bad mommy

10 Oct

I lie to my kids.  Like, all the time.  Go ahead, judge me.  It’s okay. I judge me too.  But before you call family services on me, hear me out.  I lie about little stuff.  Like telling my kids that Chuck-E-Cheese’s is closed and that’s why we can’t go, not because it’s a week night and 30 minutes before bedtime and Mommy is already in her PJ’s.  Little stuff.  Like, “we left your costume at Grandma’s so you can’t wear it” instead of “no, you can’t wear your costume for the 100th time this week and get it all dirty and probably rip it before Halloween.” Because when I tell them the truth, screaming fits usually ensue.  Or sometimes, the kids get clever and try to convince me why I’m wrong saying things like “but I won’t get it dirty, Mom, I promise,” and then I feel like an ass trying to convince my child that they can’t be trusted and most definitely they will get it dirty.  So instead, I lie. So as not to hurt their self esteem.  

Sometimes, I lie more than I should and get a little too creative, like telling them that both Santa Claus and  The Easter Bunny are going to take away their toys if they don’t stop arguing with each other this minute.  It’s a little over the top, I know.  But it works.  Or at least most of the time it does.  The other day when Gabriel was trying to get into the driver’s seat of the car in the garage I told him that he can’t do that because the police officer will see and will come and give Mommy a ticket.  Gabriel looked at me and said “But Mommy, we’ll just keep the garage door closed and then he can’t see.” I was a little taken aback by the fact that he was able to see through my lie, but I was quick to come back with “but cops have magic see-through goggles where they can see through the doors.” Eck. Not my best lie. Especially since Gabriel replied, “that’s okay, I’ll just put on my magic invisible cape.”  Dammit. Can’t argue with that. 

Sometimes (rarely) I come up with a lie that backfires.  Like the time when I was trying to get the kids to go to sleep on one of those nights when they really, really didn’t want to go to bed and I told them that “the crabbies are going to get you if you don’t go to bed soon.” I said it with a smile but it caused just enough scare to get the kids to go to bed before the crabbies got them.  They didn’t have a clue what “crabbies” were but they knew they didn’t want them.  That worked for a while until Gabriel woke up at 4:30 one morning scared because the crabbies are going to get him and he can’t go back to sleep now.  Then I had to come up with a lie about why the crabbies aren’t awake now so it’s okay. He didn’t believe me and stayed awake causing a rough day of real crabbiness.

The lies upon lies is a problem and now I’m beginning to see that they aren’t going to work forever.  And I can try and convince myself that my lies encourage the kids to learn how to problem solve and it shelters them from bad stuff but sooner or later I’m going to have to come to terms with the fact that my kids are smarter than I am ready to believe and my lies are creating more problems than they solve.  Until then, Santa Claus is still real and he doesn’t like naughty boys and girls.  I’m a mom of two toddlers and I’m going to use every tool I got.

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