I should have copped to the fabrication completely when questioned.
But you know how it goes once you start to tell a lie, then suddenly you're standing on the edge of confessing or stepping over into the area where now more lies must be created to maintain the first, and you choose the latter. (Oh. You don't? You might want to quit reading now.)
I thought that I'd gotten away with it with my little amendments to the story, but, alas, the truth has hunted me down and strung me out for the fabricator that I am.
Big A loved Barney. (Yes, that Barney.) I hated Barney. Not initially, of course, for all relationships are flowery in the beginning, right?
His laughter, once just slightly grating, became the soundtrack to my dreams of running him over with a front-end loader and then dumping him in some location where his body would serve as feed for wild animals.
Barney didn't make me a better person, at all, and Big A was smart, and I figured I could teach her whatever Barney had to say, without the repeated horror of the "I love you" song.
So I told her Barney was seriously injured in a tragic break-dancing accident.
I told her that he was injured (seriously injured) and in order to help him, we needed to not watch the tapes anymore, because if we did, it was zapping his energy and making it harder for him to get better. (She was four, it was plausible, and additionally, I think, a great component of the "fiction writing" portion of my schooling.)
Guess whose miraculous recovery is now getting tossed in my face on a daily basis?
And Big A, God, I love that child.
For when she walked in the door and sat down and saw who was on the TV, she looked at me, straight face and said in her snarkiest voice, "I guess he got better". Then she gave me The Stare of Death as she crossed her arms and sat back with Little A to watch Barney and Friends sing the anthem that they will play as I'm carted off in a straight-jacket.
And Mommy went off to the kitchen to pour