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How to use your child as a scapegoat

Hi, my name is Matt, I’m a Stay at Home Dad and sometimes I use my two-year-old child as a scapegoat.

Sometimes I do it without even knowing I’m doing it, other times it’s an elaborate sting devised to keep me from the dog house, but mostly I just do it because I can. Max is armed with a 20-word vocabulary and “Daddy is a Big Fat Liar” is not a part of his repertoire … yet.

There are the innocuous little white lies; these are the best type because the reward to guilt ratio is quite high.

Darling Wife “I made an entire batch of savoury muffins this morning why is there only one and a half left”

Me “It must be your baking darling. Max couldn’t get enough of them. I’ve never seen him like that he just kept on going he was like a machine!”

Gullible Wife “They were quite good I suppose. I’ll whip some more up for him tomorrow.”

Me “Superb, he’ll be delighted, he seemed to gesture that they might benefit from a bit more cheese, best keep the boy happy”.

There are the lies that enable you to save face during social gatherings.

Long Suffering Friends “Urgh what is that smell?”

Me “Max has an upset tummy and a little bit of wind I’m afraid. I was up nursing him all night. I hope he gets better soon because that sure does stink!”

Gullible Friends “Poor Max I hope you get better soon. And you are such a great Dad for sitting up with him all night”

Me “I try my best” 

Then there are the slightly more serious lies that are teetering on the edge of unethical.

Swept up in the excitement of the park I accidently knocked a toddler over causing them to scream, cry and generally give the impression they had been assaulted. The parent came running over to see what had happened to their little precious.

Me “Sorry about that, my little boy gave her a shove when she pulled his hair and she took a tumble. I am trying to teach him to turn the other cheek but sometimes in the face of such provocation it’s a little bit difficult”.

Slightly Embarrassed Parent “I am very sorry, she does have a bit of a temper on her. Jemima go and say sorry to the little boy”

Me “He’ll be okay. There are some great books out there for dealing with angry children that you might want to have a look at”.

I’m not proud of any of these lies; well actually the one at the park did show very quick thinking. I am working hard to overcome this problem, partly because I know it’s wrong to lie and that I should be setting a good example to my son, but also because his vocabulary is growing by the day and it won’t be long until “Daddy is a Big Fat Liar” is an achievable sentence.

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