Monday, May 31, 2010

Lying to the Children

I recently realized that I lie profusely to my kids.

Paint? You want to paint? Sure thing, Sawyer.

I love the fact that we can still lie to our kids and get away with it. Sawyer obliviously "paints" with water on construction paper while Jack gets to use the real stuff. Hey, I have enough to clean up around here without handing over the paints to the toddler.

I'm not sure that we've been lying so much here as misleading the kids into thinking that it's totally normal to run around in your underwear and have a dance party after bath time. They totally rock out and if I really wanted to embarrass us all I'd tell you that often Saturday night finds us all in the kitchen dancing to KLCC's Dead Air. (Those hippy roots are hard to suppress, I suppose.)

They will totally hate us for these photos later, I predict. Incidentally, it's worth mentioning that Sawyer's dance repertoire includes one solitary move: the bouncing arm. You have to see it to fully appreciate it.

Jack tried to lie to me about sticking his face in the mixing bowl when we made those amazing cookies over the weekend.

And I just have to lie to Jack whenever we play Candyland together because that game just drags on and on. Just when you're finally nearing the magical rainbow square you draw that stupid cupcake queen and have to move practically all the way back to the start. So I have to make up rules and point out some extra shortcuts that maybe aren't so obvious on the board. He buys it every time. Ha.

I guess most of my lies are pretty harmless. But I do sometimes wonder how he will feel when he eventually learns that there are no "sugarbugs" on his teeth and that carrots won't make him see in the dark. I guess I'll take the risk- therapy is cheap.

But I do believe that some of the lies we tell our children are for their own good. I'll let Jack continue to believe that all people are gentle and kind- that there are no real "bad guys". I'll let him think that I know a magic spell to keep bad dreams away and that his dad is the strongest guy around. There are so many god awful things about this world that I do want to shield my kids from, at least as long as I can. The kids have the rest of their lives to stress about the ills of society and to conform to its expectations if they choose to do so. For now I think I will let them live in a world where you can rock out in your underwear and bounce one arm along to "Sugar Magnolia" and remain blissfully ignorant.

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