Posted in Mommyhood

Tis the Season for Lying

Last Updated on December 6, 2020 by World's Okayest Mom

I can’t wait for My Girl to stop believing in Santa Claus.

There. I said it. I feel better.

Now let the torrents of judgements and insults rain down.

It’s not that I’m in a hurry for her to grow up. And I don’t want to ruin the (albeit false) magic of Christmas with Santa Claus and his flying reindeer and his omniscient presence making My Girl behave.

I’m in a hurry to stop lying to her about it.

I am not in a hurry for My Girl to lose her faith in Santa.

Liar Liar Christmas is on Fire

Again, this is not motivated by my pureness of heart. It’s motivated by my lack of adequate lying skills.

I’m a bad liar.

It’s true. Ha. I couldn’t lie about it if it wasn’t true. I was never good at lying – not as a kid, a teenager or certainly a mother.

As a teenager, the biggest whopper I ever told my parents was this:

As I was driving home a few nights ago, on a lonely, dark, country road, I ran over something. I was driving my dad’s car, so immediately, I was very concerned. (My dad, at this point in the story, sat up and started listening intently.) So I pulled over to see what it was. There was no one around, no one to help. I finally realized what it was… a pig! (Both my parents and The Sister were looking at me curiously and with much concern by now. I also had to clarify for my dad that his car was completely intact.) I didn’t know what to do. So I drove home. Tonight, though, I found in the mail a ticket from a police officer for hitting the pig and leaving it on the side of the road. (At this, my parents were outraged on my behalf.) I paused, waiting for the inevitable question. Finally my dad asked, “But how did they know you hit it?”

“Because,” I said, enjoying my moment. “The pig squealed.”

Ok, ok, ok. It’s a super corny joke. But I had my family hanging on to every word and believing me. It speaks to my lack of lying, though, that I instantly grinned as I said the punchline and let them in on the joke.

So that’s it – my best lie. I peaked at age 17.

Lying is like tap dancing. It’s full of complex movements with your feet, matching but opposing movements with your hands. It’s intricate and keeps going on and on and on. Your mouth has to work quickly saying one thing, while your mind is working behind the scenes to make your words plausible.

Did I mention I can’t tap dance?

I can’t lie either.

The mother of all fibs

I never notice this as a shortcoming until I had a child – and not just that, but a child who doesn’t let anything slide.

Lying to adults is different. Mainly, because I think half the time they aren’t really listening anyways. Adults have their own distractions, their minds on their own things, and they don’t think I hung the moon and stars.

Kids, on the other hand…

My Girl doesn’t hear me tell her to put on socks before we leave the house for school – though I take her by the shoulders, look deep into her eyes and make her repeat after me. Go. Get. Socks.

But the one time, three years ago, when I may have mentioned as a side remark some obscure “fact” about Santa – that she will remember until her grave. Not only that, she doesn’t have the polite notions of an adult who will often let it slide when you show a crack in a semi-thought-out lie. She will call me out on it and beat it until that dead horse has flies buzzing around its carcass.

This Santa lie is like a boulder balancing precariously on the top of a cliff’s edge. One soft breeze, one resting butterfly, one misstep and it’s going to come crashing down on top of someone’s head.

Me. I’m someone.

‘Tis the Season for Christmas Lying

It’s little things. Like now that we practically live with the Chandler/Monica clan (quarantine be damned!), we have to coordinate our Christmas lies. Monica bought the girls matching Christmas ornaments (the Schuyler Sisters from Hamilton, obviously) for Christmas. I don’t usually give My Girl ornaments, but it’s tradition for Monica. Santa brings the ornaments. I about ruined the whole damn thing because I was going to hand it to My Girl on December 1st to put on the tree.

You know those girls would compare ornaments. You know Jane would ask how they had matching ones but My Girl’s was from me and hers was from Santa. You know I wouldn’t have been able to tap dance my way out of that one.

Then comes the elf

That blasted Christmas elf. If ever there was a person in the world who I would like to smash in the face with a coconut cream pie, it’s the evil person from Hallmark (it’s got to be a Hallmark executive, right?) who thought of Elf on the Shelf. That person and Thomas Jefferson. (Yes, I’m still obsessed with Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson is a big Richard Cranium, I’ve realized. So he deserves a pie in the face, as well.)

It’s not just me who has some choice four-letter words for the maker of Elf on the Shelf. The Sister shared this epic #themomfail with me recently.

A friend of her, probably (understandably) doped out on motherhood exhaustion and post-Thanksgiving tryptophan, accidentally set up her elf with its head facing backwards.

Another difference between children and adults? As an adult, I would look at that elf and think of the Exorcism of Emily Rose. What sort of demon possessed Santa’s helper and turned its head backwards.

This momma’s children, on the other hand… their heads went somewhere else. Now these kiddos are thrilled because their Elf on the Shelf is PREGNANT!!

When are the baby elves coming??!!!

I’m praying for a Christmas miracle for the momma who accidentally introduced her kiddos to a pregnant Elf on the Shelf this holiday season.

Pray for this momma during the holiday season. She needs it. And maybe a wine Advent calendar like my dear sister got for me at Aldi. Did I mention how much I love my sister?

There’s No Joy in Joy the Elf

This is the first year that Monica decided to introduce an elf to her home. If I was a good friend, I would have told her to run for the hills, hide under her bed until December 26, anything to avoid that Elf on the Shelf. But I’m not a good friend. I would like a little company in my misery.

But on day one, she about ruined it for all of us. She sent me a picture of her cute elf perched on a Christmas decoration touting Joy to the World.

“Put that damn thing away!!!!” I texted back.

Our elf doesn’t show up until the day after Thanksgiving. Monica was going the route of the over-achiever and had her elf (ironically named Joy) set up on Thanksgiving night. Hells to the no. I need any extra day of reprieve I can get.

She promptly put it away, because she also was happy to put the thing off another day, and because she knew our girls would talk and we’d have some ‘splainin to do.

Holly and Snowflake

I’m sure that when this Santa Claus lie unravels, it will be because of Holly, our Elf on the Shelf. Part of the reason is because we don’t talk about Santa much, but we talk about Holly all the time. All. The. Damn. Time.

Yes, I complain a lot about our elf, but she is fun. And yes, she brings a level of joy to My Girl that I thought was reserved for a pet unicorn or talking pony. That is exactly why we have Holly and I continue to move her every night into a new fun and mischievous place.

But she puts my tap-dancing skills to the ultimate test.

The bane of my existence… a happy, deceitful Elf on the Shelf.

(On a related note, check out how I tried to standardize the Christmas lie and Elf on the Shelf last year. It hasn’t taken off because B. Swift continues to flaunt the rules and out do me.)

Add to the fact that Christmas is a delicate castle of cards with Holly sitting precariously on top, we also included an elf pet a few years ago – Snowflake the magical, mini reindeer.

I take it back. If there’s someone on this planet who I would pay big bucks to pie face, it’s the person who came up with the elf pets. Perhaps it’s the same person. Then – two pies! Double-fisting style!

This year, My Girl reread the book – apparently paying attention to details – about the Elf Pet. (I also discovered to my complete horror that Netflix now has an elf pets show. You people are KILLING me!)

If you haven’t read this little piece of Christmas fiction, I’ll give you the Cliffnotes version: Santa needs more reindeer to pull his sleigh, but apparently the North Pole is suffering a flying reindeer shortage. But the Elves on the Shelf (Elf on the Shelves? Elves on the Shelves? Not sure the correct plural to use…) are swimming in mini magical reindeer, like Scrooge McDuck swims in gold coins.

So the elves decide to send their reindeer pets to all the little boys and girls. If they love their reindeer pets enough, on Christmas Eve, the mini reindeer will grow up to be a real reindeer – Pinocchio style – and have enough magic and strength to pull Santa’s sleigh.

Nice story. And it explains – packaged very nicely with a red Christmas bow on top – why children can touch and play with the Elf Pet and not the actual Elf. What it doesn’t explain is why the reindeer comes back year after year for more loving.

As I’m writing this, I just realized the true evil genius behind Hallmark. They didn’t intend me to keep giving Snowflake to My Girl year after year. They expected me to BUY A NEW ONE.

Coconut cream pie is too good for them.

This year, My Girl realized that Snowflake has been visiting our house since 2017. She gave me the following choices to explain this travesty:

  1. Snowflake isn’t real. Thus, Holly the Elf isn’t real. Thus, Santa Claus isn’t real. Thus, I’ve been lying to her the whole time. That’s a lot of thuses.
  2. My Girl did not sufficiently love on Snowflake so he has yet to reach his full potential or full size.

Not great options, I must say. I went with secret choice #3. Snowflake isn’t really Snowflake, but a brand new reindeer. My Girl did such a great job at loving the last few pets that Santa sent her more. So, this isn’t actually Snowflake but… uh… Candy Cane.

Did she buy it? I think so. There were some tears because she misses Snowflake. And she eyeballed the washing instructions tag that is still on Snowflake (which she nailed me on last year), but she didn’t mention it.

Which leads me to my next cause of concern…

Maybe My Girl stopped believing in Santa Claus sometime during the last 12 months, and now she’s just screwing with me to make me sweat.

Well done, My Girl. Well done.

Share your own imperfections.