The Things We Hide From Our Kids

by Kim Bongiorno

Everybody is hiding something at any given time, but once you’re a parent, hiding things becomes a full-time gig.

Whether it’s the hard stuff, like awful happenings on the news your kids are too young to handle yet, or the fact that you’re pissed off at Daddy for leaving the toilet seat up again, which caused you to fall in last night, or how you really feel about their new favorite TV show whose main character’s voice makes your skin crawl, you hide things. There’s always something going on that you distract your kids from learning about with a smile and pointing their attention away (sometimes while running in the opposite direction).

I thank my lucky stars that my legs are still miles longer than my kids’, because I’m always trying to stay one step ahead of them. All this hiding means I rarely get to sit down, because I’m always dashing away with a future gift hidden behind my back, or smuggling another big black garbage bag of their toys into my car that I plan to donate under the cover of night later that evening, or looking for a safe place to treat myself to something they’d insist I share with them.

Here are just some of the things I’ve witnessed friends, family, and myself, hiding from our offspring over the years:

  • Movie candy we only sneak into the theater when we go to the movies without them.
  • Tooth fairy reminders on our phones.
  • Their teeth.
  • The last cupcake.
  • Toys that are too messy/complicated for us to deal with our kids playing with right now.
  • “Very special” arts and crafts, which are mostly just scraps of paper with a few scribbles on them, now at the bottom of the recycling bin.
  • The recorder they brought home from music class.
  • Mylar balloons we’ve murdered.
  • The desire to say, “fuck off” when they say something mean to us because they are kids and that’s what they do.
  • Veggies in their food.
  • Toy catalogues that come in the mail.
  • The sound of the ice cream truck coming down the street.
  • That we can’t stand their best friend.
  • Funny gifts our friends give us that have curse words on them.
  • That this weekend there is a marathon viewing of that television series they love which we think is slowly killing their brain cells.
  • Permanent markers.

And the most common thing we hide, no matter what our parenting style, number of kids, work situation or patience level is? Ourselves, when we simply just need a break from the delightful little maniacs.