I am lying to my son.

Just flat out lying. Well, OK, maybe it’s more of a lie by omission. But it’s lying nonetheless. And I am terrified of the day when he calls me on it.

It all happens at the grocery store. In the seafood aisle. By the lobster tank. Do you see where this is going?

So, there are tricks that I use to get decent behavior/compliance in the grocery store (he’s 2 and will be 3 in the spring).

The negotiation process:

– “Can you be a big boy for mommy in the grocery store and not cry when I put you in the cart?”

– “Would you like an applesauce/pack of gummy bunnies/lollypop?”

– “Do you want to see the Choo Choo Train?” (in the dairy section of our local store)

This used to cut it and prevented the stiff body, desperate clawing that would happen when I went to put him in the child seat of a grocery cart (picture trying to give a cat a bath: the hands and arms shoot out and the body goes stiff as a board (seriously, the child will not bend).

Recently, there has been a serious decline in the interest of my negotiations. So, I found a new tool: the lobsters in the tank in the seafood section.

It works like a charm. Every time.

I just casually ask, “Do you want to go in and see the lobsters?” like it’s no big deal.

The boy all but leaps into the cart and tries to buckle himself in.

Today, it occurred to me that he has no concept that at some point these cantankerous crustaceans will be someone’s epicurean delight. He thinks they are cool.

And it hit me that, at some point, he may ask for one as a pet. We were close today after I asked him if he wanted to pick up a treat to take when we visit our friends for dinner tonight, he said clearly and proudly: “Yes, mommy. Two lobsters. OK?”

Luckily, he was dissuaded from the arthropod adventure with the promise of cupcakes. Thank goodness for cupcakes.

We walked away from the tank of lobsters and I swear the big one was staring at us.

I imagine it won’t be the first time that I gloss over the details to keep the peace. But, man, am I going to feel awful when he eats lobster for the first time. Or makes the connection. Heck, I might not eat lobster again.

OK, I am going to eat lobster, but I will feel very guilty about it.

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