My daughter has come upstairs to show me a drawing she’s made. I’m working at home today, and in the midst of a work call. I ask, “Can you hold on for just a minute?” put the phone on mute and turn to my 7-year-old.
“That’s really cool,” I say. “Now I need to get back on this call!”
Only she’s not finished discussing her masterpiece.
“Mommy, do you like the colors?”
“Yes!” I say. “They’re beautiful!”
“Mommy, can you tell I made diamond shapes?” she asks.
“Yes!” I say, and then, trying hard not to sound desperate, “Honey, can you go back downstairs and make a picture just for me?”
I am so faking it right now.
Mercifully, she turns and heads back downstairs, and I get back on the call.
This is parenthood, juggling the realities of life with your child’s needs — and sometimes having to pretend to be into something when you’re not able to (or you’re just not interested). I faked it for an entire year my kids were in a Doodlebops phase, singing and clapping along with the songs as we watched even though they made me want to run screaming down the street.
These are the ways I’ve faked it as a parent. I suspect I am not alone here.
Mom fake-out #1: Expressing awe when your child does magic tricks 1 of 8Child: "Mommy! Look! Are you watching? I'm going to put a nickel in this bag! And then I'm going to shake it! Are you watching me?"
Child: "Now I'm shaking it and shaking it! And when I put my hand in the bag, the nickel isn't there! See? My hand is in the bag and I don't really feel the nickel!"
You, with as much enthusiasm as you can muster: "Wow! That's magic!"
Mom fake-out #2: Refusing to admit you’ve sneak-checked your email 2 of 8Child: "MOMMY! You were looking at your phone and not listening to me!"
You: "Oh, honey, I was listening!"
Child: "No, you were looking at your phone!"
You: "I thought I saw some dirt on it! Now, what were you saying again, sweetie?"
Photo credit: flickr/William Hook
Mom fake-out #3: Staying calm when you’re asked to read the book for the 87th time 3 of 8Child: "Can we read Curious George Rides A Bike?"
You: "You know, we've read that book a lot! Isn't there another book you would like to read?"
You: "Are you sure?"
Child: "Curious George Rides A Bike!"
You: [Stricken with longing for your single days, you ploddingly read the book.]
Photo credit: barnesandnoble.com
Mom fake-out #4: When you realized you missed the memo 4 of 8Child: "Mommy, today was color day at school and everyone wore their tie-dyed shirts! Why didn't you tell me?"
You, realizing you never read the memo the teacher sent home: "Oh, honey, I forgot! I'm sorry!"
Photo credit: flickr/Michael Cory
Mom fake-out #5: Repressing a snort when your child wails over some perceived injustice committed by a sibling 5 of 8Child: "He was LOOKING at me!"
You: "Oh, come on, your brother wasn't doing anything."
Child: "No, Mommy, really, HE WAS LOOKING AT ME."
You, trying so hard not to roll your eyes: "OK, go sit in another room so he can't look at you."
Photo credit: flickr/dawnhops
Mom fake-out #6: Pretending to listen to your mother-in-law’s parenting advice 6 of 8MIL: "You know, it's not good when you let the kids stay up later than bedtime on Friday night."
MIL: "It really disrupts their schedule!"
MIL: "Trust me, I know what I'm talking about!"
Photo credit: flickr/jwinfred
Mom fake-out #7: When your child walks in on you two in the middle of the night 7 of 8Child: [Standing in dark and staring]
You, naked and with much conviction: "Mommy and Daddy were just hugging loudly. Now go back to bed!"
Photo credit: flickr/jabberwocky381
Mom fake-out #8: Not losing it when you have to deal with some ridiculous school project 8 of 8Child: "Oh, Mommy, I forgot to tell you, we have to tape 100 things to cardboard tomorrow, to celebrate 100 days of school!"
You, trying not to let your panic show: "That's interesting!"
Child: "What should I do?"
You, with no clue: "Honey, use your imagination!"
[Spend rest of evening gluing 100 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish to big piece of cardboard.]
Photo credit: flickr/Old Shoe Woman
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