Lying to a 6 Year Old

It was time to leave the house but there was stiff resistance. There wasn't kicking and screaming, but there was pleading, dragging of feet, and most of all, excuses. And that wasn't from the kids. It was me - their dad.

Grady desperately wanted to go to the McDonald's playground because it was indoors. I promised him the day before we would go. It always seems do-able when you don't have to go until tomorrow.

It's really a suitable outing for a tired dad. The kids can get some food and the three are self-sufficient on the playground. I could just sit there with an iced coffee. Did I mention I could sit? That's a huge win for me.

But it was a school day, which meant the older two had homework. The main part of my afternoon routine is that the homework gets done first. Everything else may fall by the wayside, but that homework sure as heck will get done right away. I don't want Aimee coming home after a long day to kids pinned to a table. I'd rather them have fun with their mom.

The problem with going to McDonald's at this point is that we are already home. The "going back out" is the thorn in my side - not on all days, but on this day. See, I was freaking tired. It was Tuesday and Tuesdays are my worst days.

I wake up at 3 AM. Waking up isn't an issue, regardless of time. No one likes the alarm going off, but you just go. It's later in the day that it catches up with me and no day is worse than Tuesday. Mondays, I still have the lingering rest and momentum from the weekend but Tuesdays - the 3 AM wake-up call comes roaring back. It's 5 PM and I could fall asleep right on the kitchen floor. 

I don't want to go. I don't want to go back out. I'd kick and scream if I thought it would work. There is no way we're going to McDonald's.

I lie. I lie to my 6-year-old.

"Not today, buddy. We will go another day, I promise." And we will. I am not cruel. I always remember to do what I said I'd do. Just not today.

The lie? Oh, it isn't outrageous because my kids are smarter than me. I am not pulling the "McDonald's is closed" routine. But I stress it suddenly doesn't fit in. The day got out of hand and I tell him I want him to have "a lot of time" on the playground and if we went now, it would only be "for a short time". I make my case. 

He knows me, so he knows it isn't happening.

I just want to sit for a second.

I promise, buddy, we will go to the McDonald's playground later this week.



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