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Parenting
Category

  • It Turns Out Many People Don’t Like Me

    I’m a pathologically optimistic person. I like to assume the best of the world because I am into asses, and u and me. Yet sometimes I have to acknowledge the brutal reality that not everybody wants to be my friend, nor do they even like me at all.

    I brought The Munch to the playground on Sunday because it was the first spring-like day of the season. You see, up here in the Northern Tundra, we have been dealing with the harsh atmosphere of what I like to call “eternal winter.” It was only 3 weeks ago when I decided it was time to wear 1 pair of pants instead of 3. So considering it was the kind of sunny day where you didn’t have to wear a wool body suit, I was in a pretty cheery mood.

    I initially anticipated that the other parents would be equally jovial. You would think that on a beautiful day at the playground people would want to do the monkey bars, play chase, and push me on the swing. But guess what – they don’t at all. No one was even interested in my cool tricks, like when I hang upside down by my knees. They just kept looking away.

    When I tried to talk to some of the other parents, I felt like I had SARS. None of them wanted anything to do with me, and they kept looking at my mask with suspicion. It’s a fashion statement okay!? At one point a kid near me went down the slide on his stomach, flew off the end, and landed on the ground. When his dad came over, I tried to explain what happened so he would know why his kid was crying.

    Toni: He went down the slide head first on his tummy, and just ricocheted off. I’m pretty sure he got the wind knocked out of him, but don’t worry, he didn’t fart or anything.
    Dad: Uhhh yeah… thanks…

    Ummm what’s the problem Dad?

    Then there was a mom with her son who was playing near us in the sandbox, and the son wanted to know why dry sand didn’t make good castles. The mom was on the phone, so I decided to help out and give the kid an answer so he would stop interrupting her call.

    Toni: Probably because 98% of the universe is dark matter, which is a substance so complex, the human mind can’t comprehend what it is. This is just one of many questions you will never know the answer to, so you should probably settle into the deep crisis of unknowing because it will help you better deal with the mystery of death.

    At this point, the mom collected her stuff, but not quickly enough to avoid hearing Munch’s follow up statement.

    Munch: When our dog and cat die – can we please get a bunny!?

     

    park-blog-(i)

    April 13, 2015 • Adventures, Mommyhood, Parenting, Playing, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 317

  • Splash Me and I’ll Splash you Back

    After squatting out my child 4 ½ years ago, every single day of my life since, I’ve been a mom. The problem is that I don’t always feel like being a mom. Or maybe more accurately, some days I am better at being a parent than others.

    This is a story about one of those days where I just wasn’t at my best. The night before I had a party, I was tired, and also my lady parts were leaking blood. It was not a good scene – like seriously, it was a murder scene in my pants. My preferred day would have involved a room full of pillows, an opium pipe, and someone reading to me the philosophy off a cereal box while tickling my back.

    Yet as the universe would have it, The Munch wanted to go swimming. Now she has recently learned to swim without “swimmies,” and I wanted to honor her interest in cultivating this new skill. So I agreed to take her, even though I would have rather, I don’t know, covered by body in leaches.

    At first everything was going fine. The Munch was doing a great job, and I was encouraging her efforts. But then, I got kind of bored, so started swimming around myself and going under water. I was still right next to her, but while I was underwater, Munch was momentarily stuck and couldn’t get to the side. She didn’t’ sink or anything, but she needed my help. When I came up to get to get a breath, I grabbed her and all was fine.

    Munch: Mom!!! YOU CAN’T GO UNDER WATER!!!!!!!
    Toni: Munch, if I’m underwater, wait for me to come up and then practice your swimming.
    Munch: NO!! YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WATCH ME SO YOU CAN’T GO UNDERWATER EVER!!
    Toni: Dude, we have been in here for an hour, and I’ve been doing nothing but watch you. Sometimes I want to go under water and have fun swimming too. You have to give me a turn to do that.
    Munch: NO!! YOU ARE NEVER GOING UNDERWATER EVER AGAIN.

