“We tell the truth in this house…(and by we, I mean you).” We have a zero tolerance rule in our house when it comes to lying. Some of my children are more intimidated by the consequences than others. I REALLY don’t like it when my children lie to me. I can detect a lie from 3 rooms away. I don’t even have to see them to know that they are full of shit. It’s not so much what they say or how they say it, so much as what they don’t say. They are terrible liars. I mean really bad. It’s almost embarrassing. I am on to them before they even open their mouths. I consider it one of my strengths as a parent.
I allow myself a little more latitude when it comes to honesty with my children. If the end justifies the means, game on kids. I can look into my children’s eyes and blatantly lie to them without blinking an eye or feeling an ounce of guilt. Most times, it’s for their own benefit and well-being, like when I tell them that their teeth will turn black if they don’t brush, or that their brains will turn to mush if they watch one more minute of TV (they believe me, and they worry about it), or that if they don’t eat their breakfast, I will drive them to school in their pajamas and have them explain to their teacher in front of their class why they are late, and more importantly not dressed. Much less often, I am dishonest for my own personal gain, like when it’s bedtime and they won’t let me out of their room until I promise to sleep with them. “Okay honey, I’ll be back in a little bit…save my spot.” I am not going back.
Other times, I lie to them for personal entertainment purposes. I don’t get out much, so I have to create my own fun. A package was delivered to our door the other day. My kids always get so excited when this happens. The anticipation of opening the box and seeing what’s inside is second only to Christmas Day. Their excitement quickly turned to cautious curiosity when I pulled out a very peculiar looking object from the box.
Them: “What is it Mom?”
Me: “Oh, this must be what your Dad ordered.”
Me: “It’s a spy camera.” I pretend to be reading the instructions on the box very intensely as if I am studying how it works.
All color drains from their faces and nervous energy fills the air.
Them: “Really Mom? Are you telling the truth? Is it really a spy camera?” They are concerned.
Me: “Yep.” I am not concerned.
Them: “For what Mom?”
Me: “So Dad and I can keep on eye on you when we don’t actually have our eyes on you. Why does it matter? You aren’t hiding anything from us, are you?” I look directly at them.
Them: A very unconvincing and shaky, “Nooooo.” They avoid all attempts at eye contact.
Me: “Well then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Live your life.”
The next few hours were absolutely priceless as I very strategically placed the small alien like object in plain sight from all angles in our house with the nonchalant promise that when Daddy gets home, he will hook it up. I then walk away whistling with a glimmer in my eye and a definite skip in my step.
It’s a wireless remote control extender…looks like a mini UFO, but meaner. It has a small red eye that is always on. It never goes off.
“Sweet dreams kids.”