Good vs. Evil: The Two Faces Of My Child

After a day of repeating “pick up your coat off the floor” and “put your dish in the sink,” I watched my 10-year-old transformed from disorderly deviant to well-mannered super child within seconds of our houseguest arriving.  With the charm and personality of a behind-in-the-polls presidential candidate trying to secure votes, Savannah gave the guest an apartment tour that included demonstrations of the shower and thermostat.  She even made the weary traveler tea.

Yes, tea.

“You daughter’s so mature,” the guest gushed the next morning.

I wouldn’t saying throwing your homework in the garbage and later lying about it mature, but okay.

“And well-behaved!”

I said nothing.  She obviously didn’t see the candy wrappers under the couch.

Savannah’s Academy Award winning performance that night reminded me of those celebrities on the talk show circuit who boast about their trip overseas as a UN Goodwill Ambassador or work raising money for Hurricane Katrina victims. No word mentioned of they hotel room they trashed during a coke binge or the cell phone thrown at a young publicist after a bad interview.

Taking a page from the Celebrity Playbook, Savannah can just easily shift the spotlight from her misdeeds and melt the most jaded neighbor or doorman.

“Is your baby Tick-Tock?” she’ll ask the proud new mamma, using the pet name she gave the 18-month-old down the hall. “She’s so cute!”

“¿Cómo está?” to the waiter who has come for our order, guaranteeing us an extra scoop of guacamole.

Dog owners are special targets.  The mutt could have a smashed face and broken paw, but she’ll ask: “Can I walk your dog?”

But I’m the meanie who demands wet towels be placed in the hamper.

Once a neighbor caught under the spell texted: “Your daughter is adorable.”

I assumed she confused me as Tick Tock’s parents.

5 responses to “Good vs. Evil: The Two Faces Of My Child

  1. Funny, kids are so smart and manipulative.


  2. You should take some comfort in the fact that she is so good with others–she must’ve learned that from you, right?


  3. Ugh, I can so relate to this.


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