Archive | December 13, 2011

Lying to Your Kids- also known as Parent Survival 101

We lie all the time. As humans, some of us are better than others. As parents, I think we wrote the book. We raise our children not to lie, but we lie to them ALL THE TIME. LIE, LIE, LIE. Yes, because this is how we survive. If honey badgers could lie to their kids, they would probably eat them less. I don’t really know if honey badgers eat their young. But since they don’t give a shit, and they can eat cobras while they are being stung with cobra venom, I’m pretty sure that some mama honey badgers have eaten tender little honey badger babies.

Okay, this post is not about honey badgers.

This blog post is really about how I regret the fact that my kids still believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. They are 8 and 11. When can I crush their fantasy world? I’ve used lying as a tactic to get out of things that make parenting more difficult. Like when they hear the ice cream truck, I tell them if there’s music playing that means they are all sold out.  Harsh, huh?

But now I’m afraid, there’s no going back.

We lie that if they cross their eyes when the clock strikes on the hour their face will stick like that permanently. Oh wait, that’s what my parents lied to me about. If you swallow an apple seed that it will grow in your belly to an apple tree and you will have to go to the hospital. Oh no, that’s what Freddy Casey told me in the first grade. But I’m CERTAIN his parents told him that. We lie all the time!

So this Santa thing is getting stressful. Stressful for me. The kids want to believe so much it’s all real. But that makes more lying.

Emma knows, but acts like she doesn’t know, but wants to not know and still be a kid. You know?

Owen fully believes in the fantasy of it all.

Owen, “Mom- can you tell me if Santa isn’t real, like, maybe when I’m in college. Just in case. Cuz, I want to know what to do for my kids if I’m the parent. But he’s totally real, and I believe in him, but just in case he’s not. He’s real because everyone talks about him. Just because we can’t see him, doesn’t mean he’s not real. Like Jesus.”

Okay buddy, the Jesus part I’m all for. But Santa, he’s real, but only in your heart. Mommy and Daddy do have to fork over all that cash to actually pay for your Nintendo.

Help. Me.

I want to keep them in the bubble of fantasy land. But I also want to shake them (gently, of course) and say, ‘Sweeties, we are living paycheck to paycheck, and I want to make all your dreams come true, but there’s only so much I can do.” Sigh. Trust me, I’m not going in to debt to make Christmas happen for my kids, I can be smart. (This is the Frugalista blog after all!) I suppose, it’s like having ‘The Talk’. But I’ve already had THAT talk and it actually was easier. They just walked away and said, ‘that’s gross’.

I’ve been THIS CLOSE to telling Emma the truth about Santa. When I hedged around the topic, she looked at me, tears brimming on her lower lids, “mom, whatever you’re going to say, just don’t. Okay? I can’t. handle. it.”

SEE WHAT I MEAN?

When the time is right, the time will be right. More sighing.  When I think of them being old enough to not believe in Santa anymore, it makes ME want to cry. When they bug me with what Santa is bringing them- that makes me want to cry as well.