Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave….

All of this lying is exhausting.

I feel like I was pretty prepared for parenthood.  Many of our friends had children before we did, I had taught young children for several years before thinking about having my own, and I read lots of books.  What no one…not one single person…told me, was that I would soon become the most extraordinary pathological liar to ever set foot on this earth. 

I lie so much, I can’t even begin to remember my lies.  I’m not alone in this.  My husband lies too.  For that matter, you’ve all lied.  Any of you with children, nieces, nephews…..    I guess, upon reflection, it isn’t the lying that bothers me. We OBVIOUSLY all do it for their own good.  It’s the fact that no one told me to be better prepared so that my lies wouldn’t be so stinkin’ lame!  

My husband and I were thoughtful in our decision to have children.  We kind of discussed religion, what our maternity leave plans would be, we chose names, we discussed parenting strategies, but no one…not one single person….told us to get our lies in order.  Our lies became necessary so suddenly that we didn’t have time to compare notes.  Whack!  Damn.  Busted.

It’s the freakin’ holidays.  Lies, lies, lies.  What started so innocently with, “Santa brings presents to all good boys and girls on Christmas Eve” soon became reckless, half-ass lies that didn’t even make any sense.  Those little buggers began firing questions at us so quickly…when we were weak and alone…that we couldn’t keep up.  At first it was just Christmas.  How do reindeers fly?”, “How does Santa get around the world so fast?”, “Will Santa die?”, “Why don’t the dogs bark when Santa comes?”, “Can we MapQuest Santa’s house (seriously!)?”, “Where do Santa and Mrs. Claus shop for their food and stuff?”, “Does Santa have any people friends… or just a bunch of elves?”, “Does he pee in people’s houses along the way?“…..   Endless freakin’ questions. 

And…they’re no fools.  They always ask me while I’m driving.  When I can only half pay attention.  When I’m distracted and vulnerable.   And… they’re so fresh.  They ask my husband and then ask me.  Or me and then my husband.  If reindeer use magic carrots to fly then why did Daddy say that Santa sprinkles them with magic dust?”  Efff!!!  Smart little brats.  Of course, we don’t help the matter by using GPS to track Santa and his sleigh on Christmas Eve.  Or by making special videos from the Portable North Pole Station customized just for our children including behaviors that they’re working on improving and gifts that they have asked for.  Or by taking the carrots that the boys left out and using a vegetable peeler to scatter scraps on the deck. Or disguising dog poop as reindeer poop (we didn’t actually mean to do that, but we didn’t tell them differently when they assumed the scat belonged to reindeer.  They were too excited about the poop, to break their hearts.”  All of the things we do (for their enjoyment) perpetuate more and more and more lies.  Such an intricate web of lies that they’ll probably want to file for emancipation once our lies are discovered.  Who could blame them?

But it isn’t only Christmas.  It’s Easter too.  Like this week.  “Where does the Easter Bunny live?”, “Why is the Easter Bunny so much bigger than normal rabbits?”, “Why does the Easter Bunny walk on two legs instead of hopping on four legs”, “Is his wife as huge as he is?”, “If Santa has a sleigh, what does the Easter Bunny have?”, “Does the Easter Bunny work alone or does he have, like you know, bunny elves?”, “Rabbits don’t even lay eggs….I don’t get it.”  That last one isn’t a question…more of an accusation and an attack on my poor ability to lie.  Little punks.

And then….the Tooth Fairy!  For the love of God.  “What does she do with the teeth?”, “Why does she want them?”, “Does she just go to the bank and ask for money?”, “She doesn’t rob banks does she?”, “Don’t you think its weird?”  (Ummmm….YES!!!  But I’m your mother and evidently it is  my job to spin this lie or else I fail at parenting.   So lie I will.

It is exhausting.  I know, and I’ve always said it to be true, that my children have been more than the normal dose of inquisitive.  They’re not the “believe it because we said so” type of kids.  They want answers ALWAYS.  Normally, I enjoy that.  I have answered no less that 3,482,093 questions about ocean animals since they were born.  And, I’m happy about those questions, but….   These efffing holiday questions…they are a whole different beast!    They take skill…they take finesse….they take panache….most importantly, they taking comparing notes with your significant other.  We have failed miserably.  But yet, they still believe.

Happy Easter.  Happy lying to you and yours.

Here are some of my favorite Easter Photos from 2 years back.  Finn went all Roller Derby Death Match on the other poor kids….probably due to the fact that his parents lie to him too much.  Somehow he thought that the egg hunt was a race.  Did I tell him that it was????  Who the hell knows?

IMG_6359 IMG_6360IMG_6362 IMG_6363 IMG_6356

 Rockport’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt

25 comments

  • LOL! Awesome Post! Oh they many joys of parenthood!

