Parenting

The Art of Lying to Your Kids About Boo Boos

My daughter had a pretty rough week last week. First, she picked at an ingrown toenail until it became infected and needed to go to the doctor for antibiotics. Then she ran crying into our room in the middle of the night after waking up from a nightmare, tripped over a startled cat and went face first into our bed frame. She's perfectly OK, but she's sporting a black eye bigger than every bruise I picked up in my brief professional wrestling career combined.

Luckily I'm married to a nurse so rather than flapping my arms and screaming "Oh God Oh God My Baby" like an idiot I am carefully controlled and dispatched to fetch disinfectants, bandages, ointments, creams, ice packs, medicines, towels, cotton balls, lotions, and comfort objects from the plush obelisk in my daughter's room. Every bump and boo boo in my home is treated with the same calm, professional care you would receive in a hospital if you happened to work in a hospital where the staff all wore Doctor Who T-shirts.

There is one drawback to this approach, though, and it's that there's not a lot of lying involved because my wife is all like, "SCIENCE!". Let me tell you something; lying is awesome. Seriously, lying is the basis of everything good humanity has ever come up with. To lie is to imagine, and the ability to imagine a world that isn't but that could be is literally what makes us human. Lying is magic, and if done right lying will make your life a lot easier for a kid in pain.

My first example is in the form of a question; does it hurt to pour hydrogen peroxide on an open wound? The answer is yes, and also no.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner