The fibs we tell the kids

The other night the Mr and I were putting the Sprog to bed.

People who follow me on Twitter may recall that the Sprog was terrible at night time for about 6-8 months. It was after she fell and hurt her mouth at the playground in November 2011 (which I didn’t blog about but did tweet about) until we left our flat in Darwin in June. She wouldn’t go to sleep on her own, even if we sat in her room with her, until 11pm some nights.

It was hellish.

However, as soon as we moved out of our flat and went to Brisbane to visit my mum, she just – literally overnight – started to fall asleep on her own again. And so she does now, but will still get a bit whiney at night.

So… back to the other night when the Mr and I were putting her to bed.

The Mr had planned to go out with people from work to celebrate a few of the staff members’ birthdays en masse. In order to ease his departure from the bedroom, I said to the Sprog, “Daddy has to go. He can’t lie in bed with you anymore because he’s got a sore toe”.

I don’t know why I said that? Just totally random. But it worked, and she sent him from the room bidding him and his sore toe well. Five minutes later I extricated myself and didn’t think anymore of her, as I thought she was asleep.

The Mr left 15 minutes later, and Sprog must have heard the door, because next thing I heard some whinging from upstairs. So I go up to the bedroom, where the Sprog wants to know where Daddy has gone. I knew that she’d be far less distressed to hear that he had ‘just popped out’ rather than the fact that he had gone out for the evening. So I didn’t think twice about telling a little white lie. Just thinking to continue the ruse, I said, “Oh he just had to pop out to the Doctor to get his toenail cut. Because he had a sore toe”.

Once again, I go downstairs and don’t think anything of it until I see one of the staff from the estate walking past our front window, looking up towards Sprog’s bedroom with a smile on his face. So I run upstairs and sure enough, she’s out of bed and on the balcony talking down to our neighbours who were farewelling some friends.

After I tell her to get back into bed, I descend the stairs ONCE AGAIN and clear my mind of children shenanigans ONCE AGAIN until I hear a quiet ‘tap tap tap’ on the door.

Lo and behold, it’s our new next door neighbour – a really really friendly fellow who has a very mature and well adjusted ten year old son, who I’m sure has never had a voice raised at him. Every time I’ve spoken to my neighbour, I’ve managed to embarrass myself shamelessly.

And he proceeds to say, “Oh, Sprog was just telling us that your husband had to go to the hospital because he hurt his foot. I just thought I’d let you know that I’m a medical doctor so if there’s anything I can do to help…”

Well, I DIE of embarrassment of course, and am faced with having to explain to the good doctor the long and convoluted lie I told. Or I could just take the easy option…

“Oh errrr,” I say. “Thanks for the offer but he’s totally fine, it’s just that I LIE TO MY CHILD TO TRICK HER INTO DOING THINGS I WANT HER TO DO, LIKE GOING TO SLEEP.”

I know, I know – I’m such a bad parent. Hopefully I’m not diminished in the eyes of my neighbour.


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