The B.S. Meter

25/Oct/2010

Our kids motley crew

It’s in their genes. The minute a baby cry is heard and a man becomes a Dad, the gene “give your child a ton of shit” is activated. It’s fact, Dads all over the world will suddenly say lines like, “If you eat toothpaste, your butt will fall off.” And, “That makes hair grow on your chest.” And, “Stop it goddammit! You’ll fall through the floor!”

You might think shit my dad says is a hilarious exaggeration, but I can assure you, it’s shit every dad says.

Well, my dad, my father-in-law and my husband at least.

I don’t know about your Dad. Maybe he wasn’t an asshole. Or maybe he just didn’t train your B.S. Meter appropriately.

Once, after our daughter asked why the grass was the only area with fog in the morning, my husband looked her in the eye and said, “The grass inhales all day and only exhales at night. So in the morning you see the grass morning breath.” She looked at me, these big trusting blue eyes, wanting some reassurance. “What do you think?” I asked her. It is in this moment I flashed immediately back to my own childhood hearing my dad hand me some line of crap answer and my very own mother reply “What do you think?” I would look back at my dad who would be shaking in silent laughter gleeful at the gullibility of his young daughter.

My husband calls it the BS Meter. “Look,” he whispered one night over the dinner table after telling our children their food turns in to worms at night so if they don’t eat it, the worms will crawl up to their rooms later and poop on their bed, “They have to learn to distinguish between fact and fiction. I’m simply giving them a meter with which to gauge life’s bullshit on.”

You have to admit, it’s a good argument.

So while my trusting adorable children may think the Tooth Fairy totally dropped the ball on hitting our house because, “It was windy and her wings are made of paper mâché, and honey, paper mâché just doesn’t stand up to that kind of gust,” at least in a few years she’ll be able to look some person in the eye and aptly call bullshit on them.

That’s our hope, anyway.

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