Today, while Ruby was at school, Edward ripped her special plastic fire helmet in half. The one she got when she got to go on the fire truck at school. So I quickly put it in the kitchen trash, buried it deep, and prayed that she would not notice that it was missing.
So what was my plan if she did ask where it was? Well, I was going to just say, “Hmmm, I don’t know, maybe it will turn up somewhere.” In other words, lie. But then I stopped to consider if that was the way I wanted to go. Was it fair to give her false hopes when I knew darn well that she was never going to find that helmet?
Then I got to wondering just how many of the things that I was never able to find as a kid were really secretly thrown away by my mother. I recall one such instance very well, although this was not really her fault. We had all made Easter baskets at school, and they were filled with candy, but for some reason I was not at school the day they got sent home. Maybe I was at my Dad’s? I don’t remember. I do remember coming home and waiting every day for the baskets to come home, and when it had finally been too long, I asked my teacher where they were. She informed me that she had sent it home with my mother almost a week before. When I got home, my mother told me that she had left it on the counter and the dog had eaten it, and so she had thrown it away and basically hoped that I wouldn’t remember.
This has stuck with me ever since. I was really mad. I felt lied to. I felt betrayed. I wanted some damn candy! I was in 4th or 5th grade, and I don’t think my mother did anything like that after that point (that I know of), but I bet she did before then.
Honestly, Ruby has way too many toys and junk, and she probably won’t notice that the hat is gone, and I am sparing her tears and upsetness by not mentioning it to her. Isn’t that part of our parenting job? To shield our children from the harsh realities of life until they are old enough to deal with them? But I also don’t want her to find out that I have secretly been throwing away her broken toys and then have her be mad. But I guess there is nothing else to do but stay on course until she finally figures it out. And let’s hope she doesn’t ask about the helmet.