It’s been a big week for the truth around here.
I just read XUP’s post on how truthful we are as parents with our kids, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I really try to be as honest as I can with my kids, without freaking them out. I want them to trust me to give them real answers, and I hope that when they get older and get into some tough situations, they’ll be able to turn to me for honest advice.
There’s this one episode of Friends in which Pheobe is playing a serious of concerts for kids (I think she has a librarian boyfriend), and her songs are about how the food we eat comes from cute little cows, and about how grandma didn’t move away, she’s dead as a doornail. All the parents are shocked, but then one little kid comes running in to the coffee shop at the end looking for “the lady that tells the truth,” and the children gather around for more of Pheobe’s songs. While I realize it is quite pathetic to aim to live your life like a Friends episode, that storyline always comes to mind when I’m faced with a tough discussion with the kids – I want to be “the lady who tells the truth.”
The Captain has two very loose front teeth, and about a week ago he asked me quietly at bedtime if the tooth fairy was real. Already I have had some inner questions about the whole tooth fairy/santa thing, so although it was kind of a sad “my baby!” type moment, I told him the truth, that it really was just Mommy and Daddy and it was a fun thing we do, like a game.
(Then I assured him he would still get his tooth fairy money, so he was happy to go off to bed.)
A couple of days later – I KNEW this would be coming – we had a similar talk about Santa. I told him a lot of stuff about how Santa is like the spirit of giving and love of all mankind and blah blah. I asked him not to tell Gal Smiley, since she still liked the game and it made Christmas magical for her. I though he might be upset, but he took it well enough.
(Especially after I assured him that he’d still be getting presents. PRIORITIES.)
Yesterday he asked me if he was adopted. That was a pretty easy one to answer on the side of truth.
So my track record is pretty good, but I find I am still balking at the sex talk. SHUDDER.
We’ve been listening to Great Big Sea in the car these days, and they have a song called, “The Jolly Butcher.” In it, a butcher visits a tavern and spies him a lovely lady. He offers her a sovereign to sleep with him for the night, and she accepts. In the morning, he suggests that she owes him some change from the sovereign (jackass). A year later, he’s back in the tavern and along comes the same lady with a three month old baby. She plops the baby in the butcher’s lap, declaring, “I gives you back yer change!”
Hilarious. Except when you have a curious seven-year-old who would really like to know what this song is about. Ummmm…get back to me in seven or eight years, kid. Or nine. Or twenty.