    Okay, so I can understand she wanted me to be there for her in case she needed me. Which I WAS!! But I also felt like I needed to have turns practicing I was a mermaid.

    Toni: Listen, we have to communicate better and take turns. I will tell you when I go underwater, and then you wait for me to come back up.

    It felt like a good solution. But then Munch didn’t hear me say I was going underwater, and got SUPER mad when I did it again.

    Munch: I TOLD YOU NEVER TO GO UNDERWATER!!
    Toni: MUNCH! I told you I was going to. You have to pay attention, and let me have turns to swim too.
    Munch: Well I DIDN’T HEAR YOU!

    At this point we were both livid. Munch was mad because she wanted me to pay attention to her, and I was mad because I thought she was being a tyrant.

    Toni: You know what? I can’t just spend my life doing only things for you. Sometimes I want go underwater, and you have to respect that.
    Munch: Fine! If you go underwater, then I’m going to take Molly (the stuffed animal I sleep with), and you will never get her back. I will put Molly where you will NEVER FIND HER!! Then I’m never going to talk to you again.
    Toni: Okay. That’s enough. We’re going to get out of the pool now, and go home.

    This was the point where Munch splashed me. Now we were both already wet, but their was an intention behind the splash. She looked me in the eye, and splashed water in my face. It was a splash that said, “Hey Mom, fuck you!”

    What I did next I am not proud of. But it’s what happened. I splashed her back.

    Munch stomped away, and so did I. We were both seething. She then came over to me and splashed me 10 times while I tried to ignore her.

    Toni: If you splash me one more time, we are going home, and you are going right to bed even though the sun is still out.
    Munch: But I don’t want to go home and go to bed!
    Toni: Well, do you think you have been acting kind?
    Munch: No!
    Toni: Do you think you should apologize for splashing?
    Munch: I think you should apologize for splashing too!!
    Toni: I only splashed you because you splashed me first!
    Munch. MOM! You’re acting like a child.

    Point Munch.

    So then we had to BOTH apologize for splashing. My pride is officially not only swallowed, but also fully digested and has transmuted into shit that will now have to be evacuated.

    splash-blog-(i)

  • Desire Vs Logic

    We don’t always want what’s good for us. Desire in its rawest form comes from a deep primal craving to indulge in the moment – regardless of consequences. Some of the best times of my life were when I abandoned all reason, and allowed myself to succumb fully to my yearnings. But, you also can’t spend every day doing only what pleasures you – like watching 12 hours of documentaries on Ancient Aliens while eating nothing but cookie dough ice cream sandwiches, then doing a bunch of blow off a hooker’s tits before going to club to dance the night away and have sex with a stranger on the bathroom floor. You can get cavities that way.

    The reason why the ability to reason is so important is that it keeps us from spending all our time in a dark void of our longings. When we consider the long-term impact of our decisions, we tend to make better ones. That’s why I only do cocaine off the breasts of young college girls now. See how I’m maturing!?

    Part of the parenting process is monitoring your child’s wants, because they’re still learning how to self-regulate. Sometimes they control themselves and choose not to go to the point of excess. Yet other times they struggle with finding a balance between reasonable pleasure seeking and extreme debauchery.

    Recently, the main fight I have been getting into with The Munch is about screen time. She’s allowed to watch things, but I also have to be the one to create limits. If I were to let her, she would seriously watch cartoons all day. I mean, that would be fine if she was in her early 20’s and taking bong hits – but she’s a child, and it’s just not appropriate behavior.

    On Saturday we had our most major blow out to date. I had let Munch watch the iPad the entire hour drive to my dance rehearsal, and the entire hour drive home. We had a plan that when we got back, we would make chocolate strawberry pancakes. But, once we got in the house, she decided she wanted to finish her show.

