Moral dilemma - whether or not to lie to DD (6) to save her feelings.

(166 Posts)
snigger Tue 24-Feb-09 10:47:00

Background:

When DD1 was born, it was PFB all the way. DD2, as is the lot of DD2s, was greeted with equal adoration but less fanfare - the first weeks were, to be honest, all about me worrying about jealousy and displacement in DD1 on the grounds that a warm, fed, loved baby wasn't bothered about anything else.

DD2 is now 6.

Two issues: we've been putting together photo albums of them from birth to date, and the fact that there are substantially fewer baby pictures of DD2 than DD1 has been remarked upon - I explained this as best as possible without actually saying "We were too busy potty training your sister".

The issue of "DD1 is your favourite" has been brewing quietly, and DD1 most helpfully weighed in this morning at breakfast by bringing the Gund bear DH shot out to buy her minutes after birth, and remarking how she'd had this bear 'all her life'.

Needless to say, a special bear for DD2 would have been a good idea, but never appeared due to time constraints and general lack of organisation, added to the fact that DD2 was born at home, rather than metres from the hospital gift shop.

This morning, thankfully directly outside the school, DD2 turned and asked where her 'special teddy' was, to which I shooed her off with a "Not not, later".

I don't lie to my kids, and it's a major point in our house that if we can't be honest with each other what's the point. For the first time though, I am tempted to text DH, get him to buy a bear for her, and go stick it in the attic and say it must have been there since the move.

What would you do?

Dumbass thread, I know, but I really am not looking forward to telling her much as we adored her, we never quite got round to doing all the things we did with DD1.

snigger Tue 24-Feb-09 10:48:28

Sorry, that was even more long-winded than usual.blush

Jackstini Tue 24-Feb-09 10:49:23

I would lie and go get a bear. blush

Carmenere Tue 24-Feb-09 10:49:54

I would just say 'oh well when we had dd1 we had lots of time but when we had you we were so busy looking after dd1 and adoring you that we didn't have time for pics ect' and leave it. It is a fact of life, it happens in most families, it certainly happened in mine but i didn't feel any less loved.

Is there no other bear/animal which she has had nearly since she was born on which you could slightly shift the timescales?

We bought DD a sheep literally the day before she was born because we realised that we had got DS a cuddly dog while he was still a bump - so we have avoided that one but I can see us having this conversation in a few years time.

<<goes off to pinch some of DMs 1000's of photos of DD to pass off as her own blush>>

saintmaybe Tue 24-Feb-09 10:54:36

How about being saying something like, 'you know, you're right. Would you like to get a special bear/ to take some photos/ whatever.. now.'

Let her know it doesn't mean she's less loved, which you can show her and ask her what she'd like to do. But completely agree about full honesty, we're just the same. it's not just wrong, it's counter-productive to do anything else.

drivinmecrazy Tue 24-Feb-09 10:54:43

I have similar dillemas re baby photos. fortunately both DDs looked identical as babies so I often pass off pics of DD1 as DD2 when she asks to go through the pictures. luckily she is only 3 and hasn't twigged yetblush
Could you say her teddy got lost? DD2 is on her third 'special' bear.

snigger Tue 24-Feb-09 10:55:40

She co-opted all of DD1's things - we asked for a blanket ban on cuddlies due to the sheer volume we received with DD1.

She has a 'special' Minnie Mouse, but she knows that was from my (now dead) Grandad.

I can't believe it's never come up before, really. Normally I'd have no problems just explaining, but hard on the heels of the picture issue it's tricky, she looked a bit crushed by that one alone.

snigger Tue 24-Feb-09 10:58:22

That's my view too, saintmaybe - I feel a bit under pressure at her feeling upset, but then I expect her to be honest with me even if it <<thinking biro drawings on wall>> upsets me, so it's against the grain for me to do anything but 'fess up.

Then I wonder if I'm just being an over-analytical twat.

