Saturday, 17 September 2011

the lies we tell our children - by Theo

As the Spanish author Elvira Lindo says in the book I've just finished reading: "Todos los hijos mentimos, pero todos los padres queremos que los hijos nos cuenten la verdad." We all lie to our children, but all parents want their children to tell us the truth.
We're just the same, telling deliberate lies to our daughter; we're hardly setting a good example.

For instance, Rosie really enjoys her bath but hates having her hair washed, which happens every three days. So if I want Rosie to get out of the bath on the other nights because ice is forming on the surface and her fingers resemble raisins, all I have to say is "Vale, voy a limpiar tu pelo ahora" ("Right, I'm going to wash your hair now") and she immediately stands up with arms outstretched crying "Out! Fuera!"

That's quite a simple one, but our deceptions get even more complex. We're weaning her off her last breastfeed, the one before bed, so it's easier if I'm the one to put her down to sleep. Now, at first this resulted in Rosie screaming for Mama at length, so we hatched a plan. About 10 minutes before Rosie's cot-time, we make a big show of saying "adios" to Kate, waving to her from the top of the stairs as Kate goes out the front door. After a small protest Rosie realises that there's no point in screaming for Mama, as Mama has left the building and the rest is relatively straightforward. Except Mama hasn't really left, she's just come in through the back garden gate and slipped into the kitchen.

Still, it's all good practice for when we have to swiftly replace a deceased hamster with a near-duplicate.

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