We all do in a way, don’t we? Little white lies or omissions of certain facts that may not be appropriate given the age of the child in question.
I remember a certain friend dutifully – skillfully – providing a biologically sound explanation to her six-year-old daughter when she asked how babies were made. The mom’s scientific repartee with the child, answering question after question as they drove through town heading for home, was quite impressive. Each subsequent question, though, intensified and required more precise information.
Where was it all leading? How long could the mom honestly answer her child’s questions without veering into murky territory? How much could her daughter handle? How much could the mother handle?
As the interrogation neared its climax and the two neared home, the daughter finally exclaimed in frustration, “Yes, but how does the sperm reach the egg?” The mother swung into the driveway and shouted, “Who wants ice cream?”
And that settled that.
I keep deferring the whole baby-making conversation with my daughter. I’ve already told her how the baby gets out, and that’s enough for now. When she continues to ask me how babies are made, I tell her, “I don’t know. Go ask your father.” So far, it’s worked.
But that’s not really the issue I’ve been facing. My lie or omission as it were isn’t about the birds and the bees. And it has less to do with my kids’ maturity level than with pure convenience. I have emphasized to my children the importance of being honest, a lesson hard won when a certain someone broke a certain someone else’s computer, but this time I just couldn’t help myself.
See, I finally got my husband to block certain inappropriate programs from my kids’ viewing pleasure. I’m not talking “Jersey Shore” or “Housewives” of any kind. The shows I wanted blocked were more along the lines of “iCarly” and “Gook Luck Charlie.” I’ve never really approved of those shows and don’t think they’re appropriate for kids under 16 though I’m fully aware the audience skews younger – much younger. And my daughter is among them, possibly even descending into a spiral of Disney Channel abuse and addiction.
For over a year I’ve been asking my husband to block those shows (I can’t do it because we have no less than four remotes, and I don’t know how to work any of them). Finally, the day came last month when he actually did it. Well, he did it one night after the kids went to bed. They had no knowledge of the obstruction of the Disney Channel or the new iCarlyless fate awaiting them.
That night I went to sleep slightly fearful. What would the next day bring? Would I awake to shrieks? Screams? Tears? The kids’ wrath?
But the next morning the house was oddly quiet. I got up and waited. Silently. For the reign of terror I was certain was going to crash down upon me once the kids discovered all their most beloved shows were no longer playing on our T.V.
But it never happened. They never said a word.
I talked to my husband about whether we should have a discussion with the kids about what happened to the missing programs (although they are fully aware of my disdain), but he’s pretty much against addressing issues head on. Kevin’s philosophy is let sleeping dogs lie.
And that’s what I did.