Little Lie Number 1
“It’s called g-r-i-l-l-e-d cheese,” I repeated for the twentieth time, not “g-i-r-l cheese.” It didn’t matter; his young ears couldn’t hear the difference. And, most importantly, he didn’t want to eat it because it was for girls. “OK then,” I scoffed in resignation, trying not to appear exasperated. “I’ll make you a Boy Cheese sandwich.” “Oh yeah, Mommy!” he cheered licking his lips.
Eureka! And that is how it all began. The little lies.
I realized that if I use their nomenclature coupled with their vivid imagination, I’ll succeed in getting through to them.
Little Lie Number 2
Over the past several weeks, my just-turned four years-old boy has been waking up in the middle of the night afraid of the monsters lurking about his room. Problem is that he comes to our bed, wakes us up abruptly and demands an escort back to his room—where hubby or I must linger, watching carefully for his body to jerk back into deep slumber. The other night my seven year-old daughter lost another tooth and while tucking my little boy into bed, I pleaded with him.
“Please stay in your bed all night. Mommy sprayed the anti-monster venom and Mommy and Papi need to sleep. Besides,” I continued sternly, “you may run into the Tooth Fairy tonight –she’ll be visiting your sister.”
He didn’t come to our bed that night. And he hasn’t returned since. Incidentally, my seven year-old has lost three teeth over the last week so thankfully, the Tooth Fairy has been here quite often.
Little Lie Number 3
My children are not good eaters by nature. I’ve got to use some serious child psychology to get them to finish their meal. Bribery and blackmailing have ceased to prove effective. My two boys, ages 6 and 4, are athletic and into muscles—amongst other things. Thus, all healthy foods have been renamed “muscle foods” and as they chew and swallow, I pretend to notice their biceps visibly and instantly expanding with every bite. In fact, I bring out the tape measure to show them how much stronger they’re growing throughout the meal. After cleaning their plates, they go darting off to the mirror to flex and admire their “new and improved” physiques.
Little Lie Number 4
As most children, mine don’t particularly enjoy brushing their teeth and will avoid it, if I don’t check up on them. So, when they come to me asserting that they’ve already brushed, I summon them closer, and closer and closer. In fact, I practically stick my nose into their morning-breath-mouth. I then proceed to exaggerate their halitosis and feign fainting from the rotten stench. “Where is the baby? Did she poop again? I smell something putrid.” They all crack up laughing and march off gleefully to the bathroom to brush. Promptly, they (usually) return to once again, proudly display their shiny choppers and blow me a whiff of their fresh-smelling breath!
Who knows for how long these antics will prove successful. I don’t care. I’m going to milk it for as long as I can. It surely makes my job a little easier!
Written by Darah Zeledon. Mother of five, freelance writer, small business owner, and fitness freak, Darah has just returned to the US after living 9 years with her large brood in South America. Through an angle of humor, Darah´s uniquely optimistic perspective of raising children in today’s unstable world has been strongly influenced by her experiences running a household and various businesses in several foreign lands. You can read more of her here and here.