I was making dinner this evening, and Addison needed something to do. So I sat her down with one of those Color Wonder Coloring Books, the kind with special paper on which a picture is revealed when you run the special marker across the pages. The beauty of these is that there’s no ink, no crayon, and therefore no chance that your child will, for example, make a masterpiece on your white tile floor and grout or on your perfectly painted walls. Which by the way, even “washable” crayons leave evidence of that once composed beautiful work of art.
“She thinks she’s coloring,” I thought to myself, “but she’s really not.”
It started me thinking about all the little white lies I tell her throughout the day.
“The M&M’s are all gone.”
“Sorry but that toy needs new batteries.” (this is my favorite. I use it frequently)
“We are all out of bubbles for the Hippo bubble blower..” I would really love to sit there and hold the handle down so it can make hundreds of soapy bubbles all over my already moped floors.“
“After we pay for our groceries we will head back to the toy section.” (yup, so far this works~ Lifesaver at Target)
And then there are the deceptions: the cookies that stay hidden and are brought out only after she and Jackson go to bed, the drawer locks I put on on every cabinet, not only to prevent injury to tiny fingers but to keep my monster Jackson from pulling every pot and pan or towel out.
Truth be told, all these little white lies and deceptions make my life a little easier.
Do I want to be the painfully honest mom who says, “I’m too tired to take you to the park and have to deal with this horrible heat and the fact that you will not use a public restroom; instead you will make me rush you ALL the way back home just to have you pee in your underwear“” or do I want to be the mom who says, “We don’t have time for the park today – how about we take the dogs for a little walk?”
Do I want to be the mom who says, “Coloring is an activity denied to you until the age of cooperation and understanding”, or do I want to be the mom who says, “Look what I have for you! It’s a special magic pen and special magic paper!”
I suppose these little white lies have their purpose. It is cuter when kids go around announcing that they know they have to brush their teeth because they don't want their adult employment limited to being either a pirate or monster, rather than saying, "I have to brush my teeth so I don't suffer from periodontal disease and halitosis."
And there you have it, I’ll take lying, pleasant mom any day.