    Munch: Mom, I really wanna finish my show. Can I please!!!!???
    Toni: Dude, you said you wanted to make chocolate strawberry pancakes?
    Munch: Well, can you make them while I watch something?
    Toni: No way! You’re not my evil stepmother, and I am not Cinderella. If you want the pancakes, you have to be my little helper.
    Munch: Can I watch something first, and then be your little helper?
    Toni: We aren’t going to have enough time.
    Munch: BUT I REALLY WANT TO WATCH SOMETHING!!
    Toni: You know what? Do you what you want, but I am asking you not to.
    Munch: I’m just going to watch one thing!

    I decided I would let her be the master of her domain and make her own decisions. Partly to see what would happen, and partly because I was sick of saying “no” and then dealing with her incessant efforts to negotiate. One thing is for sure – The Munch would make one hell of a used car salesman.

    Toni: Okay, Munch. It’s time to go to Grandma’s.
    Munch: BUT I DIDN’T GET TO EAT CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY PANCAKES!! WAHHHHAHHHHAHAAA!!
    Toni: Listen. I would have made those with you. But you made a decision to watch something instead – and now we have to go.
    Munch: BUT I WANTED THOSE PANCAKES!! YOU SHOULD HAVE MADE THEM FOR ME!! WAAHHHHAHHAHHAAAAA!!
    Toni: I told you I would make them WITH you, not FOR you. This is the thing. When you choose to watch TV, you are not making any memories. You are just sitting there avoiding boredom.
    Munch: But I HATE being bored!
    Toni: No one likes being bored. But it is through allowing boredom to come, that your imagination is challenged.
    Munch: BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE MADE ME THOSE PANCAKES!!! WAHHHAHHAHAHAA!!
    Toni: Maybe you should have made the choice to make a memory with me, and we could have done that. Every time you choose to be in front of a screen, you aren’t living life.
    Munch: Well I want to bring my iPad to Grandma’s house then.
    Toni: That is not happening.
    Munch: BUT I WANT TO!!! I WANT TO PLAY MY ELMO GAME THERE, AND GRANDMA HAS NO GAMES, AND SHE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THE COMPUTER!
    Toni: Grandma will play games with you. Human to human games. She doesn’t want to watch you play the iPad. Grandma wants to spend actual time with you, and make memories.
    Munch: BUT I WANT TO BRING MY IPAD AND IF YOU DON’T LET ME I’M GOING TO THROW YOUR PILLOWS OUT THE WINDOW, AND BREAK YOUR COMPUTER, AND THROW YOUR PHONE IN THE TOILET, AND NEVER TALK TO YOU AGAIN.
    Toni: Munch, if you were the mom, and your daughter was acting like this – would you let her bring her iPad?
    Munch: No.
    Toni: And do you think you have watched enough things today?
    Munch: Yes.
    Toni: Do you realize that by not letting you watch stuff, I am trying to be a good mom to you?
    Munch: Yes.
    Toni: Do you want me to let you do whatever you want, and be a bad mom?
    Munch: No.
    Toni: Your friend’s don’t watch that much TV, do you think you have watched more than them today?
    Munch: Yes, a lot more.
    Toni: And if your friends are using their imaginations they are going to get smarter right? And if you just watch things, your brain will melt. Do you want your friend’s to get smarter than you?
    Munch: No. I want to be as smart as my friend’s and use my imagination.
    Toni: Okay, so do you understand why I am saying “no, you can’t bring the iPad to grandmas?”
    Munch: BUT I WANT TO BRING THE IPAD TO GRANDMA’S SO I CAN PLAY MY ELMO GAME WAAAHHHHHAAAHHHHHAAAA

    Check out at her inner conflict…

    logic-vs-desire-blog

  • 10 Things My Kid Has Said To Me That I Am So Glad No One Knows About

    Here are some direct quotes from The Munch that has she said to me in private. Thank god no one overheard her, because that would soooo embarrassing!

