Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Telling lies to little children

Some people think you shouldn't lie to your children. Ever. I just want put on record that I think that idea is just plain bollocks.

Let's start with some of the big lies we all tell our children. For example, there's that fat old man in the north pole who happens to deliver a bazillion presents every Christmas Eve with the help of just a few reindeers. And it's not just one lie. There are all the little lies we have to add to somehow make the story plausible. But there are those sad people who believe it's wrong to lie to children and who completely take the magic of Christmas from their child. Bah humbug to that.

However, there are other day-to-day lies that parents tell. My favourite is: Look! A purple dinosaur just ran past the window (in a bid to distract a yelling child who is refusing to get into their car seat). Or in a similar vein: Wow! I just saw a hawk catch a bird (there's a story behind this which I will share one day) or: Is that a fairy?!

Then there's the cunning ways to get children to eat: if you eat that broccoli, you'll grow taller than your brother (not necessarily a lie but a bit of a long wait to find out). Or: there's absolutely no onion in the sauce. The shiny bits are transparent carrots, which you love. (actually they're onion but I'm not going to pick them out one by one).

There's the 'I really need to go check my emails but need to pretend I'm not working' lie: I'm just going to put on a load of washing...

There's the standard lie when shopping for groceries and the nagging for sweets starts: 'We'll see'. Which means no. (Incidentally, I've been told by a friend - you know who you are - that my use of the word 'groceries' highlights the fact that I am foreign as a normal British person would simply say food. However, I feel groceries is a more all-encompassing term so shall continue to use it and while I'm at it, will say traffic circles instead of roundabouts).

But yesterday I told my 2 year old a bit of a whopper and I'm now reaping the not-so-clever rewards. He has been out of nappies for almost a year but seems to forget this on a daily basis and pees in his pants constantly. It is driving me insane, not to mention what he's doing to our washing powder consumption.

So in an effort to get him to not pee in his pants, I put him in a pair of underpants that has a little monster on the front with sharp teeth. I told him the monster was called Morris. Morris the marshmallow munching monster. And Morris doesn't like getting wet. And if he peed on Morris, Morris would sink his sharp teeth into his willy and give it a bite (obviously mistaking it for a marshmallow). The child - with fairly large eyes at this point - asked what would happen if he didn't pee on Morris. Not being able to think quickly enough, I said that Morris would give his willy a cuddle instead.

Sigh. You know what's coming next.

'Mummy, I haven't peed in my pants so Morris is cuddling my willy'. And this morning: 'Mummy, I'm not going to let Morris bite my willy today.'

Which is all well and good when it's just the two of us having this conversation, but when he relays it to staff at the nursery it's really not great. I fear I might be getting a letter from them soon suggesting that social services might want to come round.


katyboo1 said...

I told my oldest daughter (when she was the only one), that the noise of the ice cream van that she could hear from her gran's garden was in fact a man practising his trumpet playing in the street because his mummy didn't like him practising at home. It was inspired. Three years I kept that one going until someone ratted me out.

Home Office Mum said...

We always tell ours it's a van selling Brussel Sprouts. They can't understand why all the other kids get excited when they hear it.

Licketysplit said...

.... and while you're at it will say "my cell" instead of "my mobile"!!!