Monday, March 10, 2008

Thou shall not lie (when there are witnesses)

Last week, when it was warm, Mark took the girls out in the backyard for the first time in weeks. The snow has melted and they opened up the empty sandbox. Inside, among the shovels and pails, was a small red rubber crab. It was a pool toy last summer, and it was coated - completely - in black mildew.

Despite that, Loaf brought it inside and deposited it in the bathroom sink.

"You wash my crab?" she asked hopefully. "Peas."

I gave it my best shot, but after copious scrubbing, the icky black mildew was still caked all over it and worse, when I squeezed it, a giant blob of slimy, greenish black gunk came flying out of the bottom of it.

"Oh my God, it just shit in my sink," I thought. Knowing that mold is not exactly a health food, and knowing that my kids love to put stuff in their mouths, I gave up and while Loaf was distracted, tossed Mr. Crab into the bathroom wastebasket.

"Why did you do that?" asked Peanut.

"I'm sorry, but it's never going to be clean and that black stuff can make you sick."

A few minutes later, distraction over, Loaf came looking for the crab.

"Where my crab?" she demanded. "Where it go?"

Feigning stupidity (and wishing to avoid a huge meltdown) I pretended to look as baffled as she.

"Hmmmm. I'm not sure. I just don't know," I said looking around the bathroom. "Want a cookie? How about finger paint?"

But it was no use. I have known for a long time that Loaf is not one to be easily deterred, and this was no exception. I offered up a number of bribes, but none could take her mind off that stupid crab.

"I want it! I want my crab! Where is it?" she stammered. Now, this was precisely the scenario I was hoping to avoid, but at this point, there was no going back, especially since Mark had come in moments before and emptied the contents of the bathroom wastebasket into the bigger trash bag, which was now sitting in a barrel outside the house.

Just then Peanut came sauntering back into the bathroom. "Mommy, you know where it is. You threw it in the trash."

I shot her the stink eye, but it was too late. The damage was done.

As Loaf processed this information, her face slowly transformed from confusion to fury.

"MY CRAB! I WANT MY CRAB!" She peered into the empty wastebasket. "YOU GET IT! YOU GET IT NOW!"

"No," I said. "I'm sorry, but it was really dirty and now it's gone."

I had the next 10 minutes in which Loaf lay on the floor, kicked her feet against the wall and screeched bloody murder to think about what I'd done. And I'm proud to say I've learned my lesson.

I will not lie to my children again.

Unless I am really, really, REALLY sure there are no witnesses. Lesson learned.

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Blogger Minnesota Matron said...

The truth is highly over-rated. Fabrication is one my main parenting tools.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Glad to see you back! Hope you are all feeling much better.

It was a necessary lie though, right? Can't have her licking a moldy crab! Oh, the hits your blog will take from that phrase ;)

I've been caught, too. I tell Little B that we can't play because I am still eating dinner. He now checks my plate to see if I really am! Ooops!

2:22 PM  
Blogger Elaine A. said...

This exact scenario has happened to me before, although it wasn't a crab and it wasn't in the sandbox... okay maybe it was a little different, but you get my drift!

Good lesson to learn!

6:08 PM  
Blogger ryssee said...

Glad to see you back, healthy and funny! :-)

7:57 PM  
Blogger Mayberry said...

eeewww. Yeah, Mr. Crab definitely had to move to a new sandbox. Sorry, Loaf.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Rocas said...

I equally intersperse my lies with the truth and I make sure that my kids know I mix it up, but I never admit to either. I have found that it keeps my kids on their toes wondering if I’m being true or not and in the end, they end up doing what I want anyway.
This has served me well over the years and my kids, who are now 18 and 21, still have to travel the ‘better safe than sorry’ trail.

I have also found that this philosophy does not work so well on the wife.

2:55 PM  

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