. Sitting on the stairs in shock I had the final epiphany that there was also no tooth fairy and no Santa. I was crushed I tell ya. My mom came up to me on the steps and told me not to tell my brother and ruin it for him…something that to this day she says she never said, but to a kid who’s whole imaginary world crashed down…I remember every detail of that sad morning.
But even though I was so sad over that discovery, I par-take in the same traditions with Lily and had a whole lot of fun watching her light up every morning finding her elf in a funny position each day. Yes and I too used the “you better be good or else no presents” fib to help keep my crazy toddler in check.
As a parent going through the horrible “terrible two” stage, my husband and I have developed a dependency on telling fibs. Our little white lies started a while ago with our most famous lie…the “napping” lie. Kids learn the basic human needs of eating and napping early on. So when you tell your kid that someone or something is asleep or is about to take a nap they understand because they take naps. Now how do I use this “napping” lie you ask? Not kidding you…I have come to use it on the daily.
Babies R Us conveniently has a Bert & Ernie fire truck ride at their checkout and Lily about flipped when I told her she couldn’t get on. She wouldn’t understand that we were running a tad late for an appointment. To her she wanted to ride and she wanted it right then. So guess what…the ride was taking a nap. Lily looked at me giving me a understanding nod and said “Yep they sleepy”. I gave myself an inner high five and was able to walk out of the store without a meltdown. Once at eight o’clock at night Lily started to throw a fit over not being able to finger-paint…and yep the paint was napping. When her nap time arrives, Lily sometimes fights until I convince her that her toys and Disney characters are currently napping so she better hurry up and get to sleep so she can play with them when they wake up.
I have become dependent on the “napping” lie to get me thorough way too many daily situations and I will cry the day Lily realizes her crayon doesn’t need a nap. My lie telling has become so common I surprise myself sometimes when a fib slips my tongue so easily. Case in point…those shopping carts at the grocery store that come with wheels that kids can play with while you shop. Well Lily learned that if she pulls on the wheel hard enough she can bust through the buckle that is supposed to strap her in. This leaves me fighting her the entire shopping trip to sit down before she gives me a heart attack by jumping off the cart and breaks her neck. So one day we were walking in to our grocery store and Lily starts to point to an empty car cart and before I knew it I was telling her that cart was broken and didn’t work. As Lily looked back to me and said “Yep, it no work”, I couldn’t believe I was able to think that fast with a lie that she would understand and believe. Not only did I give myself an inner high five…I took a flipping curtsey for my awesomeness at the quick thinking. For some reason I’m able to tell this same lie to Lily every time we go into the store and she believes me.
Do I feel guilty…heck no. Once you have experienced public toddler meltdowns over trivial things like a car cart, telling a little white lie to prevent the tantrum is worth it.
My husband has been pretty quick to originate some creative fibs as well. While in Georgia for my grandmother’s funeral Mike and Lily stayed at the hotel one evening while I attended a service. While I was gone Lily turned into a wild child and Mike came up with the “security” lie. After numerous attempts to discipline Lily for her rowdy behavior and attempts to destroy the hotel room Mike told her that the hotel’s security was coming to the door soon because they were upset that she was throwing hotel property around. He even went to the extent of opening the door and act like security was at the door. So anytime after when Lily started to get sassy all we had to do is bring up that security would be arriving and she would stop asap. On the long way home when she started having a major hissy fit and even unbuckled her seatbelt we pulled out the security card. I called Mike’s cell phone from the passenger seat and he pretended he was security while Lily listened to our Bluetooth convo. “Security” told us that he would pull us over soon and have a stern talking to Lily about seatbelt safety. She listened and with eyes wide opened and when I hung up she started to attempt to buckle her seatbelt with quick fingers.
So judge if you want…but Lily’s playdough will continue to nap, the car carts will be out of commission and security will be called during hissy fits for as long as she’ll believe them…