Friday, September 09, 2016

Another Excellent Moment In Parenting: The Santa Edition

Somehow in our family our now 8 year old daughter has been wise to all the little lies parents tell their kids about The Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus but my 10.5 year old son has suspended his disbelief regarding all this stuff.

Adam and I have thought that he was sort of CHOOSING to believe, but probably really knew the truth and we weren't entirely ready to rid him of that.  So, Lucy has kept the secret and Mick has kept on believing.

Until this morning.

My kids and I have been fighting. A lot. Over everything. There is no conversation that doesn't have the potential to be a full-blown scream fest.  This is my fault. I'm the grown up. If this is going to change I need to change it.

So, after this morning's fight about Mick NOT wearing the clothes he slept in to school and Lucy NOT wearing the dress she found at the bottom of her book bag, (my point that all I wanted was for them to not be smelly at school was not impressive to them in any way) I decided we needed to talk.

We could disagree but we would be polite. We'd stop yelling. We'd walk away without worrying about who had the last word. We would remember that we love each other and that we're a great family made up of wonderful people.

Naturally this conversation turned into a fight. I got the last word by being the loudest - natch. And yelled at them to get ready for school.

The kids gathered up their book bags and Mick told me he had two loose teeth. I checked the wiggliness and confirmed: yep, two loose teeth. We even managed to smile at each other.

 I'm sorry I yelled, I said.

 I'm sorry I yelled, too, he said.

Peace restored. Happiness achieved. Hope for the future in place.

Lucy then says: You know Mick, Mom is the tooth fairy.

Mick: WHAT?

Lucy: Yeah, and you know about Santa Claus, too. Right?

Mick: MOM?

Mom wondering how this happened? And so FAST!!! We were JUST SMILING!!!!: Ummm...

Mick: MOM!!!!

Mom: If you believe in Santa then Santa is real!


At this point I realize if I say yes, I am completely lying to him. He's ten and half. His sister knows. I can't keep the myth alive.

Mom: Yes, Mick, Dad and I are Santa.

Mick attempted to storm out of the house, but I stopped him and calmed him down. Lucy started to cry at which point it was all I could do not to yell: THIS IS YOUR FAULT!

I asked Mick if he had any questions to which he answered - Have you been lying to me about everything my whole life?

I attempted to restore his faith in me before sending him out the door for school. Not sure if it worked.  My guess is not.

But then I poured myself a coffee, contemplated adding whiskey and sat down to work, at which point I put my hand in my hair and discovered during last night's birthday party for Lucy which we threw in a park - a bird must have pooped on my head.

And then I must have slept in that bird poop.

I poured out my coffee and filled my mug with that whiskey.

How is your morning going?


Cissy Hartley said...

I used to just love you. Now I think I adore you :)

kini said...

Christmas 2014 I heard a GREAT story on NPR StoryCorp about this family where the Dad would tell the kids these intricate stories each year about Santa. And one year the kids found out it was all a ruse, which to this day the dad denied. One of the brothers was really, really upset and had a hard time believing anything ever. I believe the kids were a little older and the stories the dad made were very detailed. Hopefully your son just needs a little time and reassurance to know you haven't been lying about everything.
Isn't parenting amazing?!

Molly O'Keefe said...

Kini!!!! I heard that story and it was going through my head as he was asking me if it was true - it was so much a part of why I said Santa wasn't real.

That NPR story is bonkers!

SonomaLass said...

Kids are resilient. When he's ready to talk, you might ask him what he would do in your shoes -- if he's ever a daddy with a little boy who loves the idea of Santa, will he want to take that away? Worked with the one kid of mine who got angry about it.

Keep trying the "talk to each other nicely and remember that we love each other" discussions. It won't always work, but de-escalation is useful. This too shall pass.