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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lies and Torments I've Subjected My Kids To.

Cooties:

When my daughter was 4 years old and about to start pre-k, I sat her down to have a very important big girl conversation.  The topic?  Boys.  I told her about boys having cooties and how contagious they were.  She listened with wide eyed interest and then asked what cooties looked like and how you got rid of them once you caught them.  Because cooties were invisible, of course no one really knew what they looked like, only that all boys had them.  I told her not to worry though…because in her cubby at school there would be an invisible can of cootie spray.  All she had to do was spray down the boys with her cootie spray (demonstrating how) and she’d be safe. 

After her first day of school, upon picking her up, she was noticeably upset. When I asked about her day, she heatedly informed me that she looked and looked, but could not find her invisible can of cootie spray.   “Now I’ve got cooties too!”  Yeah, some days it’s great to be a parent.

 Amusement Parks:

 I learned a long time ago why they were called amusement parks.  Parents bring their children, watch the children get terrified, and the parents are left very amused.  When my daughter and then step-son were little (4 and 6), we went to MGM in Orlando.  We waited in outrageously long lines in the sweltering heat before finally boarding “The Tower of Terror”.  Within moments they were both terrified and wanting off…NOW.  By the time we got off the ride, they were both white as a ghost and near tears begging NEVER to go on it again.  For the next year, anytime they acted up, just the threat of making them ride “The Tower of Terror” would bring them right back in line.  Thanks Disney!


 My son was a very big baby, and an even bigger toddler.  When he was 2, he was as big as or bigger than most 4 year olds.  During a trip to Universal Studios, we boarded the “Jaws” ride.  It was a beautiful day and we were slowly floating along when a mechanical Jaws burst out of the water mere inches from our side of the boat, displaying a mouth full of big, sharp, white teeth.  My son screamed in terror as he jumped up in the seat and ran across me in a desperate attempt to escape the attacking shark!  Everybody on the boat, myself included (I know…mom of the year), were laughing so hysterically we were wiping tears from our eyes, as my terrified toddler struggled to find the humor in almost being eaten by the giant beast.  Try as I might, I could not stop laughing as I tried to comfort him and assure him it was just a fake shark and NOT going to eat him.  Did we stop there?  Heck no!  I was now amused.  Next stop…“Earthquake”. 

 Christmas:

 They give us parents so much to work with around the holidays, big and small.  From Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to the Tooth Fairy, society has made lying to our children not just acceptable, but expected, especially at Christmas.

 When my ex-husband’s son was about 7 years old, he started questioning the existence of Santa Claus, and sharing his doubts with my 5 year old daughter.  That Christmas Eve, we left cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the Reindeer…on a chair visible from the doorways of each of the children’s rooms.  After the kids went to sleep and the presents were placed under the tree, my husband donned a Santa Claus suit and headed for the cookies as I headed for the kids rooms to wake them up.  I snuck in their rooms, and woke them up very quietly telling each one to be absolutely silent so we didn’t scare Santa off.  I told them that if Santa knew they saw him, he might leave fast, or even disappear so they had to be quiet.  They watched in silence was he ate the cookies and drank the milk, then stuffed the carrots in his pockets, before saying “Ho, Ho, Ho” and then disappearing from their sight. 


 When my son (almost 5 years younger than my daughter) was about 8, he came home from his father’s devastated.  “Dad told Santa to put me on the naughty list!”  After thinking about this for a couple weeks, I enlisted the help of my daughter and put my plan into action.  When my son returned from his next weekend stay with his father, on two small hooks by the front door hung a small wool coat, a matching pointy hat and a tiny lantern with a paper scroll tucked into it.  When he asked about it, at first I refused to tell him anything saying only for him to leave the items alone.  At various times, I’d remove the items for periods of time and then return them to the hooks.  Finally, after swearing him to secrecy, I told him that one of Santa’s elves was staying with us while he handled a top secret mission for Santa.  The kids stared at the items begging for permission to read the tiny scroll. While he never actually got to see the elf, I did manage to take a very fussy picture of him to show my son (which I actually pulled off the internet), and just before the elf’s stuff vanished for the last time, we snuck a peek at the tiny scroll which read, “Naughty” then had a list of several names, including the name of their dad!

 Teenagers

 When my kids were little I would to tell them that aliens injected the brains of teenagers with a toxic serum that turned their brains into gelatinous goo until they hit their 20s and their brains started solidifying again.  This made teenagers act in completely crazy ways and do really stupid things until their brains recovered somewhere around their early to mid 20s.  My son was about 6, and we were walking through Wal-Mart when my son excitedly points to a group and loudly exclaims, “Look mom!  They’re teenagers!” as if he was seeing an endangered species or making a rare discovery, eliciting many strange looks from the Wal-Mart onlookers. 

These are just a few examples of how I've lied to and tormented my children over the years.  To post them all would be a thousand plus page novel.  Ok, so maybe the last one was a bad example of a lie or torture my kids have endured from me as I really think I was onto something with that one!  Luckily for me, though probably unfortunately for them, I still have several years left to inflict more damage in the form of creative lies and torment.  One day, they'll have children and will be able to pass on the traditions just as I am now doing to them.

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