Apparently itâ€™s not just my kid. One of my friends told me that she always thought her daughter and son were so well behaved until her parents babysat one night.
â€śThey are not the same when you leave,â€ť her mother-in-law told her, racing out the door upon their return. Of course, like me, my friend was in denial at first.
There was also a little incident that Iâ€™m embarrassed to share, but I will: my daughter was bragging to her bonus sisters that she goes to the best private school in Canada. (This is not entirely true. There are many good schools.) I only heard this from my fiancĂ©, which proved his point that when Iâ€™m not around my daughter may act a lot differently. She never brags to me about going to her school. In fact, I didnâ€™t even think she realized that her school was different than any other school.
Last week, I decided to do an experiment when my daughter had a playdate over. My experiment really wasnâ€™t an experiment so much as it was, um, spying? When my daughter has playdates over I usually leave them be. As long as they donâ€™t go near the stove, or play with matches, Iâ€™m like, â€śGo. Play. Have fun. Tell me when you want to eat.â€ť So, yes, I eavesdropped and â€“ gaaa! â€“ my daughter was talking like a teenage girl to her friend, and not like the sweet 9-year-old who still sometimes talks to me in a baby voice. They were actually gossiping about other kids (not in the best way) and they were comparing children in their class over stupid things like who has a better singing voice.
It makes me feel a bit like an idiot because OF COURSE now that Iâ€™ve been thinking about it, kids do act differently when their parents arenâ€™t around. Take the worst sleepover experience of my life that I had recently. I thought my daughterâ€™s friend, who I only ever saw with her mother, was a sweet quiet kid. Um, not so much when she slept over at my house and argued about what movie to watch, complained she didnâ€™t like the dinner and was so LOUD that I actually was searching for some earplugs. When her mother picked her up the next morning and asked, â€śHow was she?â€ť Of course I answered, â€śshe was perfect,â€ť while thinking, â€śYeah, sheâ€™s never coming back again.â€ť
This is probably why most mothers donâ€™t know that their children act differently when weâ€™re not around. No one will actually come out and say it. Except my fiancĂ©.