INNOCENT WHITE LIES

When is a lie acceptable? Are there degrees of lying? It is less of a lie if it’s a “white lie”? Or is lying just plain old lying?

What about telling your children that Santa exists? Or the Easter Bunny? Or the Tooth Fairy?

And if you choose to do so, when do you tell them the truth? That you have indeed, lied to them.

My parents didn’t give me fairy tales or half-truths. We were poor. If I got a present, they made damn sure I knew that they had scraped and saved every dollar to get me that ONE present. That one item would be a necessity – no frivolous toy, no gift wrapping, no card. There was no illusion of some old jovial fat dude climbing down a chimney in the middle of the night to place a beautifully wrapped gift under a Christmas tree. No Easter Bunny was pooping chocolate eggs on our lawns. And the Tooth Fairy? I was lucky to see the dentist.

Maybe that’s why I overcompensate as a parent. I want to give them the magic and fun that I didn’t get as a child. I want them to look back fondly at their childhood memories.

I’ll admit that a small part of me wants to conform to society norms. I don’t want my child to blurt out, “It’s a lie! Your parents are lying to you! There’s no such thing as Santa.”

I can ponder away the day trying to find reason and rhyme for my parenting choices. Inevitably, I will have to come clean about my lies.


We placed the baby tooth into a plastic bag and put it under Mandy’s pillow.

“So the Tooth Fairy will come, take my tooth and give me a coin?” Mandy queried.

I couldn’t look her in the eyes. “Yes, so I’m told.”

“What does she look like? How does she get my tooth if I’m lying on the pillow? How much money will I get? What happens with the teeth?”

Oh boy.

My brain scrambled for answers. I hadn’t recalled seeing a “How to lie effectively to your child” section in the parenting manual I received from the maternal health nurse.

“Uh, no-one has seen the Tooth Fairy, so we don’t know the mechanics or logistics,” I replied. “Also, you get ONE gold coin per tooth. That’s all I know.”

Mandy contemplated my answers for a moment.

“Mummy, do you give me presents as well as Santa or are you pretending to be Santa?”

I paused. She was at an age where her friends were probably discussing the rumours. This was the perfect opportunity to come clean, but then she’d likely to ruin it for her little brother.

“No, Mummy and Daddy give you presents as well as Santa,” I reluctantly replied.

“What about the Easter Bunny? Are you putting the eggs in the lawn for us to find?”

I felt the weight of her accusing stare. I shifted uncomfortably. Mandy would become an excellent cross-examiner one day.

“Me?” I exclaimed in feigned shock, “I don’t have time for that!”

“Hmm.” Mandy responded. She was onto me. The jig was probably up.

“If you have any further questions, ask your dad. He’s the expert,” I deflected. “Hey, let’s read a book.”

I was the Master of Deflection and Timely Distractions.

“I think I’ll ask Ally tomorrow if she thinks the Tooth Fairy is real,” Mandy casually stated. “She knows everything.”

I shuddered at the thought of things to come.

Copyright © 2019, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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ANTISOCIAL AT FOUR

I’m feeling rather upset at the moment. I’m eating a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Puffs, that’s how emotional I’m feeling.

Today was the last day of kinder, and parents were invited into the playground to watch the children sing Christmas carols. My four-year-old boy was the only child who couldn’t sit on the ground, continually moving about and being disruptive. At one point, he crowded and poked another boy, causing the poor child to cry. I had to take him away from the group and seat him elsewhere. Mortification doesn’t properly describe how I felt at being the parent of THAT kid. It really didn’t help that every other parent was filming my son’s poor behaviour and my embarrassment.

After the performance, the kinder teacher gave me feedback on my son. This was the first time I had stepped into kinder due to pandemic lockdown and restrictions. It was also the first time kinder has been able to give me any kind of feedback.

“You might want to keep an eye on his behaviour next year.”

“He’s having problems with making social connections.”

“He has poked and shoved kids then run away. He has toppled over a child’s tower and run away. He takes toys from other kids when they are playing with them.”

I attempted making excuses for his antisocial behaviour; the pandemic and strict lockdown, his negative behaviour in seeking his sister’s attention. In my heart, I couldn’t commit to any of these possible excuses, even if they were true. It just felt lame. I knew he had displayed aggressive and troubling behaviour but I had thought it was confined to home. I push aside that niggling feeling to the back of my mind because I didn’t want to deal with it. I hoped he’d outgrow this stage. How naïve was I?

