Lying to Children, Part IIDecember 11th, 2010 at 21:12
So, last year I wrote about the icky feeling of lying to my intelligent child about the Santa myth. Well… the reindeer is well and truly out of the bag, thanks to the blabbing of young Dr Oscar, age 5.
“Oscar says Santa doesn’t bring the presents, it’s your parents,” she said, eyes welling in the back of the car as we drove home from a merry evening with friends (these questions ALWAYS come up from the back of the car). “Is it true?”
Caught on the back foot, I tried to weasel out of an immediate answer by trying to gauge whether she actually wanted an answer to that question, but when she said “I want the truth” in a solemn little voice, I crumbled and confessed all. She was sad and confused and it was HORRIBLE. I ended up trying to explain the history of Christmas over the next hour, tying myself in knots over the whole thing.
I’m still not sure how she’s taking it. She veers from excitement and delight at being in on the grand conspiracy, to being glum and dispirited. She did perk up a bit when she discovered we were responsible for the Monsters v. Aliens DVD (though she didn’t remember the Beauty and the Beast one that actually took effort to supply out of season, the wench).
Before going to bed last night, she firmly wrote a note to Santa. She seems to shift between accepting that it’s just me and her Daddy, and still believing in Santa. It’s like it takes time for the layers to peel away… today, at her insistence, we went to sit on the knee of a shopping mall Santa (which she had requested earlier, after a friend reported the experience – we’ve never done that with her before). If anyone’s looking for a good Santa in the Hobart region, by the way, I can recommend the one in Centrepoint – he was very respectable looking, the elves are well organised, and the photo only costs $10. After checking out a mum’s and bub’s forum I found out that some can cost as much as $25! There wasn’t even a queue.
Raeli and I spent time Christmas shopping, and she seems to have gotten over the whole experience. I’m not sure I have. I felt awful, every uneasiness about the Santa Lie that I’d ever felt just exploding, all at once. I don’t think I can bear to go through that again with Jemima.
Maybe I’ll just have Raeli tell her.
I am still working, slogging away on a short story for TPP (it will be done this week, Alisa, I SWEAR) and those proofs for Book 2 are lurking out of the corner of my eye, but this is the time of the year when Mummydom becomes more than a full time job. Time and a half, for sure. I signed up for parent help at school, cutting and sorting photos for a class project, and baking shortbread with the kiddies (they loved my Dalek apron). It’s probably a good thing I was able to, because most of the other Mums who have been volunteering all along have collapsed in exhaustion.
There’s been an assembly or two every week, not only the usual ones, but extras to farewell beloved teachers at the school. It really is an awesome school. We also have the school concert next week, and guess whose little girl is playing Mary? At least there’s no costume to make, though we did have to donate a plastic dolly to be you-know-who.
Jem is now such a big girl – she doesn’t always stay in her pram when we go for the school pick up! She pads around the playground in her bare feet (I totally have to get her some more shoes), eats grass and steals drink bottles from Raeli’s friends. I brought her in to watch one of Raeli’s many assemblies last week, and within five minutes Jem had ditched me to hang out with some older girls.
This is how it’s gonna be, huh?
We decorated the tree early, in order to take a family picture for our Christmas cards, then entirely failed to get the picture taken for a couple of weeks. We finally did last night (I don’t have the pic on my computer yet) and at the same time managed to find out why the flash on my phone camera makes the pictures come out green (um, it’s because of reflection off the sides of my phone skin… which is green). I love our Christmas tree. I’m starting to get the urge to make more decorations for it, even though it’s already dripping with homemade ornaments along with my old family tradition ones. Since making myself a Livia Augusta ornament, though, I’m kind of wanting to mark out other favoured obsessions with a mention on the tree. We’re off to a good start this year with the silver soccer balls that godiyeva gave us, but I’m also thinking we need some Alice in Wonderland and a dalek or two.
I’m looking forward to Christmas – but I’ll feel better when these last jobs are cleared off my desk and I know I can have a proper holiday! Raeli finishes up school on Thursday, so it’s a race to get all my t’s crossed and i’s dotted before then.
Damn it, I should have made her work on her Christmas cards today. I guess tomorrow is going to be packed!