     

    1. Mom, did you put puke oil on your hair? It smells like puke.
    2. Your face is always stuck in a frown.
    3. It’s so sad you can’t even draw a squirrel good – you really need more practice.
    4. You should probably go to the bathroom because your fart smells like a poop fell out of your butt.
    5. Your clothes aren’t very pretty. You should wear more dresses so people will like you.
    6. I thought you’d know the answer, but I think you’re wrong. I guess there’s a lot you don’t know. Like so much. Did you even do homework?
    7. I’d love you more if you were a stuffed animal.
    8. When you sleep, your face looks all “scrumbily.”
    9. I can see your nanas (boobs). They are so funny.
    10. When I grow up can I live with you? You’ll probably be sad and lonely when you’re old.

    It’s not like your hair is that great either….

    munch-says-blog-(i)

  • I Don’t Really Like Being Around People

    Every family has its own culture. Personality traits pass through generations. Mannerisms and tendencies are preserved through the socialization process from parent to child. This can take on a variety of forms, and each family has its own specific texture. Take for instance the funny family, the family that loves to cook, the science oriented family, the family that lives off the land, and in my case – the hyper judgmental family that hates being around people.

    My whole family is very cagey. We can have our moments of being social – but it is very emotionally taxing, and usually takes us days to recover. Being around a group of people means our brains have to work overtime while we over-analyze, scrutinize, and dissect others. That’s why I’m best with one on one dynamics. I can fully focus on a single person to psychically disembowel. Yet in any crowd setting, I am paralyzed by my unconscious need to evaluate everyone around me. The only context where I enjoy being part of a pack is when I am drunk, and have taken copious amounts of cocaine and ecstasy procured off the dark web – then I am actually quite friendly!

    The Nagy gene of being cripplingly critical has now past down to its youngest member, The Munch Nagy. I didn’t know I was doing this. I didn’t intentionally tell her, “Listen darling, most people suck. So make sure you stare at them, observe their inadequacies, and then show intense disdain on your face as you pick your nose,” yet that seems to be the case any time I take my child out in public.

    The Munch is not interested in most children. She has her few friends, and that is all she needs. Whenever I suggest we go do something “kid oriented,” her usual reaction is to politely decline because “there will probably be other kids there.”

    The other day one of my mom friends and I decided to take our daughter’s to the new “bouncy house” that opened in the area so they could, you know, bounce.

    Munch: Are other children going to be at the bouncy house?
    Toni: Of course – it is a public space.
    Munch: Well I don’t want to go if other kids will be there. I just want it to be Amelia and me.
    Toni: Well, we are going first thing in the morning, so chances are there won’t be too many other kids.
    Munch: If there are too many kids, can we go? Babies are okay if they are zero. But I’m really not into toddlers. They bother me, and they don’t even know their letters.

    don't-like-peopel-blog-(i)

  • I Think I’ll Go Cry About That

    Isn’t it kind of nuts that ocean water pours out of your face when you feel emotions? Although sometimes it feels really good to release liquid out your eyeballs, crying is also a really intense way to express yourself. Have you ever been an argument with someone, just really verbally eviscerating them, but then they start crying so you feel bad and have to stop. That’s the worst! Stop manipulating me with your tears!

    Maybe it’s because I am from New England and believe in things like walking outside in wet socks during freezing temperatures is a good way to build character – but I try to keep my eye-fluid to myself. Crying makes me feel too vulnerable. My body language folds in, my face contorts, and my nose pours like a mucus waterfall. No thank you. If I am going to feel feelings around other people, I prefer indifference and emotional constipation.

    Kids, however, don’t even give a fuck when it comes to crying. They will cry any time, in front of anyone. Tears are their go-to form of expression because they don’t feel the social pressure to hold them in. I respect this period in life because it is the only time where you truly lack the shame of your outbursts. There is something freeing about exposing the underbelly of your emotional self, and preserving that openness is crucial to growing into a well-adjusted adult. The more capable you are of being in touch with your feelings, they less you will be consumed by them.

