Lies We Tell the Kids

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Dear Kids,

Well, I hope you are totally grown up and raising your own children when you read this. Because if you are, you can sympathize. If you aren’t, and you’re still living under my roof you might not be taking me too seriously anymore. So I might be shooting myself in the foot right now.

Listen, I’ve told you these “things” for your best interest. Your benefit. I’ve just tried to do the right thing. Unfortunately doing those things, er, rather getting you to do those things does involved a fair amount of fibbing. (Sigh) What I’m trying to say is: I don’t really believe or agree with everything I tell you, but I kind of have to say it anyway because Dr. Sears says so. And right now, we are in that phase of parenting where Dr. Sears is the Wizard of Oz to us. That and Dr. Google.

So I just want to clarify, mainly to just get it out there, what I really feel about some of these white lies.

1. Ok, I know I tell you “No, you’re only allowed to watch 2 shows a day…too much tv isn’t good for you.” But here’s the thing. I think 2 shows a day is stupid too. As soon as your in bed, we’ve got Hulu up faster than you can pitch a fit. Heck, do you know how awesome it is to be grown ups? I spent my whole childhood to get to this point in life: finally having complete and total control of my own remote control. I think every adult out there feels the same way, too. We built this though, we had to endure years of limited television exposure so that we could be smart, well adjusted adults who…honestly want to do nothing more at the end of the day than kick back and watch our shows. So I’m with ya on that one.

2. Food. Goodness gracious, it is so hard for me to tell you to eat your veggies first before another helping of noodles…when all I am doing behind your back is eating bowls of noodles before I even set the table. And in my head I’m thinking “Who could blame you? I hate eating salad too. Pass the bread, please!” Listen to me: Mommy is a carb-oholic and Daddy ate an entire box of chocolate covered potato chips by himself last week. So. It does get better, I promise.

3. A consequence of having you kids are these really awkward “naptime” lies I am forced to tell people because I’m so stinking desperate to keep you asleep. Lies like “Oh, our toilet isn’t working today” when really I mean “Sorry you stopped over to visit during my kids naps…but we don’t flush the toilet during naps because it will wake them up and I just had diarrhea. So. Toilet’s broken.” These lies can consequently have quite adverse effects if people don’t take you literally. Trust me. (ask Aunt Katie)

4.I really cringe each time I tell you that it’s silly to be afraid of the dark. That is one of my worst bold face lies because inside I’m screaming “Mommy is STILL afraid of the dark”. I purposely make Daddy sleep the closest to the door because I get so skiddy when its dark. Heck, I have an entire escape plan figured out if we ever get attacked during the night. (Which totally includes a strategically placed 2×4 under Daddy’s side of the bed) I freak myself out daily when I’m glued to a rocker glider at 2am nursing and the moonlight hits the scrunchie on the floor just the right way that I could swear it’s moving. All I do replay that Twilight Zone episode in my head (which is so, so stupid at 2 am)…the one with the little robot on the floor…and when your nursing and you can’t move or whimper lest you fully awake the baby, terrifying fear typically manifests itself in strange gastrointestinal grunts and sweating. So being afraid of the dark isn’t silly, at least not to me. But,I’d rather be the only one up worrying at night instead of all of us together…and so…I lie.

5. Lastly,the stupid age old “You need to go get some fresh air” one is my least favorite. I feel so bad on the days you guys don’t want to play outside and I convince you how good it is for you, how much healthier you’ll be…blah blah blah. I, for one, do perfectly fine with house air. In fact, I love it. Especially when it’s like 2 degrees outside and I’ve got Pride & Prejudice loaded up on the Netflix. So sorry for all those games of tag I made you play when you just wanted to color. And all the times I lured you outdoors with bubbles or made you ride bikes instead of “helping” me fold laundry. Lies, all of it. That and a little manipulation to exhaust you so you’d nap good.

So there, I got it off my chest. Even if you guys don’t read this for many, many years to come. I feel better clarifying these things with you. I want you to know I feel your pain, and I get it and mostly, I’m on your side. I don’t know who comes up with these rules anyway. They might not be fully human. I mean veggies? Fresh Air? No TV? Gimme a break, this is all we’ve been working to escape our whole lives! Don’t get any ideas too soon, though. The rules aint changing because I want you to turn out right. But I promise you, once you’re grownup, mature, and well adjusted (hahahaaaaaa) we can spend the entire day inside eating cookies and watching every Colin Firth movie ever made. Oh, and we can sleep with the lights on too!

Party in 2050!




Second Time Around

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It’s kinda crazy, the way things are so different the second time around with kids. I can’t even believe how lax Camera Guy and I have gotten with things like baths, duration of wearing a soiled diaper, and matching socks. I mean, does that sound bad? I often wonder to myself if I am shorting Mr. Chubs on the baby-powdered perfectness of being a baby simply because I can’t keep up, or rather, simply because he was born second! You know what I’m talking about. I know you do. How everything is so clean, routined, simple, quiet, demure, and chill during round 1. You chuckle to yourself about how she gets "so messy" with her food, when "messy" is two rice crispies stuck to her chin. You hardly call the doctor because she’s just "so good" , never gets into anything. She gets fully bathed each night, complete with a blow dry and style. Bedtime routines happily take up to an hour of book reading, toe tickling and saying goodnight to everything in the house. Ah, then enters number 2 and your entire life gets flipped upside down. (I know all you Moms of 2 plus are laughing at me right now, but the abruptness of it all catches you off guard) Now, I mock my former self. Baths every night? Impossible. Have you seen two babies in the tub at the same time under the age of two? No way. Now baths are limited to a 3 step evaluation process: smell, sight and energy level. That would be, can I see food in your hair, can I smell food on you….and can I keep up with the both of you attempting to drown the other in water at the same time. I never saw myself like this! Oh the Mom-guilt! How can this be? We’ve left the house with no shoes on, eaten fast food on the way to the store, taken naps in the car, gone shopping without make up, we’ve let you stay up way past your bedtime, left you with a babysitter and actually said "It’s ok if she doesn’t go to sleep", (talk about desperate to go out!). I’ve put on Sesame Street so I could do laundry, cleaned faces by licking my finger and wiping the face, sometimes, when I can’t debate anymore what’s for dinner….I’ve let her eat cereal. We even did the seemingly impossible: stayed in a hotel room together, all of us, the baby too! (This, was the most unachievable scenario imaginable for us….we stupidly told each other, ‘They’ll wake each other up!’) Or the even more impossible: let them both nap in the same room. Or the even more "I will never be able to do that" : walking in and out of the room that they’re napping in! Or how about changing a diaper while nursing? That is, changing the diaper of the baby your nursing….in the middle of the night. How did this come to be that all those things we deemed impossible, ridiculous and avoidable the first time around….just aren’t? I know my mother in law, with her 10 kids, is finding this whole run around entirely humorous. All I can say is this: now I get it! And kudos to my mom-in-law, my mom, my grandmothers and all those women I know who have done it! Wow. It’s seriously the craziest thing ever! You really do have to just let go, and chalk it up to "well, I’m sure this has happened to someone…somewhere in the world before…" Eating bird poop? Rolling off the bed? ? Pooping on the dining room floor? Ah yes. Surely I’m not the only one…