Saturday, November 10, 2012

I Am A Mother, Therefore I Lie

It's come to my attention that motherhood has turned me into a big fat liar.  I guess liar may be strong, but I make up some great stories and names for things all for the sake of getting my daughter to do what I want/need without a fight. 

Like, can I tell you how many things have become "princess" something or other's?  At the gelato shop, when she can't make a decision:
Me: How about strawberry?  You like strawberry.
A: No!  I don't want strawberry.
Me: Oh, did I say strawberry?  I meant "Pink Princess Berry,"  it's called "Pink Princess Berry"
And without so much the bat of an eye:
A: Ya, I want Pink Princess Berry!
Done and done!  {I feel the need to clarify here that things like this usually aren't rewarded at my house.  We've done the "walk out of the store without anything for being bratty or not making a decision" on more than one occasion.  Her disappointment about that, as indicated by her devastated cries, have left both of us scarred for life I'm sure--I feel like a jerk and she thinks I'm mean.}

Or fighting to get ready for ballet, where her hair has to be in a pony tail.  This little twist in her hair is now called a "princess twist" so she'll actually let me do it without pinning her down.  In case you haven't noticed my child's disheveled state in many of my pictures, the child hates having her hair done--which really makes me almost want to cry because I love those girly bows damn it! Not to mention, I'm trying to teach her that we should be somewhat presentable when we step out in public--you know, which I demonstrate so well by going to the store in my yoga pants and no shower.

Anyway, in order to get her to let me do her hair in a way that will stay for longer than five minutes, I've resorted to lying creative naming.  It seems to be that princess anything usually gets the job done.  And somehow a pony tail is okay when accompanied by a princess twist.  I did try "princess pony" on it's own, but for some reason she didn't buy that one.


And here's a mother of the year moment for you:  She was always wanting to taste my coffee, so I thought, I'll let her try it, she'll hate it, and we'll never have to have this argument again.  BACKFIRE!  She loved it, so now I have to watch her like a hawk around my coffee or I catch her trying to steal sips.  So going through Starbucks the other day, I told her she could have a hot chocolate to which she threw a fit about not wanting hot chocolate {she really is a sweet child--I assure you our life is not all tantrums}, so out came the "creative naming" and she was getting a "hot chocolate latte."  And here you see, when hot chocolate becomes a "hot chocolate latte" she becomes a happy child.  



The best part is when she tells someone what these things are "called" and they look at me like whaaa?  To which I return a death look indicating that should they betray my secret, there will be hell to pay.

I'm sure psychologists and parenting experts would tell me this is somehow detrimental, and for the record, I'm one of those that's adamantly opposed to participation trophies, everyone winning {like she doesn't even watch Sesame Street because it pisses me off that there's never a winner}, not letting children experience disappointment, teaching the realities of life, and all that jazz.  So will my child be scarred by my lying?  Maybe.  But I'm pretty sure anyone who has parented a three year old knows that "terrible twos" are merely a preparation for what the "independent and opinionated threes" bring.  So I'll worry about the residual effects later and just be happy for now with the peace that comes from a little motherly creativity.

Do you "creatively name" things for your child, or am I just a terrible parent?  {Let's be honest, I probably really only want to hear your answer to the first part of that question.}

6 comments:

  1. You know, I honestly....don't. My son is six now, and maybe it's just that he was never, ever fooled by stuff like this? If I gave him something he doesn't like or want and he rejects it, and then I try to rename it, he just kind of looked at me like I was dumb.

    I will say the one thing I DO do is make bargains with him that I know I'll win, especially in terms of bedtime. He is never, ever, ever, EVER "tired", even if he's too tired to walk or be a reasonably behaved human being. So to get him to lie down in bed instead of losing his sh&t about it, I will tell him that if he's still awake after 20 minutes of lying there QUIETLY, I will put a cartoon on the iPad for him or something. And then he is fast asleep before five minutes is even up.

    I personally think it's important just to pick your battles as a parent. Like, my number one priority is that he be thoughtful and not a jerk. And also that he doesn't lie to me. If creative naming is what gets your daughter to do the things she needs to do, then I am totally not judging. You mentioned it being detrimental, and I think the way that might manifest is in her continuing to not do things she doesn't want to do unless they sound pleasant to her. Which, you know...is not most of life. What I use on my kid a lot (though he is older, obviously) is the "if you don't do what you need to do, we won't do what you WANT to do." In other words, "if you don't sit still so I can put your hair up, we just won't go to ballet."

    That's a lot harder with a two-year-old, though. They can't make those logical leaps as easily.

