“I really have no clue how your Moon Sand got into the bottom of the garbage can, quite frankly I am shocked! No, I would not reach in there to grab it, I have seen a monster down there and you don’t want to lose a finger over that silly Moon Sand, do you? I didn’t think so, now let’s go find a nice snack to make you forget about that Moon Sand.” Friggin Moon Sand and their bullshit guarantee of not making a mess. It’s all lies, lies, lies. It picks up better than Play Dough, however the carpet in the toy room is now smudged with blue, green and yellow and looks like the bad carpeting my parents had in the 70’s. I knew it was a bad idea, but the kids had been asking for it for like two years and I had a moment of weakness when I was Christmas shopping and the rest is history.
I feel bad that I am less than honest with my children at times. I have had to come up with an enhancement of the truth that I have to tell my children to protect them from being sad, angry or plotting to get even with me. I don’t like it, but what can I do about it? I have reassured myself that it is ok to tell these little twists of truth because society approves of Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. If it is ok to lie about all that, why isn’t ok to say a toy is defective or that there is a monster in the bottom of the garbage can?
I have also had to manipulate information to protect them from asking too many questions that are likely to make me feel uncomfortable. Take for instance the neon green penis and balls that someone has spray painted on the sidewalk that we walk back and forth to school on. Every time we pass it the kids ask about it, and worse I walk another child home every day and she asks about it as well. I have sort of convinced them that it is a marker where the sidewalk needs to be repaired because it is lifting and it is a hazard. They are partially convinced, but having intelligence and detective skills they continue to ask why all the other spots have a giant orange X and this spot is the only one with a neon green ‘tube of lipstick’. My answer is simple, a lady painted this spot and she thought the orange x was boring so she made it look like a tube of lipstick, and green is her favorite color. Makes perfect sense, right?
There are also times I have to alter the truth because I have made mistakes or gotten too busy and forgotten to follow through. After our last hamster died, the weather was crappy for several days and I just shoved the hamster in a box and put it on top of the fridge in the garage. In my defense I did go buy a special box and little cloth for the burial. A few days went by, and then a few more days, and my 7 year old inquires about the hamster’s burial. SHIT!!! I told her I had waited for the weather to be clear and I had to bury the hamster with the other hamster without them, but she could go visit the site and say her goodbyes. After their interest in checking out the last dead hamster a bit too much, I did not want to see the look of horror when she opened the box and the hamster was deteriorated beyond belief. The hamster did get a burial in last Thursday’s trash and I only have a twinge of guilt about that.
We do the best we can with what we have. There are no real parenting classes that give us the answers to this kind of stuff. Sure those classes and books can tell us about feeding and guiding and building self esteem, but show me the chapter on what to say about the neon green penis or why Max & Ruby don’t have a mom or dad. It’s not there, you know why? There is no answer and the people that write those books or hold those seminars don’t want to have to deal with it. We are on our own and that gives us the freedom to react and say what we need to so we can get onto the next moment.
Cherish your moments and be yourself, our kids will love and forgive us, because I have told mine there is a law that makes them do that.