I lie to my kids sometimes. Not about important things, though. I tell them the truth about news they hear.
When the Sandy Hook tragedy occurred, they knew what really happened. They were sad for the kids whose lives were lost. I don’t hide veggies in their food. It might work, but it doesn’t feel right to make pizza crust from cauliflower. Seriously. Does it taste anything like bread?
When they were little, I told them the shopping carts at the grocery, the huge ones shaped like cars, didn’t belong to us. We couldn’t use them because they weren’t ours. It worked. They haven’t ever ridden in one. Actually, I think their grandmother put them in one once.
When we used to spend Friday nights at Movie Gallery in Daniel Village, trying to decide what movie to rent (Be kind. Rewind.), I’d tell them the candy they had right there at eye level for little kids was nasty candy and they wouldn’t like it. Can you believe they believed me?
Every major holiday, I make mashed potatoes to bring to family dinner. When I first joined the family, they had rice instead of potatoes. I think that’s weird, so I changed it. They still offer a small amount of rice, but my mashed potatoes are a regular part of any big meal. Mashed potatoes means peeled potatoes, though. I never used to mind peeling a couple of five-pound bags.
Years ago, The Man took over the peeling. I’m not sure how it started, but he never complained. Don’t do something once, unless you don’t mind doing it forever, right? He peels, I cook. That changed this year. The Girl begged me to try peeling potatoes. “Can I please, Mommy,” she asked. Uh. Sure.
She loved it, y’all. She went on and on about how fun it was to peel 10 pounds of potatoes and how lucky she was to have a mom who lets her do it. Sure, baby. You’re so lucky! She told everyone at dinner! “My mom let me peel the potatoes this year!” All the moms in the room looked at me with knowing glances. One even winked. It’s fun to trick kids into thinking chores are fun.
I haven’t emptied the dishwasher but maybe twice in two years. For a long time, it was The Girl’s job. When she was tiny, she loved sorting the silverware, and it grew from there. She’d moan and groan from time to time, but it was her job.
A few months ago, she was complaining enough that it was time for a mind trick. “Boy, please empty the dishwasher. Your sister’s done it for years. Now it’s your turn.” He wouldn’t dare complain. Although he didn’t put everything away exactly where it went, I wouldn’t dare complain, either. Enter part two of the plan.
“Hey Girl, if you’ll rinse the dishes, I’ll let you wear my cute, ruffly apron!”
“YES! Are you serious, Mommy? You’re the best!”
You know what? I am. I haven’t done the dishes in months now. She uses too much soap, but you won’t hear me speak up about it. I don’t care if she uses an entire bottle of my expensive Method soap every time. The pleasure is all mine, baby girl. I wouldn’t dare take that away. Cheers!