Tortington Tue 24-Feb-09 10:59:35

its how you couch it. tell her that you got the bear becuase there was a gift shop. the bear isn't a substitute for love or a symbol that you love one child more than the other.

ask her if she would like to go on a special shopping trip just you and her to pick out the special bear. tell her "sorry we forgot, mums and dads can be a a bit rubbish sometimes"
there is no harm in kids knowing that mum and dad can be pants - in fact i thnk its a good thing for them to learn.

Thatsnotmynamechange Tue 24-Feb-09 11:01:32

I would lie and get a bear, but you could let her choose her own and do a big trip to find him.

Explain - how special it was that she was born at home (something DD1 will never have and can't trump) - but that it meant there was no shop right there on the spot. Offer to get her a special bear now (it's a shame that MerryThought have gone out of business).

spinspinsugar Tue 24-Feb-09 11:09:57

I would make a big deal of going out together to get a special bear, and a photo shoot with the print hung pride of place (you could get something artistic like printed onto canvas). Obviously don't over-exclude your dd1 wink, but it's not too late for your dd2 to 'catch up'. I wouldn't dwell on it, but you could try to tactfully explain that a house with two children is much busier than that with one. If I felt my child was really hurt by these observations, I really would go to the trouble to make it up to her.

Nabster Tue 24-Feb-09 11:11:40

I would buy a bear and make it look older. Purely because your DD1 can't be allowed to be mean to DD2 over not having one.

Grammaticus Tue 24-Feb-09 11:14:44

I think you have to lie here (and I'm a big one for truth too). DD2 at her age cannot possibly be expected to understand the other issues that you had as a family when she was born. She just is not old enough and you can sow some bad seeds here if you aren't careful.

I'd remove some of the pictures of DD1, tbh. Not sure about the toy - surely you have another soft toy that you can pass off as her special thing? But if necessary, yes, buy another bear.

ItsThatFuckerSQUONKagain Tue 24-Feb-09 11:15:49

I would tell her that dd1 got a bear because there was a shop right next to where she was born, and that her having a bear right from being born was nice.

BUT... it taught you that bears are very special and you can't choose a person's bear for them, so you decided that when dd2 came along you would wait until she was old enough to choose her own bear.

then take her shopping to buy a special bear for her.

Rubyrubyruby Tue 24-Feb-09 11:16:06

My DTD (10) has an elephant she has always treasured and takes to bed every night. In actual fact 'Elly' is really her twin brothers shock - neither of them know this! It is our 'family secret' <<snigger>>

BitOfFun Tue 24-Feb-09 11:16:47

Just lie fgs! I think she is too young to understand rational explanations, and just wants to be the same as her big sister...I wouldn't take her out for a special bear-buying trip, but it does sound like a good idea to spend some special time with her on her own- it might stop you berating yourself apart from anything else!

kitbit Tue 24-Feb-09 11:19:46

Can you tell her she had a bear but it was sadly lost when she was small? Or something like that? And would she like to choose a new one to be her special bear?

SweetCheeksLovesSweetTalk Tue 24-Feb-09 11:23:55

Buy her a bear.

Even if you make a big deal of it and have a nice day it will never be a bear that she has had since birth and that is what she wants. Because of what that symbolises.

You need to lie for her benefit and you know you do. You want to do what is best for your dd and buying her a bear and lying to her is what is best for her emotional needs at the moment.

Just think of her face when she comes home and you give her the bear.

Buy the bear, make her happy, stop over analysing

snigger Tue 24-Feb-09 11:25:35

I have just texted DH with a precis of the situation and roundly blamed him.

I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and be straight with her, and use a consolidation of Squonk/custardo/stealthsquiggle's suggestions, and take her out for a bear of her choice.

God, I hope she looks back on this and laughs.

In fact, I hope she has triplets, that'll learn her.

snigger Tue 24-Feb-09 11:26:19

<<indecision emoticon>>

spicemonster Tue 24-Feb-09 11:27:25

I looove squonk's idea! Do that!

Grammaticus Tue 24-Feb-09 11:28:01

Noooo - you NEED to lie here!

Grammaticus Tue 24-Feb-09 11:29:08

She needs to know that you love her as much as her sister. That's what it's about for her. And you do love her as much as her sister, so you're not lying. Tell her what she needs to hear, how she needs to hear it.

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