    However, crying is not the only way to communicate your feelings. There is a performance aspect to lamentation, which does lend itself to wallowing. When you are in a state of weeping, you are not exactly looking for solutions to your problems. Whoever you are with has to be a witness to the tyranny of your tears. Even though I don’t want to be a dictator of expression for my child, I also don’t want her to get into the habit of crying as a default.

    Oftentimes girls are socialized to articulate their discontent through tears because it is expected – and allowed when they are young. Boys are usually told to stop crying, because that threatens their masculinity. The result is that women tend to cry more to communicate, whereas men get angry. The root feelings are the same, yet one manifestation is passive and the other is aggressive. I don’t want my little girl to rely on tears to get through to people.

    When The Munch was young, I noticed that she would kind of indulge in her sadness. If she hurt herself she would cry, which was fine, but then she would stay crying long after the physical pain had subsided. Maybe it was an age thing, but it also made me nervous. I didn’t want her to get into a custom where every time she stubbed her toe it was an opportunity for self-pity. So I came up with a strategy where after I minute of her feeling the pain, I would then re-enact the trauma with one of her toys or dolls. This brought her out of her head, and she would stop crying and instead help choreograph the replaying of the scene. Now when she falls or hurts herself, she barely cries at all.

    Now that The Munch is almost 5, I figured she didn’t have to sob every time she doesn’t get what she wants, or when things don’t work out exactly as planned. So now I have a tactic for dealing with the emotional tantrum. You may think that I am a hardened beast of a woman wearing an apron and walking around with a wooden spoon to beat people with… but I swear it is working. It goes like this.

    Munch: Where are my “My Little Pony” socks?
    Toni: I don’t know. Where ever you last put them.
    Munch: But I don’t know where they are?
    Toni: Well, maybe you could look for them.
    Munch: BUT I WANT MY SOCKS NOW!! I NEED MY “MY LITTLE PONY SOCKS!”
    (Tears start to well up as the outpouring is about to begin).
    Toni: Well, you should probably cry about it.

    The Munch will then look at me with a particular combo of disbelief, rage, and pride. By my suggesting she cry, her ego is like “fuck that.”

    Even though you probably now think I am a MEGA bitch… she doesn’t cry and she goes and finds her damn socks.

    crying-blog-2

     

  • The Smart Phone Vacation

    The world is changing like a newborn’s diaper – shit is moving fast. Every time I step outside my isolated country existence I experience culture shock. I feel like an unfrozen relic of the past, released into the world wearing clogs and a prairie dress, in search of an open fire with spit to roast my meat.

    Last week The Munch and I went on a family vacation, but separately. I believe that is the best kind. Munch went to visit my friend Gita in NYC, and I was off finding my Zen on the azure ocean. I parked my car in New Haven and took the train into the city so I didn’t have to pay $9,000 for parking….which would actually be a pretty good deal for Manhattan.

    When we got on the train in Connecticut, it was filled with people. We squeezed into a seat and settled in. I began staring at the hominids surrounding us, because that is depressingly REALLY exciting for me. I feel like anthropologist out in public or a space traveler. “There are others out there!” That was when I noticed that EVERY SINGLE PERSON WAS ON THEIR PHONE! Even the family across from us – a grandma, grandpa, and two grandkids – were ALL on staring into their iPhones.

    It is not like I don’t also have a deeply meaningful relationship with my phone. I know it’s a problem. Yet living in nature and spending a lot of time in the car inherently means fewer opportunities both because I don’t want to die veering into an oncoming car while tweeting or because I’m outside a lot gazing at trees and shit.

    I can see how the city life would facilitate more times to check your phone, but my train observation was disturbing none the less.

    When I got to JFK for my flight, I found myself suddenly surrounded by drunk college kids. If you ever every want to question the direction of humanity and find yourself in a deep dark abyss of hate, I highly suggest going to the airport during the week of SRING BREAK!

