July 8th, 2010

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Becca Sanders

I was making breakfast the other day, and daughter F. needed something to do. So I sat her down with one of those water paint sets, the kind with special paper on which a picture is revealed when you brush the water across the surface. The beauty of these is that there’s no ink, no crayon, and therefore no chance that your child will, for example, draw a pretty picture on the front of your new kitchen cupboards – cupboards so new that the installer’s truck is still idling in the driveway.

“She thinks she’s coloring,” I thought to myself, “but she’s really not.”

It started me thinking about all the little lies I tell my kids throughout the day.

“The ice cream is all gone.”

“I don’t know where that (insipid) book is…” but I’d sure love to read it to you for the 2,357th time.”

“Tickle-Me Elmo is broken…” and has been buried in the back yard, shallow enough so that wild animals can dig him up and feed upon his carcass.

And then there are the deceptions: the chocolate brought out after the kids go to bed, the drawer locks I put on F.’s dresser not to prevent injury but to keep her from pulling her entire wardrobe onto the floor. (I’ve spent much time putting everything back, with F. saying, “I help you, Mama!” For a toddler, this means stuffing one pair of pants back in the drawer, pulling out the two I just put in, then getting bored and heading off to pull all the books off the shelves.)

All these little lies and deceptions make my life a little easier, and – truth to tell – keep my kids thinking well of me. Do I want to be the painfully honest mom who says, “I’m too tired to take you to the pool. And I just can’t face that family dressing room today, with the dirty swim diapers left on the floor and someone else’s hair in the drain…” or do I want to be the mom who says, “We don’t have time for the pool today – how about a nice walk to the playground?”

Do I want to be the mom who says, “Coloring is an activity henceforth denied to you until the age of consent”, or do I want to be the mom who says, “Look what I have for you! It’s a special magic pen and special magic paper!”

I’ll take lying, deceitful, pleasant mom any day.

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This Weeks Tip

We did a review a while ago of dry shampoo. Here’s an alternative when you don’t have time to wash, but want to get rid of the oily-ness. Sprinkle some baking soda on your hair, comb through then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer. (note: You can also add a little scented baby powder to keep your hair smelling clean!)