Let’s face it, we all tell a little fib now and again don’t we?
Sometimes because we can’t face going into deep explanations, sometimes so that we don’t hurt someone and sometimes to save face.
Like the times we’ve told a friend that their butt really doesn’t look big in those jeans that they just spent a fortune on and obviously really love. And the time when we forgot someone’s Birthday and happened to leave the card at home that we haven’t actually bought yet. And the time when we hadn’t really double booked and couldn’t go out with a friend we just wanted to get our bras off, get into our PJs and watch crap on the telly.
(All my friends are reading this and crossing me off their Christmas lists, Birthday lists and possibly deleting me from Facebook as we speak. Oops sorry, I do love you all honestly and these are just examples I promise!)
And then there are the whoppers that we tell our children.
When I was little my Dad told me that a twat was a female fish when I asked him what it meant. Thanks Dad.
My Poppa told me that a haggis was a wild creature that lived in Scotland in the mountains. He also told me because it ran round and around the mountains the legs on one side of it’s body were shorter than the other so that it didn’t topple off. I totally believed him because he was my Poppa and I told all my friends.
One of my children’s teachers said that if you whistle inside a building your ears will eventually fall off. I use that one a lot. Genius. There must be one for recorders too?
And then there is Father Christmas. I mean really? We are teaching our children not to lie and every year we drag out the massive big fat white-bearded man clad in fur trimmed red. We can dress it up as Christmas spirit and how it all adds to the enchantment of childhood and so on but let’s not mess about here – one day our kids are going to know that Mummy and Daddy told them a big fat fib. I am not sure where to go with that. I remember my friend telling me that her son had come home from school saying that some of the boys had told him that Father Christmas wasn’t real. I held my breath knowing that one day this was going to be me. She had one of the best comebacks that I have heard and said “Oh. That’s a shame that they don’t believe anymore. They won’t get as many presents.” Her son decided to hedge his bets and keep on believing for a bit. Wise boy and smart Mum!
I still don’t know how I honestly feel about it all though. Part of me thinks “oh shut up everyone does it what are you wibbling on about” and then there’s the other part that shouted at her daughter twice this week for not being honest.
Let me elaborate. Earlier this week I noticed after school that my youngest had a very neat wiggly scribble on the back of his neck on the collar of his brand new school shirt. I had in fact sat lovingly sewing in his name label that morning at breakfast. I questioned him about it knowing that he can be a little sod and has a previous record of drawing on things that are not paper:
Boy “Mummy, I can’t reach the back of my collar can I and anyway it was my sister”
Girl (red faced and shrieking) “It was not me I would NEVER do that I did not draw on his collar!!”
Boy “She did!!! She did Mummy I am not lying!!”
Me “Beloved daughter. Did you draw on his collar? He can’t have done it because he can’t reach so someone else has done it and it wasn’t there when we got home. I didn’t do it, Daddy isn’t here and you are the only other person in the house. Apart from the cats and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t them.” Eat your heart out Miss Marple.
Girl “NO MUMMY WHY DON’T YOU BELIEVE ME I DIDN’T DOOOOO ITTTTTT!!!”
She is a terrible liar and I hope that she never plays poker when she is older.
Me “I know you did it because you are a rubbish liar and I can tell. I have asked you twice now and I am giving you the chance to tell me the truth”
Girl “I didn’t do it I didn’t and oh I didn’t there was a pen……it was in my hand…..I didn’t do it though…..then I wanted to hug my brother……..it was an accident.”
See what she did there? Snuck in a hug. Because obviously that makes it all peachy.
Me “So you did do it. Why didn’t you tell me the truth straight away?”
Girl “Because then I would get in trouble”
Me “But now you are in even more trouble because you lied. That’s worse. Plus you still are telling me a massive whopper because that is not an accidental-I-was-holding-a-pen-in-my-hand scribble. It is a perfectly neat zigzag.”
Cue massive meltdown, sobbing and running to her room slamming doors.
Sometimes I really am shit at parenting and have no bloody idea how to handle this stuff. She did it again yesterday when she suddenly announced “Ooh look Mummy I have a shorter bit of hair at the front sort of like a fringe, I don’t know how that happened?”. So I asked her “Did you cut your hair?” to which she replied “Noooooo Mummy I would never cut my hair”. And off we go again. I asked her 6 times and each time she denied it. I really had to go on at her and eventually she gave in and admitted another accident. We went to homework club afterwards at the local cafe and her friend said “She cut her hair in humanities!”. Gotcha!!
So is this a phase? A developmental stage? Or is it happening….she is beginning to enter the very grey area known as ‘becoming an adult’ where sometimes it is okay to tell a little white lie and sometimes……it really is absolutely not. I don’t know if I am well enough equipped to help her with this. I seem to be shouting a lot and then talking rationally, explaining that it is really important to tell the truth but this approach doesn’t seem to be working….
And it’s nearly Christmas…..