Friday, October 03, 2008

Tricks Parents Do...

Hubby and I would like to think we're good parents. We have four kids, and would LIKE to think that we have them in control. Then again, our kids are still young. Thing One turns 11 this month, and she's already acting like a sassy, cranky 16-year old. *Sigh*

So, as parents, Hubby and I can be very sarcastic. The problem with that is, sometimes (okay most of the time) young kids take things very literally. I learned this early on, when Thing One had an irrational fear of going to the Dr. She was seven, and I was sarcastic. Ooops.

Thing One: Mom?

Me: Yes?

Thing One: "What happens when they give you a physical?"

Me: *Heavy sigh* Honey, I've already told you what happens, about ten times.

Thing One: I know, but I want to know again.

Me: (Frustrated voice) They listen to your heart, check your ears, mouth, they press on your tummy and check you out, and make sure everything is as it should be.
(pause)
And you hardly feel it when they stick the needles in your eyes for the eye test. It's just a little "stick."

I gave her a little wink, but I forgot that she was seven, and sarcasm was lost on her. She started to cry and I had to comfort her (all the while feeling like a jacka**) and I had to reassure her about 49372 more times before we got to the dr's office that NO, they weren't going to stick needles in her eyes.

Lesson Learned.

But sometimes, sometimes you have to tell "little white lies" to get your kids to do what you want. Dont' shake your head and act like you've never done it. Because I know you have. I have been the victim of such maliciousness. For years I thought a horrible, terrible, mean-spirited man named "Nutrition Man" came the night after Halloween and took all my candy away, not even leaving me one little piece left.

Yep, that's what my parents told me. I HATED Nutrition Man. He was evil.

Hubby and I, two houses ago, took advantage of all the animal footprints in the snow around our house to tell our kids they were ELF footprints and that Santa's elves were checking in on them, to see if they were naughty or nice. (heh heh, I've never seen a more guilty look on Thing Two's face when we told him that!)

Oh, and I told my daughter that dutch mints were "Mommy's medicine" once. (Okay, she was two, and would have choked!)

So, I felt really really bad about a recent "lie telling." Thing One has a boy at school who walked up to her one day, and said "I like you" and ran off. Shocked her to the gills. But she was elated, because apparently she'd liked him for AGES.

So, naturally, we've been having all sorts of conversations at home about this boy, and how he sits with her at lunch, and during reading time, and (THANK HEAVEN) all they do is smile at each other and make small talk--and she asked me if I ever kissed a boy when I was in fifth grade.

"Heavens no."

"Why, mom?"

"Well, I don't want to turn into a troll."

"a WHAT?"

"If you kiss boys on the lips before you're sixteen, your face becomes all deformed and you look like a troll--for the rest of your life."

I WAS KIDDING, PEOPLE! TOTALLY DEADPANNING!! SHE'S NEARLY ELEVEN! SHE GETS SARCASM NOW!!!

Or so I thought. She got this terrified look on her face, and asked me if I was serious. I quickly laughed and said "No way!" But of course then we had the lecture about how she was wayyy too young to be kissing boys, yadda yadda yadda, and every once in a while she would ask me if I was kidding about the troll thing. I felt TERRIBLE.

So, word to the wise: please ABSTAIN from being sarcastic with your children. Unless they're teens, they won't get it. And you may freak them out for life!

Time to go play with my kids. We have some cupcakes to make, and a trip to Half Price Books with our name on it!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think Nutrition Man was a great idea! You were just about 3 or 4 years old and had been eating way too much of the candy. You were getting all 'squirrely' and it was time for it to go. What better way to explain that too much candy is not good nutrition. Also, you would have never left us in peace if you knew it was still in the house. Besides, Dad and I wanted our share. heh..heh
Mom :-)

B. K. Birch said...

GUILTY!

I told my son (now 15) when he was little that greenbeans were "batman" beans. Boy was he pissed off when he learned the truth.

Georgie said...

My son (now a very adult young man) would always run things we told him by his friends at school for "credibility."

Evidently, other parents were giving pretty much the *same* variations of the same little white lies, and...well, you get the picture.

Michelle Miles said...

HA! I think sarcasm is good for kids. Teach 'em early on so they can be the one with all the witticisms (did I spell that right?) :)

Anonymous said...

omg you are so funny!

Lowa said...

I am more sarcastic than hubby, but our kids have always just felt comfy with it. It is all they know. Where we have trouble is when THEY are sarcastic with other people and then people seem to view them as snotty, etc.

Although, a lot of the time the sarcasm is lost on the adults my very young children use it on! teehee Hey, it entertains us at least!