Posted by: mountainmomma18 | May 28, 2010

The Frogs are Dead

I know that does not have the same power as when Gavroche announces that General Lamarque is dead, but it’s integral to my story.

We started our morning the same as most other mornings, with a diaper change and a sippy of milk- and then the bug climbed up on a stool next to the kitchen counter to look at her fish and frogs while I made some coffee and breakfast- it’s a routine we have come to depend on. But this morning we took an unscripted exit. I threw food in the small aquarium half asleep and willed water to seep through some beans more quickly when I was interrupted by the bug yelling, “wake up frog!!” Yeah you know that that is not good. The poor frogs, both of them, are dead. I am not sure how they died- I mean they’re $6 albino underwater frogs who stayed alive for over three months- I think that is pretty good.

Currently the bug thinks the frogs are sleeping and she will be right because tomorrow I am headed to the store and getting new ones and she will never think anything of it. I am good with this plan mostly because the bug is two- she would not understand the concept of dead even if I tried to explain this to her- but this situation did lead to an interesting discussion with a friend of mine. When I told her the plan she was all “You know it’s better to not lie to your children- we will not be doing things like the Easter bunny or Santa- it’s better that way.” After rolling my eyes so far back into my head that I almost fell over, I again reminded her that our kids were two and I don’t think we have to worry about that quite yet- I mean I bought the bug’s Christmas presents right in front of her and she was still surprised when she opened them up Christmas morning. What I wanted to say but didn’t was that she better not bring that no-Santa vibe all up in my house because I am totally buying into it for my daughter who will hold on to her childhood as long as she can.

I get that some people don’t want to do the whole Santa thing (or Easter Bunny, Tooth fairey etc.)- but I guess I just don’t buy the rationale.  I don’t get the idea that you are “lying” to your kid- that it will somehow scar them emotionally when they get older and then they won’t trust you. I mean seriously? Didn’t most of our parents tell us that Santa was real or maybe your face will freeze that way? Are the majority of people scared by this? Do you resent your parents for perpetuating the Santa myth? This reminds me of the discussion I had with this same friend over how we thought our kids would fair when a new sibling came home.  She was more worried than I was- I figured that it would be an adjustment but the bug would get used to it- I mean didn’t most of us get used to it? There are very few people walking around that still resent their siblings for being born. I mean I wish my brother were a lot of things- more responsible, better with money, have an ability to stay away from crazy women- but not being born isn’t one of them. So I guess I just don’t get the whole I don’t want to lie to my kid – so we won’t be doing Santa. I mean I get why some people don’t want to do Santa- but I just don’t buy that excuse.

And of course it is not for me to buy- what you choose to do with your kid is really your business (unless you’re evil or something) but at some point your kid will come into contact with my kid and that is I think where the problem lies. I would not expect everyone in the world to live by my ideals- I mean I’m not a Republican or anything (HAHAHAHA)- but I do respect and will do my best to make sure the bug knows that she should respect other people’s ideas as well. And I’m naïve enough I guess to think that other people would do this as well. But it, of course, does not always work out that way.

What do you think? Will you lie to your kid about Santa? Does these people kind of annoy you as well?

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Responses

  1. I will perpetuate the myth of Santa and the tooth fairy and the easter bunny. Why? Because it’s fun to get presents. It’s fun to think that someone/thing thinks of nothing but giving you presents. When kids figure it out, there is usually mild disappointment – but only because now they realize that their dream presents are limited to what mom and dad will buy them. I don’t think it’s lying. I consider that telling a story with lots of visual aids. :)

    The frog thing…well, I gotta say, that is lying. But I’m pretty sure it’s a better idea than telling the truth in this instance. An existential conversation at age 2 will only cause needless anxiety in most kids. Believe me, I am all for giving my kid the facts of the matter, but sometimes, it’s just better to let them think what they want to think.

    And yes, these people are completely incomprehensible to me. Does this mean they won’t read their children any fiction, because the stories are make believe? Or they won’t have more children because the first one will feel displaced? I worry more that my girl will feel alone when her father and I are dead because it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to have any more and her cousins are either older than she is or from the odd (i.e. my husband’s) side of the family and therefore unreliable. Weird. I’m beginning to think that we, as a society, have too much time on our hands if there are people who worry about such stupid crap.

  2. I used to think that way, that I wouldn’t “lie” about Santa Claus. I think I was in my early twenties. I figured that I was a very practical person and wanted my children to be practical as well. Then I grew up some more and decided that I wanted to harbour a sense of fantasy in them for as long as possible.

    We haven’t had to do anything with it yet. B was only 1 month old this past Christmas. We didn’t even buy her a gift from us.

    As for future siblings, well, I’m the oldest in my family and I don’t think I’m particularly emotionally scarred by having a brother and sister.

  3. I have trouble with lying – I do the Easter and Sinterklaas thing, but I will be relieved when it’s over because I don’t like the lying. I don’t want to deprive them of the experience either, though.

    I haven’t lied about death, though – seems easier to tackle it earlier. I think I was partially fucked up because I wasn’t told about the nastier parts of life earlier on. I reckon the shock is smaller if you get to them earlier.

  4. If she was older I would have had a death conversation with her- but at 2 I don’t think she would understand, I’ll wait until the new frogs die.

  5. Hell yeah!! I’m going to totally lie to them as long as I can about Santa, the Tooth Fairy and The Easter Bunny. Why? Because it’s fun for them. And I get to relive the magic one more time…..well make that three more times. And luckily my oldest is the biggest believer of the three!!!!

    I don’t come across those people that you describe, but I know my kids do already. You know, the kids that say all that stuff is not real. Then I have to come up with another lie that’s even better.

    Like, “Santa is listening to this conversation right now, etc. etc.” It’s bad, but it’s so damn good too!

    And what’s the alternative? No presents, no fun.


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