Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Adventures in Real Parenting: Would I lie to you?

The Spawn love Sunbeam bread. They claim it tastes superior to the White Wheat I prefer them to eat (please don't lecture me about whole wheat bread - been there, tried that. Ended up composting most of it. Time and time again.). While extolling the superior taste of Sunbeam, The Spawn claim that it has a far better consistency and texture.

For those of you who don't know, here's a mom thing. We lie. A lot. I'm not just talking about the Easter Bunny or Santa or why there isn't any more ice cream in the freezer - "Daddy must have eaten it....?"< MathMan loves when I sell him out. It's part of the parent code. Whoever gets to the lie first, wins. No. Parents lie about little things and big things. For example, I've learned a way to get The Spawn to eat White Wheat bread without knowing it. I wait for the first few slices of Sunbeam to be removed from the loaf's package then I take some slices of White Wheat and stick them between the smooshy Sunbeam. The crusts might have a variance in color, but that is hidden by the yellow on the packaging.

No one is the wiser.

This is a tradition passed on from mother to mother. Like my mother who sneaked liver into our hamburgers (that explains that) to prevent us from contracting the pernicious anemia that ran rampant through generations of her family, I force fiber onto The Spawn so that The Actor, Cupcake (aka Resident Evil) and The Dancer aren't completely bound up with biological poisons.

Without fibbing, obfuscation and outright lying, I wouldn't be able to complete a day of parenting.

From Webster's New Pocket Dictionary. To obfuscate - Confuse; obscure.
Spawn: "Where is my Juicy Fruit gum? I swear I left it on my dresser."

Me: "I don't know. Did you leave it in your pocket and take it to school? "(hee hee, I've developed a recent craving for Juicy Fruit gum...)

Spawn: Can I go to Florida with my friends over Spring Break?"
Me: "We'll see." (We'll see in momspeak means I'm not going to say "no" now because I don't feel like fighting about it now, but this is my way of buying time until you either forget or give up badgering me about this and go pester your father.)

Outright lie.
Spawn: "Mom, did you ever smoke pot?"

Me: "Of course not!"

When we first think of having babies, we make plans to be perfect parents. We make mental lists of all the things we'll never do to our kids. Back in my pre-parenting days, I had a long  list of judgmental and naive I will nevers.

I had not a clue.

Now a seasoned parenting professional, I  see the error of my earlier ideals. In fact, with parenting, there are no ideals. Not if you want to stay sane, that is.


  1. My best friend from high school has a really bizarre mother. She is a sweet lady - just not exactly on the same plane as the rest of us. She was a perpetual student who racked up about 4 degrees - phys. ed., marine biology, French (she was already a native speaker) and something else that I forget, but mostly she got them just by showing up at school. She loved to wear really bright colorful mismatched clothes that she found at the thrift shop and was always trying to get us to wear them too.

    She took a class in music appreciation one time, and Janet and I were awakened at 3am by a series of ear-splitting high-pitched shrieks that sounded like someone was twisting the heads off kittens. It was Mariette, and she was in tears because she couldn't make the right notes come out of her Tonette. Janet sighed and said, "You have to cover the hole at the bottom, Mom."

    Mariette was always trying to fool us by such sly tricks as putting powdered milk into a real milk carton. Mostly we were onto her, but one day she got us but good.

    Janet lived near a big open field filled with blackberry bushes, and on the weekends we would get up on Saturday morning and pick a bucket of blackberries to make pancakes with. Mariette was perpetually trying to convince us to use the ultra-cheap and foul-tasting 'Oh Boy' syrup instead of Log Cabin, but that stuff was heinous and we refused.

    One Saturday, we came home with a nice full bucket of blackberries, and whipped up an awesome batch of pancakes. Then, we slathered them with butter and syrup, and took a big mouthful - and had to spit it out.

    Tricky Mariette had gone to the trouble of emptying the Log Cabin bottle and filling it up with 'Oh Boy'. And 'Oh Boy' did it taste like vomit.

    Chalk one up for Mariette.

  2. She sounds like a character! I swear, I would never mess with Log Cabin syrup! And my kids have learned my tricks over the years. I do still try to pass off the organic milk in the store milk container sometimes. The organic milk is creamier and the kids are so used to regular skim that they think the creamier version is weird. They're weird. xoxo


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