While in the hospital with my firstborn son, my mother offered
advice on only one single topic. Never one to impose her views on
her children, it was rare to find her so vocal on an issue that she
obviously held dear. Even in my exhausted state of shock and
bewilderment, I remember her words as though she spoke them just
Marianne, it is so important to always be honest with your
Throughout the next eight years, I have compiled an infinite
list of lies told to my kids. It started during the toddler years
("If you don't eat your carrots, hair will grow from your feet")
and continues today ("God only gives you a million words per
lifetime, I'd recommend you start conserving a few").
Call it manipulation. Call it deception. But I lie. A lot.
I am completely incapable of lying to regular people. When my
husband asks who ate the last piece of lemon meringue pie, I fess
up. When the neighborhood ladies suggest I host one of those
purse/candle/jewelry parties, I answer honestly with, "I hate that
stuff." When I get nominated for room-mother responsibilities, I
readily admit to my lack of craftiness and overall dislike of
But for some odd reason, I lie like a rug to the boys. I suppose
it stems from the inefficiency of the truth in trying to get my
kids to do something. And before the angry mommy brigade starts
calling for my head, keep in mind the list of "acceptable" lies of
The Easter Bunny
The Tooth Fairy
What it really means when mommy and daddy say they are
"taking a nap"
So just because my pack of lies is
not as socially acceptable as others, I don't think that is reason
enough to string me up by my toes. My motives for lying span
nutrition, personal safety, and general explanation fatigue.
Sometimes it's just quicker and easier to tell a kid that not
washing his hands will make fingers fall off. I mean who really has
the time and energy to provide a diagram and lengthy dissertation
on germ transmission and the lasting effects of Hepatitis A? Not
I wish I could say that I am working
on this shortcoming, or that I am overcoming my aversion to the
truth while raising children.
But I would be lying.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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