    Okay, fine Toni. I shouldn’t be such a judgmental curmudgeon about young people having some fun. That is until the self-sticks got broken out.

    In case you have yet to experience or witness a selfie stick, it’s a stick that helps you take better selfies so your arm doesn’t look fat and ruin the picture. They were everywhere. The really weird part was how shamelessly everyone used them. They weren’t taking secret selfies in a room pretending a friend was there and just DYING to take a picture. They were brazenly using them in public. Like it was TOTALLY okay to be your own paparazzi.

    I was in another country, not only taking a vacation from life but also from my phone. I kept my phone off out of fear of getting charged a gagillion dollars for international texts. In retrospect, the break from my phone was one of the best parts of my time away. It forced me to be in the moment. I took long walks on the beach, soaked in the sun and connected to the sounds of the ocean waves but seriously, everyone on the beach was looking at a screen. It was staggering. The selfie stick followed me throughout the week, as people documented themselves rather than the beauty around them.

    I am not being self-righteous, okay! I am not perfect and have an obsession with my phone too. But you guys, we have to keep each other accountable. We need phone curfews. Or time limits. We need an app that says “get off your fucking phone and look up!”

    When Munch and I took the train back to New Haven, once again we were the only people not looking at our phones. Not to say we don’t have our battles with “screen time” because we do, but the train is still exciting for us. Munch was looking out the window and playing with Alpaca erasers that Gita had given her. She made up songs and occasionally made me play big sister who won’t let the pink Alpaca wear the princess dress and wants to eat all the chocolate (a pretty awesome game, I might add). A woman walked by us and said “wow, she has such an active imagination!” I wanted to fucking weep. Isn’t this what childhood is supposed to be? When we pacify our kids with media to prevent boredom, they don’t have to work their brains to make up insane Alpaca eraser games.

    The Alpacas got us talking about the animal kingdom.

    Munch: Can we go see some dinosaurs next time we go to New York City?
    Toni: Munch, dinosaurs are extinct.
    Munch: What does extinct mean?
    Toni: It means there are no more left. They all died.
    Munch: Are other animals extinct?
    Toni: Yes. A lot. And more animals become extinct every day.
    Munch: Why?
    Toni: Because people are cutting down the forests, and the animals get killed.
    Munch: Why would any one do that?! WHY WOULD ANY ONE KILL ANIMALS!
    Toni: Because they want to sell the wood for money. OR they want to graze cows for money? Basically to make money.
    Munch: The ANIMALS LIVE IN THE FOREST! What can we do to stop them?
    Toni: I don’t know.
    Munch: We have to call the police. And the police would stop all the bad people from killing the animals!!!!
    Toni: That is a really good plan.
    Munch: How many animals are left? How many leopards are left?
    Toni: I don’t know… maybe a few thousand?
    Munch: WHY ARE THE PEOPLE KILLING THE ANIMALS!?

    A man that was sitting behind us then interrupted our conversation.

    Man: There are actually 34 leopards left in the wild. I am sorry to bother you, but I was eavesdropping and then had to know how many were actually left.
    Toni: Thank god you had your phone and stopped me from spreading disinformation to my child.
    Munch: 34 is way less than thousands mom.

    phones-suck-blog

  • An Inappropriate Story

    Gather around for inappropriate story time!

    The other day I had to take a shower, and The Munch said she wanted to take one too. We were pressed for time, so we decided to just take one together.

    Now, my child is 3 feet tall and my legs are about 3 feet long. That means her eye level is exactly at my pelvis.

    In the midst of the shower, she turned around to face me.

    Munch: Mom, are you peeing?
    Toni: No – that’s just water.
    Munch: Oh.

    The Munch then took her hands, and cupped my crotch water. She gathered the water as it cascaded off my hair, like one would off a waterfall.

    inappropriate-story-blog

    March 19, 2015 • 4 years old, Mommyhood, Parenting, Talking and Not Talking • Views: 249

  • Are You Lying To Me?

