This morning as we were driving up to our church, Noah, in a panicked voice said, "Mommy, the Christmas tree is going to catch on fire!" I looked over at the huge Christmas tree in front of our church to see if there was any signs of fire. None. "They haven't taken it down yet and it is going to catch the church on fire!" It all came back to me...
It was the day after Christmas and Ricky and I were ready to "De-Christmas" our house. As we began to take the decorations off our tree, both of our toddlers started into a full-blown melt down, "Why do we have to take down the tree?" "But, why can't it be Christmas forever?" "NOOOOO, don't take down the decorations." "Waaaaaaaaaa!" "It IS still Christmas!" You get the picture. I was in cleaning mode and did not have time to console whiny, angry, tantrum throwing children. So, I did what I had to do. I asked them, "Do you want our whole house along with all of your new toys to catch on fire?" Immediately they stopped their whining and stared at me wide-eyed. "Yup, if we leave the Christmas tree up, it will dry up and catch on fire and then our house will burn down with all your stuff in it. That's why we have to take it down." Both kids, quickly began to help us take the ornaments off the tree and place them into the storage bins.
You see what I mean? I did what I had to do at the moment to maintain peace and get on with my day. Little did I know that 2 weeks later, my son would remember my vivid description of our house burning down due to a tree that was left up too long. So, this morning when he was worried about the tree at our church catching on fire, I was caught a little off guard. Then, I remembered that I was the reason he would think that and now had to figure out a way for him not to tell that to anyone at the church lest they think I am a horrible mommy who scares her kids to death.
While I'm confessing my exaggerations, here are some more...
To stop the melt down that was occurring because we were not being able to go to see the animals at an animal shelter type place, I told my kids that a tiger bit a man's hand and we couldn't go because the tiger might bite them too. (In my defense, this was semi-true. One of the trainers had been bit by a cougar that day).
To get them to eat their food at a restaurant, I pointed out a police man in uniform sitting near us and let my kids know that he would take them to jail if they did not eat all their food. They ate quickly and quietly.
I have many others that involve junk food causing worms in their stomachs to not holding my hand in the parking lot resulting in a smashed head. Like I said, you do whatcha gotta do. I may be a little dramatic but hey, it works...as long as they don't repeat it!