Tonight, right before bed, Bella wanted a cookie. I, obviously, said no. You know, in the name of teaching her healthy eating habits, keeping her sugar intake down (especially before bed), keeping her teeth from rotting out of her head and a plethora of other reasons. You know the usual reasons we don’t give our littles sugar before bed. Common sense and we don’t want them awake all night bouncing off the walls. Then “it” happened.
Bella (very sheepishly) : Mommy, I want to tell you something but Grandma told me not to tell you. WTF? OFMG, I am bracing myself for God knows what. I just knew my daughter was going to let some deep dark family secret out of the bag. Give me the real low down on how they REALLY feel about me. I won’t lie, I winced a little.
Me: Yes, Bella. You KNOW you NEVER keep secrets from Mommy.NEVER! You tell me EVERYTHING.I don’t care who tells you to keep a secret.You TELL MOMMY THE TRUTH. What did Grandma tell you NOT to tell me? At this point, aside from wondering what the hell the secret was going to be, I am quite annoyed that someone would tell my daughter to keep a secret from me. I loathe liars, with a passion.This is not a secret. Bella knows this. My husband knows this. I don’t lie. I don’t like being lied to. No matter how small the lie is, it undermines trust and that ,my friends, is NO BUENO!
Bella: Well, Mommy, Grandma gave us peanut butter Oreo cookies and candy and a bunch of sugar before bedtime when she watched us the other night. Hmmm, is she referring to the night that the lovely and delicious Grandma babysat so that the Big Guy and I could go out for a supercalifragilistic date night? That night? The night that SHE was responsible for getting them to bed and to sleep? Really, this offense is not punishable by death. Isn’t that pretty much what Grandma’s do? Ply kids with sugary treats , surprise goodies and obscene amounts of hugs and cuddles?I actually expect this behavior. I mean as far as Grandma’s and MILs go, mine is pretty freaking AWESOME.WE love her big time around here.
But I am perplexed. I can let sugary indiscretions slide but encouraging or condoning keeping things from me, well, that’s just not acceptable. I can NOT tolerate someone teaching my children that it is alright in any way, shape or form to lie to me..their MOTHER. It wasn’t even worth lying about but the whole idea of asking my kids to keep anything from me, sends the wrong message. I am really trying to teach my girls to NOT lie and to have open honest dialog with their father and I.I am trying to teach them that their word is important and if they say something they must abide by their words.Promises must be kept. The truth must be spoken.
Me: Bella, I am very proud of you for telling me the truth. You can always tell me the truth. YOU won’t get in trouble for telling me the truth. But if I ever find out that you are lying to me again, I will be very disappointed in you and you will have to be disciplined. And if anyone ever tells you to keep a secret from me again, you come straight to me and tell me! OK?
Bella (looking a little worried and slightly relieved): See Mom, aren’t you glad that I gave up lying for Lent? I guess I was a good example with my Lenten caffeine sacrifice! I had to giggle a little.
I assured her that she did the right thing by ratting out Grandma. Grandma, if you’re reading this post, no more telling the girls to keep anything from me in the future.We’re all good, just remember that and I don’t care if you give the kids sugar, I expect that.
What would you do if you found out Grandma,or anyone, told your kid to keep secrets from you? Does it matter what the lie is?Is there such a thing as a little lie to be kept from a mother? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.