Fool You Once…Good for Me?

I realized the other day that I’m much better at deception than Surfer Guy. Two mornings in a row I was finding a pill on the kitchen floor. Surfer Guy takes a daily medication, so I thought he’d just dropped the tablets as he shook his dose into his hand. But…two days in a row? When I asked him about it, we realized what was going on. Our yellow Lab, Hank, (pictured at left) was spitting out the pills he’d recently been prescribed for an ear infection. Look at that dog. He’s sweet and kind and loving. Smart, not so much.

But Surfer Guy was lousy at deceiving him about taking that tablet. Of course he put it in a piece of food, but the pup had caught on. I, on the other hand, took care of the situation because maybe moms are just better deceivers. I took a piece of leftover sausage, stuffed it way down inside, and pretended to eat it myself, at the last moment giving him a taste. Worked like a charm.

You get a lot of practice at that kind of thing when you have kids. You learn all sorts of ways to hide unpleasant tastes or disguise unpleasant tasks. I also confess to conning the sons into bug annihilation. The key is to not express fear. Just hand the little dude a paper towel and encouragingly say, “Hey, you get to squash that spider!”

I also covered for the Tooth Fairy who once fell asleep and forgot to do the money/molar exchange. When disappointed child woke me in the morning with the news, I quickly grabbed up the money and said, “What? Are you sure? Let me check,” then made the trade just as the kid came through his bedroom door. Should I have gone into acting?

The only time I couldn’t fake it was when Son1 fell and hit his forehead on the in-laws’ coffee table. He was three and there was blood everywhere. We took him to the ER, but many victims of a bus accident had just been brought in. Surfer Guy made the executive decision that we wouldn’t wait for treatment and we headed home where he would butterfly-bandage the wound.

I couldn’t camouflage my upset for another moment. I blame it on pregnancy hormones (I was pregnant with Son2 at the time). My mom was visiting and she gallantly played nurse, while I hid upstairs in a bathroom and sobbed. Once he’d been “doctored,” I was able to calmly cuddle with him and a Disney movie.

Are you a good faker? Have you had to pretend for your kid or your dog that medicine was a treat? Did you ever devise a believable reason why the gift Santa left under the tree/Easter Bunny left in the basket was spied just the week before in Mommy’s closet?

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17 Responses to Fool You Once…Good for Me?

  1. Linda says:

    Working with animals on a daily basis I have learned how to trick them in a number of ways. Puppies are the easiest to convince I am not the bad person who only pokes. The first visit usuaually involves a number of treats with the exam and then one more treat to distract as I give the shots. All subsequent visits they are to excited to get on the table and get the treats.
    Now cats they are much harder to fool! But I give owners all the hints I can if they are going to be medicating their cats. They tell me I make it look easy but I also remind them that 16 yrs of practice helps.

    • christieridgway says:

      Oh, Linda. That’s so great that you find a way to make those pokes easier for the puppies. We took our cat Goblin in for her annual check-up a week ago and we had to go through a whole bunch of trickery to get her in the house and available hours before it was time to go. Then she saw the travel box (that she hasn’t seen in a year) and was incensed.

  2. I’ve been administering dog pills (black Lab) in the last few days, too. I’m pretty direct in my approach. Open mouth, push pill down throat, hold mouth closed and massage throat until swallowing occurs. Love those easy-going Labs!

    I’m not the best faker, but then I do believe in Santa, Easter Bunny, fairies and the like. Not kid will ever convince me they don’t exist–not my friends (or parents), not my kids, not my grandkids. When they start trying to mess with my mind on that score, I just tell them to believe what they want. I know different.

    • christieridgway says:

      My friend always had a way to quiet her doubting kids. “I guess Santa/Easter Bunny/whatever won’t be bringing you anything then!”

