I lied to my 4-year-old son. Twice.
“Where’s your gum, Mommy?” JJ asked.
“I threw it in the trash,” I replied.
“You threw it in the trash?”
I sat on the couch next to JJ as he continued to chew his gum, doing my best to keep the lie alive.
I have a problem. I know that. I’ve had this problem for more than 20 years. I would not go as far as to call my problem an addiction, but it is very unhealthy.
I swallow chewing gum.
And it is not just every once in a while. I swallow gum every time it touches my tongue. When I first learned I was going to be a mother, I had a list of things I wanted to work on and overcome.
At the top of the list was to overcome my fear of dogs and to stop swallowing gum. So far, I have failed at both. I thought I had at least another year or two before swallowing gum and parenting met.
But it just so happens that gum is a hot commodity for trick-or-treaters. So when JJ walked up with a piece of gum and a puppy dog face, I couldn’t resist trying to teach him how to effectively chew gum without swallowing it.
He has chewed five pieces and has yet to swallow one of them. Instead, he throws the gum away as he’s been taught to.
His will to resist the temptation to swallow gum has helped me a little bit. I’ve actually thrown out a few pieces. But since I’m being honest, I have still swallowed more pieces than I have thrown out. I’ve sat right next to JJ asking him if he still as his gum as I swallowed mine.
And now I feel guilty.
So I’m giving up gum. One day, I hope to enjoy chewing gum right alongside JJ. But for now, I have to give it up. I can’t have another piece. And one day, when he’s old enough, I will have to tell him I lied to him. Twice.
But by then, I hope to be able to tell him over a piece of gum that is later thrown out.
Tunette Powell is a working mom with two children. You can read her every other Tuesday on momaha.com
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