Lies, lies, lies.

So what drives me crazy?  Lying.  Oh how I detest lying!  Few things get under my skin then bold-faced, look-you-in-the-eye lying.  Which is exactly what happened tonight.

From the bathroom (this time, washing hands before dinner, not bedtime- surprise, surprise!): “You peed on me!”  “No I didn’t!”   “Yes you did, look there- there’s pee on my sleeve!”  “That’s not my pee.”  “Yes, it is!”  “No it’s- Owww!”  Boys, what’s going on in there?  Why is your brother crying?  “I dunno.”  “He hit me with his head, in my head!”  “No I didn’t!”  And so it begins.

Did you head-butt him?  No.  Well, he’s crying and you both have red dots on your forehead.  How did that happen?  I dunno.  Did you hit him with your head?  No.  Why is he crying?  Because he’s a baby and he peed on me.  I don’t think that makes sense.  Why do you have that reddish purple spot on your forehead?  He has one too… Did you head-butt him? No.  Look, I am pretty sure that’s what happened and I would like you to own up to it.  I don’t remember.  Did. You. Do. It?  No.

Seriously.  This conversation actually went down.  Pee on a sleeve.  Head-butting.  Lying.  I took a deep, deep breath.  Like the kind of breath you hope will cleanse you of all the rage coursing through your veins.  It was about 50% effective this time.  You have a choice to tell me the truth.  If you choose to lie, you’ll be sent to your room until you can tell me the truth.  Did you hit your brother with your head?  No.  Go to your room.  (In a calm, rational voice.  No yelling!)

He came down about four times and lied and was sent back to his room.  Things were shouted: You don’t love me!  I wish I had a different family!  You treat me like a fat rat!  (Where the hell did he get that one- hilarious!)  And this went on for about 20 minutes.  I kept my cool.  Reminded myself that he would come clean if I showed no emotion and stayed consistent.  Eventually, I went up and sat on his bed.  Honey, I know you are lying to me.  And I know that it must be making you feel terrible.  Let it out.  You’ll feel so much better.  Silence.  “Mom, I hit him with my head.”  Hallelujah!!!  Mama hugged that child so tight, told him she was proud.  That was about the moment she felt wet on her cheek from the child’s sleeve against her face.  Oh right, the piss.  On my face.  Shit.

No yelling.  It worked.  It actually fricken worked.  Will it work every time? No way in hell.  But it worked tonight.  We had a nice dinner.  There were only 37 complaints about dinner, one fight over who got the blue cup and two arguments about who wanted to share the favorite part of their day first.  (This is record-setting, people.)  And no one yelled.  It was a beautiful thing.  Day One: Back on the Wagon.

How do you deal with your kids lying?


The Easter Interview

We aren’t the family who frequents church. Our attendance comes in spurts- generally following a major holiday.  And then we fall (or jumping freely) off the wagon again.  My husband and I had a Catholic upbringing- which we clung to until our social beliefs were no longer aligned with the faith we were born into.  So we broke up with the Catholics and hooked up with the Congregationalists.  It’s open and affirming and lovely.  Now, I am not going in a direction of religion here- just to say that it’s because of our split from Catholicism that we lack the structure of regular attendance.  We have become what my mother used to refer to as “C and E’s”.  Whoops.  So my children have only peripheral knowledge of how religion connects to holidays.  It’s turned into more of a cultural experienced in my house- for the last two years, we have celebrated both Christmas and Hanukkah- and I am confident and happy with the choices we have made for our family.  No judging, please.

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All that being said, her is the Easter Interview:

Why do we celebrate Easter?

  • It’s the day Jesus dies.
  • Because it’s the Easter Bunny’s birthday.
  • Mama, want toast.  (Ugh, no kid.  Mama wants to sit down for 10 damn minutes.)

Who is the Easter Bunny?

  • He’s a Bunny that gives kids candy and a little bit of toys.
  • He is a bunny who is nice and big and has a bag of candy for us.
  • Mama, toooaaasssttt.  (Shit.  He’s not forgetting.)

Why does the Easter Bunny come?

  • Because it’s like when Jesus is born, Santa comes.  He is really helpful.
  • Because you don’t give us enough candy and he feels bad.
  • Mama.  Tooooaaaasssstttt!  (C’mon kid!)

Where does the Easter Bunny live?

  • In a cave with his kids.
  • In a hole.
  • Owside.   (Yeah, now little guy is playing along- and forgotten about that fricken toast!)

What is the Easter Bunny going to bring you?

  • Candy and some other stuff.  You don’t get as many toys as Santa because the Bunny doesn’t have elves to help.  So you get mostly candy and maybe a couple toys.
  • I want the Empire of Ice pack that comes with Slam Bam, Hotdog, Gillgrunt- those are Skylanders, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- we already have two but we need more.  And a Chima set, you know the ones with the lion and the eagle?  (Dream on kiddo.)
  • Candy.  Trasha.  (Tractor- shit, I have to make an emergency run to the toy store now)

Where does Jesus come into all this?

  • Well, the Easter Bunny wanted to celebrate the day Jesus died.  When he gives toys to little kids, they won’t  be sad that Jesus is dead.  (I can barely contain myself with this one.)
  • Oh and I want that other Chima set- the one with the Laval’s Royal Fighter- it’s like a giant truck with treads on the wheels and a lion face in the front!
  • Mama, toast, want.  Mama!!!  Now!  Tooooaaaassssstttt!  (Shit.  Toast.)

And there you have it.  Not sure my Mama would be proud- nor Sister Irene who force-fed me graham crackers and apple juice when I was six and called me Jennifer for a whole year- but it’s the truth.  And real is all I ever promised to be.  Should I teach them more?  I don’t know.  Maybe.  Probably.  Some parents believe it’s lying to tell their children that a human-sized bunny sneaks in at night with candy and eggs.  Or that an obese elderly man with elves breaks in to leave presents while they are sleeping.  (Okay, when you break it down it’s kinda creepy…)  Is it deceitful?  Sure.   But it’s so fun.  We all celebrate differently- or not at all.  And that’s just fine.  Me, I am lying.  And it feels really good.

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