As my child gets older and has a growing understanding of the world around him, he is not shy about voicing his every want and desire. Not all of these demands can be met, obviously but as a toddler he does not understand this. And if he does that doesn't mean he agrees. So, because of living with a walking Id, I have been called upon to throw down a white lie here and there. And I'm sure any parent would agree with me that there is a time and place for this. Examples:
--Theo is obsessed with coins. He loves to hold them, talk about them, sort them, and throw them. If one falls out of your jeans he can hear it hit the floor five rooms away. We are very careful with his access to change so he doesn't put it in his mouth. This isn't usually a problem until we're in the car and he sees a random quarter and dime in our cup holder for tolls. When he gets fixated on wanting to hold them I employ the old Driving Coin excuse. "I'm sorry honey. Those are special Driving Coins. Only the grow-up driving the car can hold those because they are special. They have to stay up here so the driver can use them, okay?" "Oh. Okay mommy. Special Driving Coins stay up there. Me no touch them." Ta da!
--We don't let Theo eat snack foods like chips unless it's in moderation and as a special treat. As parents, however, Bryan and I can eat them whenever we damn well please, so we have to hide the bags of Pirate's Booty or Cheeto's whenever we buy them. Occasionally we'll accidentally leave a bag out or Theo will be too quick to see before we put it away. We are then met with whining and sheer determination to have a snack and no matter what reasons I give don't seem to work. That is, until I had a stroke of GENIUS one afternoon. Theo is in love with one of my co-workers. Talks about her all the time and is convinced she is responsible for Christmas, she is just that wonderful. So, at my wits end one day over the chip debacle I said, "That bag is for Miss O, honey. Mommy has to bring her that bag of chips as a treat at work tomorrow so we can't eat them." He literally stopped in his tracks and said, "Okay." and walked off to play. Cue heavenly choir.
--We really try to limit his television watching to the weekends. But that doesn't mean we are met with complete agreement on this household rule. So when Theo gets up from his nap and the first thing he says is, "Me watch Veggie Tales on the tv Mama? I need to watch Thomas. How 'bout Sponge Bob?" it's just easiest to say, "They're all sleeping. They're still taking their naps so we can't watch them right now." Nip THAT bad boy in the bud.
Now please realize we tell Theo everything to the best of his understanding and answer ALL of his questions no matter how long the string of Why?Why?Why? is. I do not make a habit of lying to my child. But really, sometimes the harmless ones are just easier.
What fibs have you told your child to keep the peace? I might have to file away some good ones to be called upon later!