TMI: My Kid Rats Me Out
Last holiday season my daughter, Lola, gave me something truly priceless: a clean slate.
In preparation for the school Christmas pageant, her teacher had asked the children what they thought their mothers wanted Santa to bring them. Then she read them aloud, one by one, to the audience of parents who had come to watch the show. Eliza, for instance, said her mommy would like a pair of rollerskates, so she could get around faster. Tomâ€™s mom would like for the baby to stop crying. Kids do say the darndest things.
Indeed, when the teacher was halfway down the list, she announced: â€œLola says her mom would like Santa to bring hers a bottle of wine and one glass.â€
Every child goes through a tattling phase, and weâ€™ve dealt with Lolaâ€™s by firmly reprimanding her when she spitefully exposes the foibles of her sister or friends. We figured we had a handle on things.
Until she started tattling on me.
Snitching on your parents is fair game when theyâ€™ve, say, thrown you down the stairs or ramped up their Class A drug use. There was even a story circulating last October about a boy who turned in his parents when their marijuana habit got out of hand. Howâ€™s that for an early Christmas present?
But what if your vices are no worse than a morning shot of Baileys in the coffee, or the odd, loud fart? Recently our cleaner asked after my tummy, after being informed by my daughter that Iâ€™d complained of irritable bowels.
At least sheâ€™d been telling the truth. A teacher once congratulated me after Lola let loose my â€œsecretâ€: that my belly was growing (true) and that I was pregnant with a boy (false).
What else is getting out into the public realm? The not knowing is the hardest part. Do her playmatesâ€™ parents know the special names my husband and I have for one another? Does the babysitter know why I visited the doctor last week? Do my inlaws know I sneak the odd cigarette?
Do I need to hire a publicist?
Serves me right, I guess. When I was 4, my mother hauled me out of my room by my collar after hearing me declare to my friend a tidbit of information Iâ€™d overheard at home earlier that day.
â€œYour dadâ€™s a crook,â€ I announced, while snipping Barbieâ€™s evening gown into a mini.
I donâ€™t remember my friend minding. Perhaps sheâ€™d heard it all before.
Or maybe she knew her momâ€™s publicist would do the damage control.