We are constantly telling our children that lying is wrong, and bad and that they should not do it…yet have you ever noticed how often we find ourselves going against the very words we have drilled into them? I call it ‘Creative Reasoning/Theories’- sounds way better in my mind than ‘Lying’. Lying has such negative connotations and makes you feels like a bad person, but I’m talking about good person lies 😉 The little polite lies that roll off our tongues before we even realise it. “I’m sorry I’m late, “(actually you left late intentionally). “Of course it’s no problem at all” (a common one for the people pleasers). “It was a pleasure having your child over” (as you ignore the fact that your house looks like a tornado ripped through it and your hair is sizzling from fried brain cells). “Don’t worry about it.” (Yes I don’t mind that your baby has crushed up cheese curls and is currently wiping his/her hands all over my lightly coloured carpet/clothes/walls/couches). Yes the polite lies are endless, and one may argue that it does less harm than actually saying what’s going through your mind… No one would have any friends if that were the case.
During a conversation recently, my husband said something rather interesting. ‘You should always consider an exit strategy’. This was said in the context of purchasing and reselling houses but got me thinking about how appropriate this is when it comes to being a parent… Yes …you should ALWAYS have an exit strategy!
Take for example, the day you’ve bravely ( and you know there’s a fine line between bravery and foolishness right?) , well you have bravely/foolishly decided to take your child shopping with you and you now have a screaming toddler refusing to let go of a specific item – usually an expensive toy of some sort. You have an entire supermarket of staff and shoppers eyeing you out as u plead with this manipulative little being to ‘please put it back… we’ll get it later…I will get you something else’… etc. You’re starting to turn red (either from embarrassment or anger –you’re not quite sure) as you resist the urge to give this child a smack on the bottom and question what it is that you have done in your life to deserve this?! Prime example…. exit strategy needed. 😀
So for all the new mums, PAY ATTENTION, here are a few exit strategies for u: You can either leave them at home, make sure you have the guts to walk away from your tantrum-ming darling, alternatively, pick them up, leave everything behind, including your trolley full of items and promptly make your way home, usually with the threat of ‘Just wait til we get home, then you’ll see!’ (See what…nobody really knows, but for some reason, this unknowing-ness of the situation is usually enough to scare them quiet). Please don’t publicly spank your child, you make it uncomfortable for the rest of us standing by trying hard not to, but looking anyway.
The flip side to this would be using your children AS the exit strategy. You know the drill, you’re invited to some type of get together and really don’t want to spend your evening answering detailed questions about your daily life…. so your children conveniently pick up a bug, a 24hr-and-hes-miracously-healed-type-of-bug. Or you claim that your children have had a rough week and are too tired to travel, so you excuse yourself. If you have older children, their school activities become rather convenient reasons for why you were the only one not at the function. Their energy levels also become useful when you’re mind numbingly bored while visiting and claim that your little one (who’s currently bouncing of the walls) is actually really tired, so you need to get going.
Let me warn you though… as your children grow, you need to be a bit more creative in using your children as exit strategies. I have not had the horror of being placed in this situation (as yet) but I have heard about the horror stories of others. While the parent explained this strange 24hr virus to the relevant party, they have had the child in question pipe up the dreaded words, “but Mummy, I wasn’t sick” followed by “No no you were….er *nervous laugh* you don’t remember ….yes, he/she was so out of it they can’t even remember *nervous laugh*” You walk away praying like hell that it was a believable act! 😉
We constantly tell our children about how bad it is to lie, yet I found myself coming up with some “creative theories,” here are a few:
• Both my boys gave me grief about getting out of the bath, so I told them that the sound the water running down the drain was actually the sound of a crocodile that lived under the bath. (Original theory from my sister in-law that was passed down to me during my difficult bathing days). We no longer have such an issue about bath time ending.
• The beauty spot on my nose is actually a gogga (insect) that got stuck on my face and we couldn’t get it off, so it lives there forever.
• After I began toilet training, my boys had a habit of holding down there (nappy off was an odd feeling I guess), so we told them that if they kept holding there, ‘it’ would fall off.
• Thunder is actually Thunderman, who lives in the sky and comes looking for the children that trouble their mummies.
• If you play with frogs your ears’ will get big’-quote. I haven’t used this one yet, it’s originally from my grandmother –nani, as my younger sister seemed to find them fascinating.
• We have an Air force base in Hoedspruit and often have low flying aircraft that make a bit of noise…in our house- these are the helicopter people that fly around looking for the crying children or the children that have not gone to sleep as they should…(context dependant)
So yes, we all need a few ‘creative theories/reasons’ (as I refer to them) to help us along, and honestly speaking, I haven’t ever met a 16 yr old that still believes any of the stuff their mothers told them as kids….so for now…I think I’m safe- crocs,gogga’s,frogs and all ! 😀
Happy weekend All! Hope its a good one:)
ps. please note I will be unable to post as often as I’d like due to the fact that its a busy week ahead with school concerts etc 🙂 I have a bunny and a snowflake in ‘Rise of the Guardians’ as well as a seperate Montessori concert. 😀 #veryexcited.
December is a rather busy time on my side with lots of family get togethers that I’m thoroughly looking forward to (my sisters from Pta, Jhb,CT, Zim, Polokwane) #cantwait!
So I’m apologizing ahead of time if my posts are scarce over the next few weeks.
Have a wonderful weekend 🙂