  3. kylie brant says:

    I found myself in similar situations over the years. The Tooth Fairy had a terrible memory at our house. I performed sleight of hand on many occasions. Like, “Are you sure? Maybe you knocked it off onto the floor.” And there the dollar was, LOL 🙂 The one thing I couldn’t take was seeing my kids in pain. And since it would do them no good to see me standing there with tears streaming down my face, I always left the hospital room. DH is much more stoic 🙂

  4. I give my dogs Comfortis pills for fleas. My border colllie HATES it. She can smell it and nothing will hide that smell…or so SHE thought! At first I tried all the usual “tricks”…hide in meat, etc but nothing worked. It was the smell. SO I crushed the pill and mixed it with crunchy peanut butter and stir that into her food. She chomps it down. Now my retriever will eat ANYTHING so it isn’t a problem for her. Still, she gets a little peanut butter too with hers.
    I promise…This will work!

    • christieridgway says:

      I will try the peanut butter. Hank will usually eat anything (even cucumber, he will spit out celery, though), but those pills. You’re probably right that he could smell them.

      When I was a little kid, I remember my mom smushing up an aspirin and giving it to me in a teaspoon of jam.

  5. Today’s post was like a page out of our morning routine! Our very elderly border collie is on multiple medications, and also is a very poor eater. To the point that we have three different types of canned dog food from the vets, and can only guess which one he might be willing to eat on a given day. But he does, praise the Lord, love peanut butter toast, and that’s where we hide his pills. It has to be done just right, though. A strip of toast folded with the dry side out and the pill inside. We sometimes wonder how much time Harold has left, but he still seems to be enjoying life when it comes to his breakfast routine!

  6. Sonya Heaney says:

    Ah – I ruined Christmas for myself when I was about four. I woke up in the middle of the night and walked in on my mother wrapping the presents. It was hard to make me believe in any magical holiday creatures after that!
    As for pretending with kids – I’ve managed to reach my thirties without any desire for children whatsoever, so I don’t think I’m ever going to have any fun stories to share!

    • christieridgway says:

      We don’t wrap the “Santa gifts” so that solved a potential problem. Our neighbors wrap, but then they leave the paper with us so that their kids don’t find it in a closet.

  7. superauntkx9 says:

    Oh I think I am really good at fooling myself, more than others.. Although I was told my oldest niece when she was about 12 or 13, that she should believe me when I told her she would see something speical at Christmas time, and low and behold if it actually happened.
    But has far as animal and trying to get them to take meds,, I dont’ know because I don’t have any…

  8. loisgreiman says:

    Fakery. Love it. Use it. It’s an absolute must for motherhood/pet ownership.

  9. Trish Jensen says:

    No two-legged kids here, but a mother of a plethora of animals. Cats are actually easy if you have a crusher thingee. I always ground them into dust and opened a can of tuna. The can opener had them marathoning into the kitchen, and they got their tuna treats. Yum, yum, yum! Dosed, dosed, dosed. My dogs have ALWAYS been easy (aka too gluttonous to notice?).

    My biggest fake was finding out too early, dangit that (close your eyes, Kathleen) Santa was actually my folks. For two years I actually kept up the ruse that I knew Santa was bringing me gifts, because I was afraid if I ever admitted I’d learned, the gifts would stop coming. Until about age seven when I made the mistake of snooping in my parents closet, checked out what I was getting, then went downstairs where my mom had a friend over, who asked me what I was asking Santa for Christmas. To make my mom happy, I rattled off everything I found in her closet.

    She narrowed her eyes on me, pursed her lips, but didn’t say a word. On Christmas morning, not
    ONE THING she’d bought and I mentioned was under the Christmas tree. She’d taken them all back and bought a slew of other things instead. So was I surprised Christmas morning? You betcha. 🙂

    BTW, to this day, every single child still receives a gift “from” our first boyfriend/girlfriend under the tree. And it’s usually something like bras and undies or any assortment of intimate things. My parents still think it’s hilarious.

    LOVED this blog, Christie!

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