Maybe fraud is too strong a word but the underlying truth is that at some point your kids, who just assumed you were infallible for the first six or seven years of their life, slowly come to the realization that not only are you capable of being wrong, despite a 30-year head start, you're not even that smart.
This lesson was brought home with a resounding thud the other day. The eight-year-old, who consumes roughly 20,000 calories a day, is always hungry. This is not an exaggeration. Not 10 minutes goes by before he asks, "What else do we have to eat?"
So the other morning, in the 90 seconds between finishing breakfast and feeding the dog (which no doubt reminded him that he was due to eat again), he decided to double down. Instead of asking for more cereal, the eight-year-old asked for one of those Simply Balanced Fruit Strips (you know what I'm talking about).
My knee-jerk reaction: "Nope. It's way too early for you to be hopped up on sugar. Pick something else."
His response: "No, these are good for you, I promise."
At this point, I'm starting to get angry because we've had this conversation a million times. I say something, he tries to explain the nuances of what I said and what I really think, and how, if I take a closer look we're really on the same page about this.
But we're not.
So I say, "Listen, here's the deal: If any form of sugar is listed in the first four ingredients, not only are you not getting it, you will not be allowed to play with your Ninjago LEGOs for a week. (If a week sounds extreme, it is; I was hoping he'd weigh the consequences and just drop the whole thing. He didn't.)
So he proceeds to read out the ingredients:
A shit-eating grin creeps across his face as his eyes slowly go from the side of that box to back me. I had been outwitted by what I thought was an innocent, unassuming kid. It took eight years, but the tables had finally turned, my authority -- my unquestioned genius -- now hanging in the balance.
This feels like a "Game of Thrones" moment. I just need to figure out how not to end up like, well, everyone but Tyrion Lannister.