Mar 312012
 March 31, 2012  parenting

Have you ever taught your innocent, doe-eyed child something that was just flat out wrong? I’m not talking about something immoral or unwise (such as eating raw cookie dough – oops!) That’s a topic for another post.

I’m talking about something just plain factually wrong. No arguments. No philosophical discussion. Just plain wrong.

I had this moment recently. For some reason, I had taught my sweet child, who accepts whatever I tell him as the Truth, that the objects below were maracas. Yes, that’s right: maracas, when in fact, as most of you already have realized, they are castanets.

These are not maracas.

We persisted in our error until one of my little Monkey’s aunties gave him some actual maracas. I had a moment of panic. Now what? How would he take it when I called his new toys “maracas,” too?

Luckily, my little boy has come to accept ambiguity as part of life – after all, sometimes it’s okay to put food in your mouth (when it’s on your plate) and sometimes not (when it’s been on the floor for a few days). Sometimes it’s okay to stand on the table (when Mommy isn’t paying attention) and sometimes it’s not (when Mommy notices).  Sometimes his favorite drink is called “juice” (when talking with Mommy), and sometimes it’s called “jugo” (when talking with Daddy). So why not two different toys called maracas?

These are maracas.

So accepting the “new” maracas was not a problem, although he still calls the “old” maracas by the same name, despite by best efforts at re-branding. I had more success teaching him that the “owl” sound I had been making since he was a baby was actually a dove. (Turns out that I am miserable at imitating owls but really good at imitating mourning doves). Maybe with time…

Have you ever taught your child something factually wrong? Has it scarred him or her for life?? Please let me know!

  2 Responses to “These are Not Maracas”

  1. I am remembering a story of a friend of mine who was DELIBERATELY told by his parents that a cow was an elephant and an elephant was a cow. (And no, I don’t mean a female elephant, I mean a moo-cow.) They did this as some kind of joke or experiment as so when the kindergarten teacher revealed the truth….well, there may have been some scarring. In your case however, I’m sure your little boy will adjust to his new reality with no permanent damage.

  2. Wow, I cannot imagine why they would do that to their poor child! Especially to let the joke go on for so long. I think in our case it is all mostly unintentional, except for things like telling him those lollipops he sees in his picture books are honey sticks! We’ll see how long we can get away with that one…

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