Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lies I've Told My Kids

I know it's wrong but I lie to my kids.  I know better.  My mother taught me better.  Growing up, my mother would always tell us that nothing bothered her more than lying.  We could do something really rotten and the punishment was always surprisingly less severe if we just came clean.  Sometimes we wouldn't even get in trouble because my mom appreciated that we told the truth.  But wo, wo, wo unto those who did not tell the truth and got caught.  Major trouble.  What's worse, we had to live with knowing that our mom was "disappointed" in us and couldn't trust us anymore.  Yowza.  That stung worse than any punishment she could dole out.

Still, I lie to my kids.  A lot.  I didn't realize how much until recently.  What makes it bad is that the belief in my lies kind of makes my kids weirdos.  I lie anyway.  I like to think I do it for their own good but I'm still not sure that my mom approves.  Here are some examples.

Lie #1
There are crocodiles that live in the canal and they will eat you if you get too close to the water.

Justification: We lived dangerously close to a canal and my kids are master escape artists.  I swear to you, I heard my neighbor screaming and ran to the front door to find that 3-year-old Popeye was hanging out a 2-story window, reaching for the landing because she had tried to escape.  Canals are too tempting for my kids and I was terrified that if I took my eyes off of one of them for 10 seconds they would end up in the canal.  That is when I hatched the plan.  It was remarkably effective.  You wouldn't believe it.  They wouldn't step foot outside without an adult and they were afraid to drive along the road that follows the canal.  I didn't want them to live in fear, but better fearful than overly brave when it comes to the canal. After a few months, though, my kids did get more daring.  They would go to the end of the driveway and throw things at the canal.  They would lean over guard rails by the canal when we went on walks.  They didn't believe there were really crocodiles in there.  Well, this wouldn't do.  So I had no choice.  I did what any loving, caring mother would do.  I devised a plan to scare the crap out of keep them safe.

I had to run an errand one evening.  I had my brother-in-law hide behind a car with his computer. As the girls were getting ready to wander too far, my brother-in-law played weird reptilian monster growling noises on his computer.  The girls freaked out, believing it to be the vicious sound of a crocodile, ready to attack.  They nearly climbed over each other to retreat to the safety of the van.  The girls never questioned the existence of the crocs again and they never got anywhere close to the canal/road again.

Am I ashamed? A little. No.  I did what had to be done.

Lie #2
"Of course, Santa is real!"

Lie # 2.5
"I talk to Santa and if you guys don't get along I'll just tell him you only want broccoli for Christmas."

Justification:  There are probably better parenting techniques but this was seems so efficient.  I mean, it works instantly.

Lie #3
"If you sneak out of your bed at night and get into the fridge and eat the food, all of your hair will fall out."

Justification:  No justification for this one, really.  I don't even know how I came up with this.  It just sort of spilled out one morning after I went in their room to discover bags of half eaten pepperoni and blocks of cheese and half empty cups of yogurt after their late night food fest.  This lie, too, has been an effective lie.

Lie #4
"If you watch more than one movie a day your brain will melt.  I can look in your eyeballs and tell if your brain is starting to melt."

Justification:  Pops and Juj wanted to watch movies all of the time.  If I had to argue about it one more time I was going to go insane.  It worked, too.  Popeye will tattle on babysitters who "make" her watch more than one movie.  She has me check her eyes, "just in case" after she watches a movie.  She accepts limited television time, knowing it is for her own good.  It makes her a little weird, but it also makes her more willing to do something besides watch TV.

Lie #5 
"'Never' is a bad word."

Justification: Juj kept saying snotty things and following it up with, "NEVER!" (Examples: "I never want to play with you! NEVER!" and, "I won't eat my lettuce!  NEVER!") I was just so tired of hearing it!  It sounded awful.  Now my kids think it is a bad word.  They don't say it and they are appalled when they hear others say it.

Other Lies

I pretend that my kids' muscles are noticeably larger immediately after they swallow their vegetables.

I told my kids there are secret guards in the grocery store parking lot that watch out for little kids who stray too far from their parents.  They catch these kids and draw mustaches on their faces with ugly markers.  (Really, I don't know how I come up with some of these.  I start a lie and it gets huge and ridiculous before I can stop it.  It's terrible.)

Popeye and Juj believe that there are monkeys in the trees.  All trees.  Including the trees in our neighborhood.  While I didn't technically lie to them about it (Papi did), I don't discourage the belief.  Monkey hunting on walks is fun.  I don't want to ruin that.

Go ahead, guys.  Judge me.  I deserve it.  But if you do judge me, your eyes will fall out and your fingers will turn into spaghetti.


Adriana Marshall said...

You are so FUNNY!!!! And AWESOME!!!!!

Connie Sandoval said...

And you wondered where Pops comes up with things???? Hellooooooooo!

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