We Took Grandpa to Go Live On a Farm

Sep 17th, 2012 | By | Category: Columns

I’m certain being a parent isn’t easy. I myself am anxious for the day when I cross into the realm of fatherhood and have to explain to authorities why my six year old is repaving the driveway, and why an infant is doing some light roofing. (I’d like to say this would never happen but times could be tough.) Naturally, the main aspect of parenting is being able to keep the little rugrat in check throughout various disciplinary means. The hope being that this sculpts them into a productive member of society so they avoid becoming a forty year old schizo with a freezer full of beheaded cats.

Unfortunately, prior to the age of sixteen, most children can’t be reasoned with, as they don’t understand that their Halloween costume isn’t exactly every day wear. (If you’re one of those “Don’t stifle my kid’s creativity types,” you need a swift backhand.) So, parents resort to flat out lying. Those lies are never simple things like: “Eat your vegetables and you can have ice cream.” or “of course you’re not an accident.” These lies could, for all intents and purposes, emotionally scar the child, but, because it’s “nonviolent” it’s acceptable.

“If you don’t stop your whining/fighting, I’m turning this car around and NOBODY will be going to the zoo/park/hospital.” – The threat here is that the parent is going to deny a hyperactive child the joy of something they’ve had their widdle heart set on since they woke up from nap time earlier that day. The truth of the matter is, after everything a parent has to go through in order to get the little snot-swallower ready, he/she  isn’t going to simply turn around. They know they’re going to have to put up with an even brattier child, who upon returning home, miraculously loses the ability to use his/her body, and transforms into a sentient paperweight as they have to be dragged into the house.

“If you don’t stop acting up, I’m calling Santa!” – Admittedly, this worked on me until I was twenty-three, simply because the allure of merrily wrapped presents as a reward for simply not murdering anybody was too great and it numbed the whole “common sense” thing. We all know who Santa is; big jolly fat guy with a love of cookies, milk, and abusing animals. He’s a legend, an icon….so why did we believe that our parents had him on speed dial? The man is working year round and gets up-to- the-minute reports about children all across the world as their naughty and nice actions are tallied until the big game. He has millions of other things on his mind, why should he care at that particular moment that little Johnny vehemently protested taking a bath?

“If you keep making that face it’ll stay like that!” – The downfall with this one? You’re trying to scare the child into not doing something they legitimately enjoy. Kids, and some adults, enjoy making idiotic faces for no reason other than it being extremely funny.  This will actually backfire as the kid locks in the look, and after about three to five minutes will claim that their face is actually frozen. There are a few factors at play here that will determine just how long they will hold that look:

    1.      Their attention span: if they get easily distracted by anything that moves, you should rid them of the look by feigning to throw some shiny object towards a wall, and watch as they run face first into it trying to catch it.
    2.      If the family is attending some sort of function, the amount of time the face is held is directly proportional to how long the child would be forced to sit there staring in one direction. Plus side, if this is in Church, you can inform the priest the child is demonically possessed, and can get a large chunk of your Sunday afternoon back as the child is whisked away for an exorcism.

Now, not all of the lies told to children are meant to scare them into behaving, some are actually employed to boost the child’s confidence and is seen as a type of positive reinforcement. Reason being, they don’t fully understand the notion that everything they do isn’t sweet, cute, or awesome, and to tell them the truth would result in them bawling their eyes out. So, to spare their feelings, little white lies are concocted to spare them the truth they’d be unable to grasp.

“Sweetie! That’s the prettiest (noun) I’ve ever seen!” – Now, I’m not an art critic, and I couldn’t draw a stick figure to save my life, but even I know that a round scribble with two oddly place triangles and is colored purple is not an accurate depiction of how their mother looks…not even on her worse day. It may be taken so far as to actually hang the “drawing” on the fridge, but soon, it’s quickly covered by Pizza Hut coupons and Chinese takeout menus, and isn’t discovered again until the very same child is set to graduate college.

“Daddy’s leaving has nothing to do with you, and we both still love you very much.” – Yea, because he constantly loved seeing his work documents used as scrap paper, boogers wiped on his car’s leather seats,  play-doh stuffed in his shoes and forced to sit there and listen to “Dora the Explorer” videos playing on a constant loop. I suppose the plus side that can be taken from this is that Daddy-o didn’t go all Chris Benoit on everyone in the house.

Clearly in order to be a successful parent, one needs to have an arsenal of lies to tell to impressionable children as anything is bound to work on an individual who believes that a monster is lurking in their closet, waiting for a chance to suck the marrow from their bones. Unfortunately,  the squishy bags of meat that I’m responsible for spawning, will pick up on all the obnoxious, sarcastic, and all around dick-headed things I do when I’m forced to interact with people I’m not related to/ fond of. Rolling their eyes and sucking their teeth would be something easy to deal with, I have no doubt that I’m going to lose a battle of wits with my child by the time they turn eight


Chris hates anyone or anything which goes against how he feels a sentient being with more than three brain cells should act. He hopes to use his “Encyclopedia Douchebag…ica” as a springboard into becoming a full-fledged, tax exempt religion complete with holidays and greeting cards, mainly so he can steal from its coffers. His hopes are…not that high, knowing that those who needs his guidance most, are unable to read his words… what with the extra flesh from their sloped, ape-like foreheads blinding their eyes from the truth.

When not acting like a complete bastard (which is not very often), Chris writes about all things video game related on his blog iNOOBriated, and his Twitter. He also offers his services as a freelancer for Beckett’s Massive Online Gamer. Yep, he’s a neeeeeerd.

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