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    Replies
    1. So true, I like the "is she only doing pleasant things" test, which I can happily say it doesn't apply to everything. If I stop and think about, it seems to be that I pull out the naming when we're in hurry and I really don't have time to have a fight, however, I've got LOTS of time at home and we have had many a battle of wills over the not so pleasant things, with zero sugar coating :D

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  2. Let me tell you...it does not end at three! OR four. My daughter just turned seven last month and we do the hot cocoa latte's too! AND this horrible mother told her that the tooth fairy needs 24 hours notice to put her on the schedule....I mean really! In my own defense-who the heck loses seven teeth in the span of less than two months!? The tooth fairy may end up just leaving her baby food under her pillow. Don't feel bad about the little "lies" you may or may not tell. The way I see it, it gets us all through the rough patches! P.S. I am not sure whether to be proud of the fact that telling my then two year old that eating boogers gave you worms in your tummy, but I am so glad not to have my kid picking her own snacks in public like so many other kids her age!

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    Replies
    1. I love it! And I'm cracking up because my parents told me the "worms in my tummy" thing so now guess what I tell my daughter ;) However, it didn't work very long because now she just tells me on a regular basis that her tummy is sick because she ate too many boogers. Ahhh, children!

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  3. Awwww! I laughed so hard at this!
    I'm 24. My mommy ALWAYS invented funny stories for me as a child and I love that she did so. Here are some so you can laugh too! (I apologise for my writing, english is not my first lenguage...)
    - As a little 4 year old I didn't want to eat fish. I felt sorry for the "poor fishies". Mommy then told me the story of the special happy fishies that like to be eaten. Cooks stand with their frying pans on the shore and the fish jump into them! because they are happy if you eat them. So I eate all the fish!
    - Apparenly I loved to invent crap as a child. I told too many lies! My mommy learned to red my facial expression when I was lying. And to demonstrate that she knew, she used to tell me she could see it because my forehed glowed. I so believed her! It ended up that when I wanted to tell a new lie, i grabbed my forehead trying to hide it, so she wouldn't see it "glowing"!
    - Once I was in the bathtub with lil' sis, and a huge spider came along. I started jelling so loud mommy came running and panicking, and when she saw the spider she just killed it. But I was in shock and could't stop crying because of the "evil spider that had tried to attack me". So mommy invented a story. She said that the spider was just a good mom and that she had been out looking for food for her little spider-children. In the end the hole story backfired on mommy. I started to cry once again, but this time because I was so sad that poor spider mommy had been killed while looking for food for her babies! hahaha
    -When I was about 3 years old (yeah, I do remember that!) I went to fly my kite. I was so happy while it was hiiigh up in the sky. Suddenly, the kite's yarn broke... and the kite flew away. I burst into tears, but mommy hugged me and explained: Don't cry, honey. Your kite became loose because it wanted to visit your aunt (My aunt was in Africa at the time) and see the elephants and lions and zebras! It will send our regards to autie! Needless to say: No more tears for that kite!
    And last: When my rabbit died, she told me he had gone back to the sierra (Peruvian mountains) to meet with his family! I was happy for him and never wondered if he was ok: I "knew" he was happy.

    Well, those are just some of her stories. Yeah, she was also a "liar". but the best one ever: noone tells better stories than a mom who invents stuff to make her child happy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awwww! I laughed so hard at this!
    I'm 24. My mommy ALWAYS invented funny stories for me as a child and I love that she did so. Here are some so you can laugh too! (I apologise for my writing, english is not my first lenguage...)
    - As a little 4 year old I didn't want to eat fish. I felt sorry for the "poor fishies". Mommy then told me the story of the special happy fishies that like to be eaten. Cooks stand with their frying pans on the shore and the fish jump into them! because they are happy if you eat them. So I eate all the fish!
    - Apparenly I loved to invent crap as a child. I told too many lies! My mommy learned to red my facial expression when I was lying. And to demonstrate that she knew, she used to tell me she could see it because my forehed glowed. I so believed her! It ended up that when I wanted to tell a new lie, i grabbed my forehead trying to hide it, so she wouldn't see it "glowing"!
    - Once I was in the bathtub with lil' sis, and a huge spider came along. I started jelling so loud mommy came running and panicking, and when she saw the spider she just killed it. But I was in shock and could't stop crying because of the "evil spider that had tried to attack me". So mommy invented a story. She said that the spider was just a good mom and that she had been out looking for food for her little spider-children. In the end the hole story backfired on mommy. I started to cry once again, but this time because I was so sad that poor spider mommy had been killed while looking for food for her babies! hahaha
    -When I was about 3 years old (yeah, I do remember that!) I went to fly my kite. I was so happy while it was hiiigh up in the sky. Suddenly, the kite's yarn broke... and the kite flew away. I burst into tears, but mommy hugged me and explained: Don't cry, honey. Your kite became loose because it wanted to visit your aunt (My aunt was in Africa at the time) and see the elephants and lions and zebras! It will send our regards to autie! Needless to say: No more tears for that kite!
    And last: When my rabbit died, she told me he had gone back to the sierra (Peruvian mountains) to meet with his family! I was happy for him and never wondered if he was ok: I "knew" he was happy.

    Well, those are just some of her stories. Yeah, she was also a "liar". but the best one ever: noone tells better stories than a mom who invents stuff to make her child happy!

    ReplyDelete

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