Aaaaaand…The Deception Begins

Saturday night, Thalia was in a mood that we fondly refer to as Two. As in, “Oh Thalia. Are you acting Two again?”

Nate offered her a grape and was met with an inordinately loud and screechy NOOOOO! I DON’T LIKE GRAPES! And so he took the grapes into the kitchen, shuffled them around on the plate, then brought them right back. And offered them again.

As jellybeans.

She ate them all.

The semi-smart, mostly sensible mom within me was cringing. We don’t tend to lie to Thalia. We don’t tell her that the playground is closed or that the ice cream store ran out of ice cream. (Although really, that did happen once. Ask Tony.) I do think that keeping things on the straight and narrow is a better long-term tactic even if I have to endure a few tantrums along the way.

So I corrected Thalia, “Daddy was just playing a joke on you, sweetie. He was being funny. It’s really a grape.” Too late. Thalia insisted that no it was not a grape, it was a jellybean. She even proceeded to separate the grapes from the jellybeans on the plate using some sort of incomprehensible assessment system, and show us exactly which was which.

So then I did what any semi-smart, mostly sensible mom would do.

I told Nate to get out the video camera.

What can I say, the whole thing was hilarious, what with her yelling MMMM JUICY JELLYBEANS! SO SWEEEET! for an hour all while popping grapes.

Cut to today, lunch time.

Thalia and I were bargaining chips for food, as in finish that half of your sandwich and you can have one more chip.

(The chips, by the way, were in part a passive-aggressive reaction to some sanctimommy on a message board last night who led with, “My whole family knows that the first person to offer soda, chips or candy to my three year-old is DEAD to me.” Like having a one-night stand with an ex, every so often I go back to that board remind myself why left in the first place.)

Thalia was respecting the trade-off pretty well, until she walked back to her sandwich, lifted it near her mouth, then turned her back to me and pantomimed taking a bite. “I did it!” she declared, before making an enthusiastic bee-line for the foil bag.

The deception! The chicanery! The outright lie!

I have no idea where she got it from.


31 thoughts on “Aaaaaand…The Deception Begins”

  1. That is one amazing kid you have there. NO idea where she gets that.I’m afraid Sanctimommies will always be with us – like cockroaches they will survive even a nuclear blast.

  2. I think the mild deception aka Creative Parenting Explanations work great until hmm 5 at the latest. Then they are SO LITERAL, and so easily “betrayed feeling.” Like, “Mom you PROMISED to wash my MAGENTA socks, and you didn’t!”“These socks are magenta here, how about these?”“Those aren’t magenta, they are DARK PINK WAAAHHHH life as we know it is OVER!”Creative rules!So BRAVO to Nate and seriously…I can’t imagine anyone having the energy to parent as zealously as the sanctimommy.Julie< HREF="" REL="nofollow">Using My Words<>

  3. It is wrong to lie to your children… so wrong. I’m totally stealing the jellybeans for grapes idea. It would be more wrong not to put such a genius idea to use.

  4. We totally could have used the jellybean line today. The little dude ate 10 grapes and then decided they were “yucky” and has refused to eat any more.

  5. LOL about that message board. I have a suspicion as to what it might be. I have a hard time pulling the wool over my kid’s eyes…she just doesn’t buy it.

  6. Darn, the sanctimommy was pulled, FILE NOT FOUND. I wanted to see who has the time & energy (and lack of tact) to be so…yeah. I’d want to be the first person to offer her three-year-old all of those things in a five minute span, just because of that remark. Puh-leez.You’re brilliant.

  7. I’m laughing at Kristen right now. Funny, we say the same thing about my niece, except she’s three. And dam it, she’s good at it.

  8. Maybe THAT would work with our son, who seems to be of the opinion that any fruit larger or smaller than an apple is not edible. Have to think about it…Although, I must say, I am pretty much with you on the whole honesty thing.

  9. I think I could probably guess which message board you were talking about. I go back every now and then, too, just to see what I “should” be getting upset about, LOL. Grapes as jellybeans? Haven’t tried that one. But I do try to convince Cordy that her vitamin is candy (she’s too smart for that one) and that we really don’t have any ice cream in the house. (She can’t open the freezer yet, thank goodness.)

  10. Unfortunately, my son is way too sophisticated a picky eater to fall for a trick like that. This is not to say I haven’t tried.Also, why are people so against chips? Really? Have any of these chip-haters ever read and compared the nutrition facts on various varieties and brands of chips? Yes, some chips really are bad for you, but others are not. Whole wheat pita chips are not bad for you. Baked potato chips are not bad for you. Organic unsalted blue corn chips fried are not bad for you. Sliced dried carrot chips or banana chips are not bad for you. Chips can be a really good source of fiber, heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and in some cases even vitamins and minerals for kids who are picky eaters. AND they make an excellent bribe to exchange for bites of chicken. It’s a win-win situation, really.

  11. Yeah, so, ignore the random “fried” in there– I meant to say fried in canola oil. Clearly my parents damaged my brain by allowing me to drink too much soda.

  12. There’s a limit to the deception we can get away with now that Z is 3. Last night my husband said “We don’t have mac and cheese tonight.” “Yes we do!” exclaimed our daughter, “Here, let me show you where we keep it!”

  13. Does it work with 16-year-olds? Although he’s not much of a jelly-bean eater either.I know! Skittles! I’ll tell him they’re Skittles.

  14. It is not lying…it is creative explaination and I think you are doing a great job. It is not bribes, it is negotiating…and in the big bad adult world our kids will need to be creative and be able to negotiate – both skills we as moms can say we helped to develop!Kudos to Nate!

  15. I have a 3yo who lives in Pretend World. If he won’t eat his carrots, I suggest that Baby Bunny eat them. If he won’t go up to his nap, I suggest that Baby Bear come with me to hibernate. If he didn’t want grapes but wanted to call them puppy treats, so be it. I’ve found that I can get my kid to do almost anything I (don’t) ask him to do as long as I’m creative with my pretend!

  16. I just hope those were organic free-range chips. I really try to limit my lying and bribery to absolutely no more than 3,5 at the most 10 times a day.

  17. I love it when stuff like that works. One time my husband got my daughter to clean her room by enthusiastically promising to teach her how to do laundry, All By Herself. He is still my hero for that one.

  18. I really have no idea how they learn some of this stuff.This past couple of weeks Peanut has learned how to fling herself to the floor when denied something. Where does she get it? I’m pretty sure she’s never seen another kid do it, and I’m pretty sure it isn’t us. I’m beginning to think that kids are just hardwired.

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