Don’t Blame Me….The Kids Did It!

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blameMy husband came home from a business trip recently. On his usual Saturday morning routine of picking up after the slobs that he apparently left behind (us), he noticed some sticky, shiny, icky goo on our couch. “This isn’t coming off. She (our daughter) can’t eat that candy again.” 

I know the spot that he is referring to immediately. My daughter had been eating that oozing sour gel liquid candy, and my husband assumed the mess on the couch was from that. Except, it wasn’t candy – and it was not from our daughter. The spot in question was clear nail polish that I spilled on the couch. 

At the time it happened, I tried to remove it, but I wasn’t fully successful. I headed over to my husband as he was scrubbing and played dumb a bit….”Eww…that is gross.” Never once did he realize it was actually nail polish. And never once did I tell him the truth.

Obviously, I should know better than to balance the nail polish on a notebook on the couch while working on my laptop. I hid the truth, though, as I’d get in more “trouble” than my daughter would. OK, not real trouble, but I sort of didn’t want to deal with the argument, ya know?  I let it be, and as a result, let my nine-year-old daughter take the blame for something that I did.  

She had been eating the candy on the couch, so that she could have potentially been the culprit. My husband said to our daughter that she isn’t allowed to have the candy anymore because it made a mess on the couch. She looked at him, possibly grunted a bit, said, “I’m sorry,” and walked away.

The Occasional White Lie

As I thought about it, there may have been a few other situations where I’ve withheld the truth from my other half to escape any responsibility of my own.

  • Whenever I get the urge to buy a little something for myself, the easiest route is Target. He isn’t going to check the receipt, but when we get the bill, he may say, “Wow, hon, why is the Target charge so high?” I’ll respond with something like, “Man, your kids had lots of needs! They were hungry, needed snacks for school, new undies, and socks, and oh so much other stuff!” He won’t figure out that I bought a new lipstick and that cute sweater that I’ve been eyeing. So like many other things in life, Target is the answer.
  • My husband is pretty much the only person in this household with any willpower for candy. Each year on Halloween, he’ll take a stash of candy and hide it away for when he needs a treat. Little by little, that secret stash, which is never hidden that well in the first place, disappears when he goes for it. Moi? No way. It must be the kids…
  • Or when I’ve come home from the supermarket with unnecessary treats. “That wasn’t me – your daughter must have thrown those cinnamon rolls in the cart when I wasn’t looking.”
  • Somehow over the few years, we’ve lost 4 of our 8 “good” spoons. It’s never been proven who the culprit was – but it was most definitely one of our adorable spawn. In reality, this is impossible because that would entail them cleaning up their stuff off the table. And…considering I just spent some time digging through our dirty garbage to find a spoon that I somehow realized I chucked by accident…I think the mystery of “whodunit” is solved.
  • Broken Charger Cords….this one. I am always faulting the children and their iPads, but I sort of believe it’s really me who breaks them. Take responsibility, though? Um, no.

So, yea, the kids are the scapegoat sometimes. Throw those kids under the bus when all else fails. I know what you’re thinking – but please, they blame ME for everything (cause everything is always mom’s fault, right?) – so just giving them a little taste of their own medicine. Admit it. Who hasn’t pointed the finger towards the kids for at least half of these?

  • Messy house
  • Who left the milk out?
  • Who didn’t close the fridge?
  • Anything broke or lost.
  • Toilet paper finished and not refilled
  • Who finished the ice cream?
  • Left the TV on
  • Arriving late to an event and leaving early from an event (or missing it entirely!)

Obviously, I’m making my husband look like a money hoarding control freak ogre – and me a bit irresponsible, dishonest, and lazy. He really isn’t, but he seems to need to know the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of a situation. And me? Hmm…well, I’m not irresponsible…   Plus, my oldest is 13 – that’s at least 4,745 days of parenthood, not counting leap days. Even if I purposely let a kid or two take the blame 25 times in their lifetime so far, that’s .5%, which has to be statistically insignificant. Just a little data before you crucify me as a terrible parent, all while dialing child services to call me out on emotional abuse.

Is My Mom Village Guilty Too?

I knew that I couldn’t be alone in this. To prove my theory, I did a little crowdsourcing. Initials give credit to my source, but at the same time, protects them from being fully outed:

  • I was in a store once and knocked something breakable off a shelf, then loudly admonished my kids, “I told you not to touch anything!” (RH)
  • Ever bolt from the bathroom to grab the phone, burning pot, fighting siblings, and forget to go back and flush? Just sayin’… (SS)
  • I knocked over a cup of water onto a DVD player. My husband gets so mad at me, leaving cups of liquids around, lol. Yep I just let it go when he mentioned it was probably the 7-year-old (ML)
  • And then there was my own mommy, who said..…”Never haha” (JL) (Not sure if that means she’s a better mama than me – or that she vilified my sister and me for lots of stuff too!)

It doesn’t even have to be your own kids:

  • I was with some Girl Scouts tonight – not my own girl – and we were giggling and being silly and were shushed loudly by a man who was annoyed with us, and I didn’t miss a beat as I immediately turned and pointed to them as the culprits. I am not going down alone. (RD)

And we can stretch the truth TO the kids as well:

  • I ate the rest of my son’s birthday cake ice cream. When he asked who did it, I blamed it on his lactose intolerant father! Hahahahaaaa… (DM)

There is a Method to My Madness

For those of you who would like to try this approach at home, my number one piece of advice is to know what may make your partner tick. Otherwise, this may not be easy to pull off. It’s all about strategy. 

  • This way, you can fess up as necessary, but keep your mouth shut if you know he/she might throw a hissy fit at you (i.e., nail polish on the couch). 
  • And at the same time, you have to learn when he/she would let the kids slide (i.e., candy goop on the couch).  

In all seriousness, if there were anything that would really put my husband in a tizzy, of course, I would fess up. In general, though, the kids can get away with things that I can’t.  One reason is that I’m an adult, and I should “know better.” The reality is that the kids are a heck of a lot cuter than I am. Plus – I’m pretty sure he likes them better than he likes me!

Luckily, my kids rarely realize that they’ve been thrown under the bus. Cause it might hurt their confidence and self-esteem to be thought of as smelly, irresponsible, lazy, greedy, sloppy, hungry, clumsy, and noisy! Though, if they do catch on, I may be able to sell this as a life lesson in disguise. When they become adults, they’ll sadly get blamed for all sorts of stuff that they didn’t do – whether it be at work or in social settings – or even in society in general. And the “bad” guy won’t be their loving mama…

As we know, there’s so much that goes into raising a child. Some of it is fun, amazing, and loving. Some laborious and challenging. And some heartbreaking. So taking a hit for mom on occasion is just a small payment for services rendered. Thanks kids!

Have you ever blamed the kids? Let us know in the comments!

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Melissa is a Bronx native who moved to Westchester County after she and her high school sweetheart got hitched in 1997. She and her husband live in Mount Kisco with their son Corey (2004) and daughter Mia (2007). Melissa spent many years working in Human Resources and currently works in enrollment and marketing for a child care organization. Melissa is a two-time survivor of Postpartum OCD. She initially became interested in writing to raise awareness for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders but has discovered that writing is a newfound aspect of her life that she thoroughly enjoys. Melissa is excited to write with the Westchester County Mom team and hopes you’ll enjoy her stories of the trials and tribulations of a born-n-raised city girl raising teenagers growing up here in Westchester.