Good little half-lies never hurt anyone

As a parent you get used to leaving out details when discussing important things with your kids. I call them half-lies.

Like gumballs, for instance. I never told FZ that they actually were made of gum. I just told her they were balls. One day my half-lie was about to unravel when FZ held the ball tightly in her hand and some color came off. She licked her hand and wondered where the sweet taste came from. I was just as confused as she was.

Or when FZ refused to brush her teeth. So I told her fine, but if she saw bugs in the morning, not to come crying to me. I just conveniently left out the part that these bugs are actually microscopic. And who likes bugs in their teeth?

And I don’t know any parent who hasn’t told half-lies about food. If you eat your chicken you’re going to be so strong because it has protein! Spinach has iron and iron is so good for your brain. You want to be smart, don’t you?

Even when it comes to safety, I never really disclose all the horrible, scary things that happen in this world. I have to keep it simple and show I’m confident, even though I might really be worried. Don’t ever wander off in public places without telling me or your father because you can get lost and that would make us sad. I don’t have to explain all the horrific things that go through my brain when I think about my kids and if they ever went missing.

Since having kids I swore that I would never lie to my kids. It breaks their confidence and shatters their trust in us if we lie to them. So far I’ve been pretty good. If I didn’t want FZ to have something, like soda, I never lied and said it was ‘medicine’ or that it tasted bad. I simply said that she couldn’t have it. She’s going on 5 years now and she’s smart, well-adjusted and doesn’t even bat an eye if she sees soda or anyone having soda.

It’s all because I respected her intelligence enough to tell her the truth.

I know one day FZ and her siblings will grow up and realize gumballs are sweet and fun, but at least they won’t come to me blowing bubbles accusing me of lying to them.

And so I raise this glass of fresh juice to parents everywhere and all the wonderful maneuvering we have to do to ensure our kids grow up healthy and safe!

Carrot juice anyone? You know carrots are sooo good for your eyes….

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Potty training hell

It’s hell on earth. For the past 2 months I’ve been on a timer set for every 15, 25 and 30 minutes. For the past 2 months I’ve been mumbling the potty training mantra nonstop — Potty is for pee pee; no pee pee in the panty. See dry panty? Niiiice. Repeat. Ugh. It’s been horrible. Stinky. Messy.

But it’s been humbling. I’ve turned from psycho, raging Mama to patient, calm Mama. Some days it takes every fiber in my being to just control myself from screaming — “Pee pee in the potty!! Pee pee in the potty!! — but nothing a short break can’t help. I’ve enlisted the help of simple techniques, such as counting, breathing deeply and sitting down.

It’s still frustrating, but what can a mother do when their child just isn’t getting the whole potty drill? You can’t beat it into them. Your screaming doesn’t help. Might as well do it with a smile. At least your throat won’t hurt and you won’t feel guilty afterwards. And mind you, I only started potty training M because she showed interest, was dry after naps, and could control her bladder. After taking the plunge I figure it’s just useless to go back to diapers and I thought I’ll just wait this out.

Dear God, for the sake of my sanity, I pray it’s not much longer.