Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Such Bursts of Horrid Thunder

Speaking of lying to my child, there was another long-running bit of dis-information we maintained in Louise's wee years.

Louise doesn't much care for loud noises. When she was younger, she would sometimes ask me at bedtime if there was going to be thunder that night. I would assure her there wasn't.

One night she asked me how I knew there would be no thunder. I told her I was personally acquainted with the man who controlled thunder. She asked me his name. I said "Zeus". She asked me to make sure. I picked up the phone, "called" Zeus, had a polite little chit chat with him, and relayed Louise's request. He agreed. Louise was satisfied. She slept soundly.

And so it started. My little seed of untruth soon grew into a towering tree of deception. Each night she asked me to call him. Each night I called. She didn't like the loud trash trucks that clanged at four in the morning. Turns out Zeus the Almighty Truck Dispatcher controlled those too. No lightning and no trucks, please. Sometimes she wanted to talk to Zeus herself. Unfortunately he had pressing engagements and couldn't chat. This went on for a long time.

Eventually Louise's bedtime fear of thunder waned. (Now she's on to venomous tree frogs.) Zeus was forgotten. The phone calls stopped. But I think I sense their lingering traces. That girl is to this day undeniably pagan.

What lies do you tell your child?


  1. Anonymous9:52 AM

    Spring has recently brought the ice cream vendors out in Baltimore, and I just told Alex the story about the "Music Truck". We might use that trick, but I am not sure we will be teaching Theodore about the god of thunder. We'll probably focus on Athena.

    P.S. My best/weirdest job was the bowling alley.

  2. Anonymous9:54 PM

    My son, at 4, is into superheros and bad guys. He wants to know if we have either of these things in New Orleans.

    "There are no bad guys in New Orleans. The policemen just have guns to keep them out the city."

    What if the bad guys don't listen and try to come to New Orleans? Do they kill them with their guns?

    "No, nooooo. They just shoot them in the leg and arrest them."

    We have had this conversation more than once. I prefer to keep our world free of murders and police shootings as long as possilbe. That's my only big lie.

    We went through a brief thunder fear. I got in bed for a snuggle and told a story about a giant who lived above the clouds. He had a princess daughter who would come down to earth and play with her friends (Robert, Junie, LuLu, Reza, etc.) and her Daddy would get mad because she left without telling him where she was going. So he cried and stomped on the ground and made rain and thunder. Really, though, the main thrust of the story was that the princess liked to play with her friends so much, who coincidentally have the same names as Robert and his friends. I went into detail about the games they played and in that way got his mind off of being scared.

    Parenting is weird, huh?