One thing they don’t tell you about being a parent is how often you will need to lie to your kids.
My little girl is 7 (almost 8). She still believes in fairies and unicorns. And I keep up that faith by making up reasons why unicorns and fairies are invisible, and every now and then I place a little keepsake under her pillow to keep her believing that she has her own personal fairy that looks after her and gives her gifts.
I accidentally killed the Easter Bunny in a weak moment when I was reading her a bedtime story. She looked at me with a big knowing grin and asked me if I hide the easter eggs at Easter.
I remember looking in to her eyes; my mind whirring. What was the right thing to say?! She looked like she was quite proud of herself for figuring it all out, so I thought it was safe to tell her the truth. And so I did.
I did not make the right decision.
“Whaaaaat?!” she cried. Her face fell and she started sobbing in that hiccupy way that little kids do. She looked totally devastated and I had to back pedal like a maniac and told her that he only stopped coming last year because he thought that six-year-old was too old to visit anymore.
He only visits litlte kids, you see. But you never know when he may stop coming, so Mummies and Daddies always have a stock of eggs on hand incase he decides not to come anymore.
“But I’m still a little girl,” she wailed. Which took me by surprise, because anyone who knows my daughter, or is lucky enough to hear my stories about her, knows that she is 7 going on 17.
I finally calmed her down and when she drifted off to sleep, I quickly raced off to tell her Dad what had just happened, so he could back up my lie that the Easter Bunny is real, but he stopped coming last year.
Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!
On the way there, she asked if he was the real santa. I had to quickly think of what I said to her last year when she asked the same thing. Did I say yes or no? Did I say he was Santa’s twin brother? I couldn’t remember, so had to wing it.
I told her he was one of Santa’s helpers. She looked confused and asked why he was dressed as Santa if he was just one of the helpers! Damn that sharp, curious mind of hers!
So I had to make up another lie to add to the hundreds of lies I’ve told her through her short life: that he is dressed up like Santa so people will THINK he’s the real Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas, so he can then relay the message back to the REAL Santa.
Clear as mud?
So for now, Santa is safe.
P.S As I was typing this post, my daughter raced into the study and I had to quickly minimise the screen so she wouldn’t read any of what I’ve written. Phew! Close call!
Merry Christmas everyone and thank you for reading my blog. Your likes and comments have been the highlight of my year!