Where did I go wrong? Have I babied him too much? Is his behaviour a result of my poor discipline and lack of follow-through? Is it too much screen time? Should I have forced the issue with vegetables?

My husband pish-poshed my idea of seeking help with a therapist. Why not get an expert’s opinion? But he seems to think raising the issue on our next maternal health check with the nurse is enough. He wants us to work on our son’s antisocial behaviour through how we parent. I will work on getting our son to become more independent and following through when I discipline. My husband will re-iterate the importance of positive behaviour and together we will cut screen time.

I feel emotionally wrecked and so disappointed. I can’t help but feel as though my son’s behaviour is reflective of my parenting. It honestly makes me feel like a failure of a parent.

I’m unsure how things will pan out but I pray that our son will get better at making positive social connections. It would break my heart to see my cheeky little boy end up friendless and an outlier in society.

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HALF-PRICED DISCOUNT STILL NOT ENOUGH

“Make time for yourself.”
“It’s not about having time. It’s about making time.”
“Have a break. Have a Kit Kat.”

Life is just damn hectic. It’s go-go go from the moment I wake up and doesn’t end until I’m passed out in bed. I’m like a lab rat running on a wheel, only I’m not having fun and I can’t get off. Every so often I need a time-out, sit on the bench, press the pause button on life and give myself some self-love.

Everyone has different ideas when it comes to self-love. Some people go away on retreats. Some people do treks to reconnect with nature (*shudder*). Some people simply need a night without the kids.

My choice of self-love comes in the form of discounts, coupons and bargains. So when a business card for fifty percent off hair colouring and cut was thrust into my palm, I decided I was well overdue for some me-time.


I leaned back on the comfy chair and closed my eyes. The warm water washed over my poorly maintained hair and the caressing hands of Salon Lady massaged my scalp. It felt divine.

“Mummy.”

I ignored the voice. The smell of sweetly scented shampoo wafted towards my nose as it was slathered on my hair.

“Mummy! I’m bored.”

I couldn’t remember the last time I got a head massage. It felt great. I almost fell asleep. Almost.

“Mum! Are you even listening to me?”

I opened my eyes and peered over to my six-year-old fickle pickle.

“Darling, I told you that I would be here for a few hours,” I told Mandy. “You insisted on coming with me.”

Mandy gave me The Look. A perfect combination of apathy and boredom expected from an adolescent.

“Why don’t you get some crayons and paper from the massive bag you made me carry and create something,” I said as I closed my eyes. I desperately tried to emulate feelings of being pampered and relaxed. You know, the ones you’re supposed to have while getting hair treatment at an expensive boutique salon.

Salon Lady left to get the heating towel.

“Mummy, you should see how much of your hair is in the sink!” Mandy exclaimed, peeking into the basin.

“What?” I asked. There wasn’t any point pretending to relax anymore.

“So so much hair. Mummy, that colour doesn’t suit you,” Mandy remarked as if she was a hair colouring expert.

“It’s my natural hair colour,” I replied dryly.

Salon Lady placed the towel on my conditioned hair and asked me to chill out. How on earth was I meant to ‘chill out’ with a Debbie Downer in my ear?

After what seemed like an age of listening to Mandy whine and getting a crook neck from being forgotten by Salon Lady, I shuffled over to the chair to have my hair cut. I saw Mandy spinning in circles on a salon stool.

“Mandy! Stop that!” I yelled out. “Jeez Louise.”

I continued chatting to Salon Lady about the real estate market. From the corner of my eye, I could see Mandy draped over two seats and doing horizontal leg presses.

“Mandy! Seriously!” I yelled again. At the rate I was jerking about, I’d become a trendsetter in sporting lopsided haircuts.

As Salon Lady prepared to blow dry my hair, Mandy jumped up and down in front of me.

“Mum, I need to go,” Mandy muttered. “Like now.”

The salon didn’t have a toilet.

Self-love total bill = 50% discount + 10% whining surcharge + 10% negative commentary tax + 100% quick exit fee

Not much of a win, right?

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