May 12, 2012

My Daughters, Making Me A Liar

I, rightly or otherwise, pride myself on a  certain level of honesty.  If not the whole truth, then I try to offer at least a very thick coating of sugar.
Does this dress make me look fat?  Of course not!

Why is my child failing your class?  He has fantastic potential but needs to work a little bit more on his focus and work outside of the classroom.
Did you forget my birthday?  No! I have something planned for later!

I always told myself that I wouldn't lie to my kids when it came to difficult topics.  When they ask about where babies come from, I'm planning to tell them the truth: babies come from sexual relations between a man and a woman, or between a test tube and a syringe.  When they ask about relationships and boys, I'm planning to tell them the truth: boys are selfish and only want to hurt you, that every word they say is a lie and the only men who can be trusted are me and their grandfathers and uncles.

When they ask why they have to go to bed, or eat breakfast, or not run, I do my very best to give them the reasons.  I want them to know that there is a rationale and a reason behind the directions that we give them.
I don't ever want to be the parent who resorts to "Because I said so."

Don't interrupt mommy when she's with Aunt Merlot

This is another piece in my grand scheme to be the greatest parent ever!

I have discovered two snags in this plan.  The first one was anticipated.

Harper has reached the stage of "why?" with a slight modification.  She often asks "why not?"

Harper: Popsicle?
Awesome Dad: No, baby.  We're going to have dinner soon.
H: Why not?
AD: We're going to have dinner in a little bit and I don't want you to spoil your appetite.
H: Why not?
AD: Then you won't eat the healthy food for dinner.
H: Why not?
AD: Because you'll be full of popsicle.
H: Why not?
AD: ...That question is not grammatically appropriate.
H: Why not?
AD: Well, mostly because there was nothing in my statement that was a negative.
H: Why not?
AD: (Goes on answering these questions ad infinitum)

She does have times where she repeatedly asks why and when I follow them all the way out, I usually end up giving a mini-lecture about particle physics or the historical background of World War I.

I am giving serious thought to keep a list where I write down the topic of conversation at the start, where it ends up and then offer a prize to the person who can make the connection, 6 Degrees of Separation-style.

After 6-8 minutes of answering "Why" I usually stop the conversation by replying "You don't really care why and you don't remember what we're even talking about!  This is why I drink!  Water, that is!"
"I know she's going to ask me something today!
Time to set up my exit strategy!"

The second snag in my "always tell the truth to my kids" plan has been Sara.

We went food shopping today and, of course, Harper gravitated towards the impulse buys in the check-out lane.  She grabbed everything off the shelf, one at a time, thankfully, with a cheery smile at her mother and a "Want one!" on her lips.  Had she asked me, my response would have been "Not right now, sweetie.  We're going to go home and have dinner."  Or "No, dear.  Those are not good for little girls."

Sara however, when presented with said little girl asking for a packet of Reese's cups, replies with something akin to "EW! Those aren't candy! Those are made of rubber!  Icky!"

An understandably confused Harper put them down and picked up some sort of Skinny Cow Turtle candy.  To this, Sara said "You picked a cow poop!  Look!  It has cow poop inside!"

Some piece of candy got the answer "If we eat those, they will put us in jail."  Seriously.

I was anxiously awaiting "Those make baby Jesus cry!" as it seemed to be quickly approaching. - Don't forget to do your homework or Nixon and Louis XVI will come in the night and take your teeth!

I suppose I should be grateful that she asks these questions instead of pulling the candy rack onto the floor and making an M&M's angel.

I know as soon as Sara reads that last sentence, she's going to start thinking about how we could clear out a section of the basement and run to Sam's club to get all the M&M's they have.  I love my wife.
"You can't still my heart! It needs to sing!"
"Brynn, you are so immature!"
"Come at me, bro!"



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