Thursday, June 02, 2005

How long has it been?

Sometimes parents lie. I know it’s terrible, but we usually have a good reason. For example, Santa Claus is a colossal fib, but most people agree it’s a romantic myth for children.

Most of my lies to my children fall under the guise of “parental control”. Once in awhile I will tell the kids a teensy eensy white lie so that they will change their behavior or it makes my life easier. If we happen to drive by a toy store and they clamor to go inside, I have been known to tell them that it is closed (even if it is 2:00 in the middle of the day!) Other times I may tell them that we are out of fudgesicles (when I know damn well that there is one left that I want to eat after they go to bed.)

Sometimes I feel guilty after I tell these “stories” – sometimes I don’t. The other night I did. Harrison and Ella wanted to play with the neighbor girls. I didn’t want them to go knock on their door because this wonderful neighbor always lets them in and then my children become her burden. She’s great with them, but she just had a baby and has two other preschoolers – why give her two more that are unannounced. In all my parent glory, I told them that the girls were inside eating dinner as it was early evening. I assumed they would move on and do something else. About five minutes later I was walking by the front windows when I noticed my two kids sitting in our front yard right next to the sidewalk staring longingly at their friends' house. When I asked them what they were doing, they promptly told me that they were waiting for their friends to get done with dinner. I told them that it might be awhile and that they should play. No – they wanted to wait. (GUILT poured over me.)

Is parenting always going to be this complex?

No comments: