It is only a matter of time before I am exposed as the lying mother I am. When that happens, I have no idea how I will continue to parent my children.
To be fair, they weren’t just my lies, they were Bill’s as well, and his was one of the first to crumble.
Ever since he got a new Honda Pilot, the Warp Speed Button on the car has been a major source of entertainment for our family. Your car doesn’t have one? Ours is a huge square button just to the right of the steering wheel with a large red triangle on it. When deployed, the car instantly goes into “warp speed” mode, enabling us to get up a hill or pass a slow car with relative ease. All the boys love the Warp Speed Button and brag about it to their friends.
Last weekend Bill bought a canoe at Wal-Mart to use at the lake. He paid for it, then he and Finn drove his car to the front loading zone to tie the canoe to his car. Bill parked the car, then turned on his hazards. Finn freaked and quickly pressed the button to turn them off.
“Dad, you just pressed the Warp Speed Button and there’s a lady walking in front of the car with a stroller! You gotta be more careful! You could have really hurt someone!” He was near tears.
“Finn,” Bill said, “it’s time I told you the truth about the Warp Speed Button.” And that’s how Finn learned that our Honda did not have superpowers. It just had hazard lights like every other car. He wasted no time telling Drew and Porter, who refused to believe him until he got in the car and pressed the button. Sadly, the car stayed exactly where it was.
The tooth fairy has also come under intense scrutiny lately. Porter lost a tooth while spending the night at his grandmother’s house, and she was unable to reach us to find out the current value of a tooth in today’s market. After questioning the boys, she appropriately replaced the tooth with a $1 bill, despite their elaborate desciptions of a boy down the street who gets $5 per tooth.
The easy explanation for the discrepancy, of course, is that the tooth fairy leaves her house with the same amount of money each evening, and the money has to cover all the children who lost teeth that day. The brat down the street apparently loses his teeth on days when not many other kids do. That explains why he got ten dollars when his first tooth just fell out on its own, while Drew got two measly dollars when he “lost” his front teeth, which had not been loose, in a bloody wrestling match with Porter.
Although I have given this explanation many times, Porter confided to his grandmother that sometimes he thinks that the tooth fairy is really his parents, but he doesn’t want us to know he thinks that because he wants to trick us.
Porter has also been asking a lot of other questions as well, such as:
“Mom, can I see the eyes in the back of your head? Why not? Why won’t you show them to me? Do they have eyelashes? Why do you need glasses on your front eyes but not your back eyes? Do dads have eyes in the back of their head?”
Drew, meanwhile, has been studying up on road signs.
Some dimwit Bill apparently explained to him what speed limit signs look like and what they mean, as well as how to read the speedometer. Drew’s knowledge is hampering my efforts to get my errands done around town in a timely fashion.
Drew: “Mom, the speed limit is 35.”
Drew: “Are you going 35?”
Me: “I’m going close to it.”
Drew: (straining forward from the second seat) “It says you’re going 50.”
Me: (realizing Drew has learned about speed) “50 is not much more than 35.”
Drew: “But if 35 is more than 50 then you are going more than the speed limit and you are breaking the law. That’s what daddy said.’
Me: (slamming on the brake) “Daddy is right. I am going 35 right now. It is going to take us about two hours to get home at this rate, so let’s call daddy and tell him we need him to get the dry cleaning and go by the vet on his way home from work.”
In order to maintain my usual fast-paced lifestyle without openly flouting the law in front of my children, I have put a big bag of crayons and coloring books in the van and I am encouraging everyone, especially Drew to spend what would otherwise be down time in the van coloring and journaling pictures for daddy.
So far, no one has mentioned the speed limit again.