    Lying is one of those things that everybody pretends not to do. It isn’t exactly an attractive thing to admit about yourself. “Hey, I’m Toni – I make a mean batch of organic kale chips, love walking barefoot on muddy grass, and I lie all the time. I don’t even like kale anymore. I am into Swiss chard now.”

    Most people lie about lying so no one thinks they’re a big fat liar.

    I don’t think lying comes from an evil place, but rather a selfish one. You lie because you don’t want to deal with the consequences of your actions. In the short term it feels easier because you get to do what you want, but in the long term it’s more stressful because you have to carry the burden of your lies. Plus, you also have to remember them. There is nothing more annoying then someone who lies to you, and then forgets their lie. It’s like, “Uhhh at least have the decency to keep track of your lies.”

    Sometimes people lie because they don’t like who they are. They exaggerate and decorate details so they will be more likable. I had a friend who lied about her entire identity. She would tell people she was from London, had a fake accent, and an entire story about the British family she never had. I once called and she answered, “Hello love, I just spent 6 quid on a sandwich” and I was like “Naw man, I know the other version of you,” and she was all, “Right. I forgot.”

    The problem with lying is that if you get caught, people tend to stop trusting you. When that bond is broken, it is really hard to repair. Even if you can have empathy for why someone may have lied – to spare your feelings or anger – that doesn’t mean the feeling of betrayal goes away.

    Part of my job as a parent is to teach The Munch these lessons of morality so she doesn’t grow up to be an asshole that no one likes. Now that she is 4, The Munch is becoming aware of the concept of lying. It is part of human development to recognize that you can concoct an alternate reality, and experiment with lying. So far, she really sucks – it is pretty obvious she didn’t actually brush her teeth when her breath smells like chips.

    I have come to expect there will be times The Munch tests lying as a strategy of manipulation. The question then becomes, how do I react when it happens? One method would be to shame her, and make her feel super guilty. Considering my Catholic grandmother helped raise me, I learned how to do that from the best! Yet if I make her feel intensely embarrassed about lying, then she will feel even stronger that she has to hold onto her lie. She would never admit to lying because she would be too afraid to come clean, which would only lead to more lies!

    I figured the best way to get Munch not lie, was to make her feel comfortable telling me if she did. So if I suspected her, I would just ask, “are you being sneaky?” and she would then reply “yes!” Rather than getting mad, I just reminded her that people won’t trust her if she lies. After a few weeks, she stopped altogether. I was like “Check me out. I did it. I won parenting.”

    THEN… we went to Target to get some art supplies.

    Toni: Munch let’s get these crayons. There are so many colors! AND the box has a sharpener you can use on your old crayons!

    I used to love new boxes of crayons so I was irrationally excited, and kept asking her, “Aren’t you happy with these new crayons!? There are so many to choose from.”

    The next day The Munch wanted to color, but I couldn’t find her new crayons.

    Toni: Where are your new crayons?
    Munch: I don’t know? Let’s just use my old ones.
    Toni: Okay, but where are your new ones? They were right here. We were just using them yesterday?
    Munch: No idea. Let’s just use the old ones.
    Toni: Yeah alright – it’s just so weird. They didn’t get up and walk away.
    Munch: They sure didn’t.

    I figured I must have done something with them in a manic fit of cleaning, and let it go. The next day when she wanted to color, I still couldn’t find them. I tore up the house searching everywhere. Then finally I looked under the couch, and found them.

    Toni: There they are!
    Munch: I know! I hid them there!
    Toni: You hid them? You were being sneaky this whole time??!
    Munch: Yup!
    Toni: Why?! Why didn’t you tell me when I was looking for them?
    Munch: Because you liked them so much, and all you wanted to do was talk about the new crayons.

    So I guess I am no longer just raising a sneaky liar, but also a total sociopath.

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