Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sometimes it is Ok to lie to your kids. This truth stuff is overrated!

Sometimes, I am starting to think, it is ok to lie to your kids. Usually, I am very honest and open with mine, but recently something has come up wherein not only will my poor son possibly be scarred for life, but it has made me re-evaluate this whole "truth" stuff.

Where I live, the weather has been hot. I mean HOT with a capital H.O.T. The TV weather people have been saying it has been around 105 degrees. But, what they really mean is, it is more like 175.

I am very pale and always have been. I go from white to pink and then fade back to white. I rarely have a tan as I work all day in an office and I hate being in the heat. I would rather do just about anything than have to suffer outside when it gets hotter than 85 degrees. The bad part is, I am pale and there is a very real possibility that I might glow in the dark. The worst part is, I want to wear shorts, but I don't want to blind the neighbors.

I don't really mind being pale as it means I haven't spent my time being hot. But, with the weather being so awful, I have been getting sunburned way more than I should. This got me to thinking: How could I get some color and spend the least amount of time in the heat? Awww, yes, indoor tanning. (Side note: I am not promoting indoor tanning, just saying I have gone a few times and might go a few more. I know the risks and have decided to try a few anyway.)

When you tan indoors, you can either wear a bathing suit or go, ummm, nooodie. I choose the latter. My kids have been going with me to the tanning salon, but they stay out in the lobby area and have no idea what is behind that door I disappear through.

Once behind the little door, you get down to whatever you want to wear, or not wear, lie in the tanning bed, push the start button, and wha-laa, insta-tan! It seems to be working for me as I am usually a shade of bright white, but now am more of a cream color.

Well, let's get back to why I have been rethinking my position on telling kids the truth. Yesterday, my son and I were running some errands, I went tanning, and then we stopped in at a pizza place to get a pizza to go.

I was flipping through a magazine when I noticed my son had a very serious look on his face. He was looking at my feet and my arms when he asked me, "Mom, when you tan, how does it get through your clothes?"

Me: "Ummm, how does WHAT get through your clothes?" I asked still looking at the magazine.

Son: "You know, the tan rays? When you go in that room and come out with a tan, how do they get through your clothes?" He was serious.

Me: Humm, I guess I never told him about this and didn't really want to discuss it in a pizza place, so I just kind of nonchalantly said, "They don't go through your clothes." Then I went back to pretending to read my magazine and hoping he wouldn't press the issue any further. He pressed.

Son: "If they don't go through your clothes, then how does the tan get on your skin and not just your feet?"

Me: Thinking he is never going to drop this until I tell him thought, "Ohhhh, crud," while fidgeting with my collar, and bracelet, and not making eye contact.

Son, "Well?" he said still waiting...

Me: "Well, ummm, when I get in the tanning bed, I, ummmm, well, ummmm, I don't wear any clothes."

He was speechless and shocked! His mouth literally dropped open. He couldn't talk. He just sat there, mouth to the floor, totally grossed-out. I think he had a visual of his mom lying there with no clothes on and I am sure he wanted to get some soap and scrub that image right out of his brain. Poor kid.

He thought about this for a short while, but I think he thought I was kidding because he said, "No. Really. You HAVE to wear clothes. You are a mom and moms wear clothes! Now, how does it REALLY get through them?"

Me: Gawd, where is my pizza? Can this pizza cook any slower? "Well, ummm, son, ummmm, no, not while tanning. Most of us go noodie." I thought that by saying noodie instead of nude, it would have lessened the gross out factor, but judging by my son's face, I don't think it helped.

Son: "Riiiiight mom. That's a good one. No clothes. Uh-huh. Sure. Right."

Ding! "Order number 20..." Whoohoo! Our pizza was ready and I was saved by the bell.

My son asked me again in the car and I again told him. He still didn't believe me, but I bet he is going to use the industrial size bottle of soap on his brain tonight. Poor kid. Dang, I am thinking this is one of those times I should have lied.
2008 (c) Cindy Breninger
All Rights Reserved.