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  • Nichole,
    If you need a publishing agent, let me know. I have 40 years of experience in the field.
    Oh,wait. That’s a complete lie. Anyway,you crack me up.

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  • Your posts are totally awesome, this had me cracking up, love it, so true!

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  • Now… without looking it up, who penned that famous quote? In full: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive” …… it’s not who you think!!

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    • :) I won’t play because I know the answer. It is one of those random teacher trivia tidbits that I have picked up along the way. Nice though, Jim!!!!

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  • Lol…I still remember the night my sister and i were five and six…my mom tucked us in turned out the light and as she was closing our door I begged my mom to tell us…is there REALLY an easter bunny??? Five minutes of begging my exhausted mother and she caved…nope, no easter bunny. We were quiet for a second and then it hit us…”Omg there is no Santa! No tooth fairy! No elves! YOU have been eating the santa cookies and easter bunny carrots!!! OUR WHOLE LIFE HAS BEEN A COMPLETE LIE!!!” Well I think this blog clinched it for me…I will teach my children the truth…they can magically create anything they want by imagining it and feeling excited and grateful for it before it comes, and we will let the lies end with us! Thanks so much for this post!!! :-)

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    • Yikes! I don’t remember when I stopped believing…it must have been gradual. I didn’t mean to destroy any future children’s holiday dreams! However, I do think your description of “magically create anything they want by imagining it …” sounds lovely. That having been said, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m a sucker for the whole song and dance that goes along with these crazy holidays…as challenging as it can be :)

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  • So very true. And right on time, as just today we got into a line of questioning about Santa that went on and on and on. I finally had to cut my son off: no more Santa questions, especially since it is APRIL. Anyway, great post. Enjoy your stuff.

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  • So you Santa and Bunny nay sayers will screw Christmas and Easter when your kids tell everyone
    that there is no Santa and the Bunny hopped off somewhere!
    A total bummer!

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    • Far from a “Santa and Bunny nay sayer”…hence my Liar, Liar Pants on Fire post. I’ve done everything in my power to help create magic and make lasting memories. Point is, I never knew it was such tricky business.

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  • Wonderful ~ you put this to words! From your posts, I bet your children are loving every holiday and will continue the tradition of “story” telling ~

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    • Thanks, Mary! We try. Tradition means a lot to me and I hope that they always remember all the little things that we try to do to make their childhood special.

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  • First, I have to start by saying “Thank you”! We are relatively new parents and haven’t reached this stage yet, so now we know to get on the same page and be prepared. Second, thank you for such a great post and some much enjoyed laughter! Awesome! Truly awesome!!!

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    • Thanks, Stu! Glad I could help! :) I would have NEVER imagined how many answers I would need to come up with…my kids must be smarter than I was! Start comparing notes for sure! Enjoy the ride….as you already know….it is more than amazing!

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  • My daughter, age 10, one day after coming home from school, cornered me while I was doing laundry. “Mom, tell me the truth. The kids at school say there is no Santa.” I knew that my canned answer of the past year would no longer suffice. Looking into her almond wide brown eyes, and as gently as I could I told her, “no Alyssa, there is no Santa.” She looked pained, “and what about the Easter Bunny?” I answered, “No, no Easter Bunny. It was Mom and Dad”. “And the tooth fairy?” At this point she knew. She sniffled a bit. I still remember that awful feeling of having to come clean. Years later she would be going off to college. Again, we were at the washer and dryer as I wanted to show her how to do her laundry (yes, she had not done laundry until now… she was my princess) ” When you go to college you will need to do your own laundry” I told her. “Nah ah” she responded. “Don’t they have a laundry lady to do that?” I responded as gently as I could “Honey, there is no Santa, no Easter bunny, and no laundry lady.”

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  • Thanks Nichole, you write so well and so entertainingly. I wrestled with this too. Among the promises I made to myself when my son was born was that I would never lie to him. That included Santa, the EB and the TF. It wasn’t easy going that way either, in the face of all the societal pressure to perpetrate these hoaxes on our kids. I often felt like the Grinch. I worried that I was depriving him of some important childhood rite of passage. On the other hand it seemed to be okay to tell him that Santa represented the spirit of Christmas and the love we feel for our friends and family. And he accepted and understood that from a very early age. He’s 29 now. We have a trusting relationship. He is not in therapy, (that I know of.)

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    • I love your “Santa represents the spirit of Christmas and the love we feel for friends and family”! I know we’ll get there some day. My boys do seem to understand the spirit of the holiday season and I hope that, when the day comes, it is an easy transition to seeing it the way you raised your son from the get go! As we all know…in the end, the most important part of any holiday is spending it with family and friends and creating fantastic memories….whatever those memories might be!

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  • Nichole, that was awesome.

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