I love my kids. That’s why, when they were young, I made a point to lie to them every chance I could. As any experienced parent knows, you need to lie to your young, impressionable children to help prepare them for their lives as adults – and to help you forge a trusting relationship with them.
Parents who care about their young children start lying to them early in their formative development – ideally while their offspring are still in the womb. Don’t wait until they’re in middle school. By then your chronic pattern of honest communication will likely have caused irreparable damage.
There are many reasons we adults lie to each other: to get out of cleaning the garage despite your wife’s nagging about it for the past three months; to deny that you scarfed down the last piece of your wife’s birthday cake; or maybe to hide the fact that you were really golfing when I, er, I mean you, told the wife you were helping a buddy move. Of course, there are also bad reasons for lying, but at the moment, they escape me.
But when it comes to children, caring parents know that lying is a way to avoid crushing their kids’ self-esteem. It’s not your job to destroy your child’s hopes and dreams by dispelling the myths of their childhood. That’s their future therapist’s responsibility. Your job is to keep telling your kids whatever you need to, to get them to behave, brush their teeth and maybe, just maybe, not kill the family cat, Bonkers.
The following is a list of important lies you must tell your young children with conviction so they don’t grow up to be as socially awkward and emotionally insecure as say, well, their father.
Santa Claus is real. While he does appear to bear a striking resemblance to your kids’ Uncle Harry, that’s just a coincidence. It can’t be Uncle Harry, because Harry is usually at some dive bar on Christmas Eve, getting plastered, bitching about how his ex-wife took him to the cleaners in the divorce.
I love your latest piece of artwork. Oh, I totally get how it’s a painting of me. You totally captured me. You are so talented. I really like how you painted me with a toaster on my head – or is it a palm tree? And what’s with the five arms coming out of my ears? Or are those bananas? Either way, it’s totally me. Well done, my little Picasso!
I can’t believe how great you are at T-ball (or soccer or running or maybe just standing still and not falling over). So you say you were the last child picked to be on a team? I’m sure they picked you last because they were just trying to be polite to the other team. Who wouldn’t want my little superstar on their team? I noticed that you almost hit the ball off the T-ball stand today. You’re getting so close, kid. You know, this is how Babe Ruth started, I’m pretty sure.
I had so much fun playing house today. I can’t believe those three hours went by so fast. How many servings of pretend tea would you say you poured me? I’m guessing 127, but I lost count after 75. And thank you so much for the invisible cookies you served. They were scrumptious. Hey, just a suggestion: Maybe next time how about we try playing house without dressing Daddy up as Little Bo Peep? I would hate to spill any of the pretend jam on the lovely bonnet you made me wear. Thanks, Angel.
No, your mommy and daddy were not fighting. Why would you think that? We always raise our voices like that when we are telling each other funny stories. When you heard Mommy shout, “I’ve had it, doing all the damn housework. Go take a hike!” she was just suggesting we stop working and go out for a fun hike somewhere – separately. And when I yelled back, “Well, screw you!” I was simply asking Mommy if she had found that screw I was looking for. Your Mommy is so good at finding things.
Mmm-mmm good. That sure was a fantastic breakfast you made for Daddy. You really did an amazing job of mixing together so many ingredients that have never been combined before – by any human being. How did you think of adding the chocolate sauce and onions to my Lucky Charms cereal? You’re so creative. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen frozen waffles prepared that way before. Were the gummy bears your idea? Brilliant move to skip the step about thawing out the waffles first. I can’t believe how full I am after just two bites! Yummy!
You were great in the school Christmas play. And to think they cast you as the fifth Christmas tree from the left – the star of the show. I was so impressed by the way you stood there the entire time and never moved… and never spoke… or did anything else. Just like a real Christmas tree. I am so sorry that I could not stay for the entire two-hour performance. But I got a call from the President of the United States. He needed my help with a top secret matter to save Christmas. The President says he’s sorry he missed your Oscar-worthy performance.
So be sure to lie to your young kids every chance you get. After all, before you know it, they’ll be all grown up with young kids of their own to lie to. And you don’t want to be the one to tell your grandkids that Santa Claus is really Uncle Harry, do you? I didn’t think so.
Thanks for taking the time to read this week’s post. And before I forget, can I just tell you that you are my absolute favorite blog reader of all? Honest.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2014