We all know that I am all about the truth but occasionally I’ve had to stretch the truth a scoatch to bend the little ones to my Mommy will, in the name of the greater good, of course. Have you ever had to do this? If so, you may identify with the Best White Lies I EVER told my Girls.
- I told my girls that if they didn’t eat their asparagus, their hair would all fall out. It would start with small bald spots; like a dog with mange. (This came at a time when I actually had a small bald spot in my own hair. Timing is everything.)
- Elves are real and they are Santa’s henchmen. They teleport back to the North Pole each night during the Christmas season to report indiscretions perpetrated by naughty kids. They are eager to break some kneecaps but Santa is usually pretty forgiving. (To make the story believable, you must move said elves around nightly and they must appear in unexpected spots i.e. the toilet, the fridge, the tub, school backpack, etc.)
- Once when the door burst open to the “conjugalorium” (Child’s unoccupied bedroom because we have two co-sleepers and are forced to get inventive with our “adult” time), we told our 3 year old “Daddy was telling Mommy a secret, that’s why we were so close”.
- While driving back from my Moms house in Chicago, we passed a refinery spouting billowing puffs of pollution. My then 4 year old asked “Mommy is that a cloud factory where all the clouds of the world are made?” I said, “Yes, yes it is” How could I not?
- If you stay in the bathtub too long, you will shrivel up and turn into a raisin. Their eyes both turned into saucers, I could see fear and disbelief. I had to seal the deal, “And then people will eat you in their oatmeal!” They both promptly exited the tub and have not stayed for prolonged periods in the tub, since. They are also no longer interested in raisins in any way, shape or form.
- Bambi is a narcoleptic. Recently, my girls had their first ever experience with road kill, a beautiful, freshly deceased deer. The deer was lying at the side of the road, looking very peaceful and not moving. My 3 year old, with tears in her eyes, asked what the dear was doing. I told her the dear had narcolepsy. (P.S. This does not work if you see a random deer leg on the side of the road!)
- The Prayer Closet. A friend once told me that I needed to get myself a “Prayer” closet. My interest was piqued so I asked, “What’s a “prayer” closet?” Apparently, it is a walk-in closet that you can go to have marital relations. OK, but why the name, you ask. So did I. It’s called a prayer closet because once when she was in the closet calling out “Oh GOD!” She walked out to be greeted by her small child asking, “Mommy, what were you doing in there?” Her answer, “Honey, Mommy was praying. It’s Mommy and Daddy’s prayer closet.” The closet has since been soundproofed.
- The Boogie Man. I made the fatal mistake of using the word “BOOGIE MAN”. Previous to this, I have never used the concept with the girls. Nonetheless, it slipped out. My 3 year old heard it. “Mommy, what’s a Boogie Man?” This is where I went brain damaged. “It’s just a little fairy who comes out at night, if you don’t behave, and sucks the boogies out of your nose.” Why I thought this was less traumatic than the real story, I’ll never know.
- I told my girls, on New Years Eve, that their sparkling cider was actually champagne. I had them so convinced that my 5 year old had 2 glasses and swore she was drunk. Lightweight.
- When my daughter was 3 she was extremely afraid of chickens and lemurs. Don’t ask. Let’s just say Julian, from Madagascar, is persona non grata in our house. She is absolutely terrified. After many nights of her jumping out of bed because she swore chickens or lemurs were under her bed, I took a canister of Febreeze and transformed it into Chicken/Lemur spray. I went so far as to cover up the logo, wrote Chicken/Lemur Spray on the label with the words “Kills Chickens/Lemurs Dead!” complete with chicken skull and crossbones. Then, in Catholic priest fashion, I blessed the room and sprayed the entire room down. Then she slept. That was 2 years ago. Occasionally, she still has me spray the room down. Just to be safe.
I’d love to hear any white lies that you’ve had to tell your kids to get them to do what was best for them. How inventive have you had to get in the name of healthy food and a good night’s sleep?
*This is a piece written by me that was originally published on Momversation.com on January 2011.