I have always had a hard time with multiple choice exams. I can always find exceptions to all of the choices, so not one of them seems just right and then I’m forced to pick the one that I’ve poked the fewest holes in, which leaves me feeling altogether anxious and unsatisfied.
Tonight, I had one of those exams – in my head.
“Are monsters real?” Beans asked as I waited for him to drift off to dreamland.
It’s a fairly common question for kids, but it gives me pause. There are really only two answers – yes or no – but the myriad variations on each of those answers makes neither of them really right.
I know it wouldn’t be appropriate to tell Beans what I really think – that, yes, there are real monsters, people who do unspeakable things for reasons we will likely never understand.
Beans is 5. He certainly doesn’t need to know about that now. I wish he could live a long happy life without ever having to know about it.
But there are lies of omission, and I make it a point whenever possible not to tell them, especially to my babies. I try to tell them the truth without, you know, telling the whole truth. I knew that “no” wouldn’t have been the right answer, either.
So, my answer to his question was “none of the above.”
“There are no monsters allowed in this house,” I told him.
He doesn’t like it when I say that, though, because he sees it as a challenge to the monsters he thinks might be here and might be goaded into action by my emphatic restriction.
Today I made some “Monster Juice,” a secret concoction I’m hoping will be strong enough to send all the monsters around here into oblivion with just one spritz.
Multiple choice tests aside, I hope Beans feels safer from the monsters because that spray bottle of “Monster Juice” is sitting next to his bed.
I just wish knowing how to make “Monster Juice” made me feel more capable of forever protecting him from all the real monsters out there.