I like to think that I’m a pretty forthright person. I believe that honesty is an important action, in which all human beings should elect to participate.
Sure, I may fudge the truth a little here and there:
I love your new haircut! It’s total JLaw. Definitely not reminiscent of Kate Gosselin…
I’m sure no one from the office noticed that you’ve had pepper in your front teeth all afternoon. It’s hardly noticeable at all, caked up there by your gum line!
I call those feel-good lies. And, I mean, can you really even call them lies? They’re more like little lie-lets, spreading their wings to sprinkle good cheer and self-esteem wherever they go.
But then there are some lies that are not-so-good. And come to think of it, I’m pretty guilty of telling those too. I’m talking about the lies we tell our kids. Whether we want to admit it or not, I would venture to guess that 99% of parents can’t make it through a whole day without spinning a yarn of some kind to their little ones.
Here’s what I mean:
- The Timing Lie
If you’re guilty of anything on this list, you are guilty of this one. There is absolutely no denying it. Because we’ve all claimed to be getting off the phone in one minute, putting dinner on the table in two seconds and sending our kid to time out by the time we count to three.
The thing is – our little ones truly have no concept of time. I could tell my kiddos that we’re heading out the door to church in fourteen bananas and they wouldn’t bat an eye. I’m basically lying to keep myself accountable and because that’s not going so hot, I might as well cut that sh*t out…in like, two seconds.
- The “I don’t know” Lie
Kids ask a lot of questions. It’s usually like 200,000 per day, which research shows is just slightly greater than what a 30-something-year-old brain can take in a 24-hour period, before it explodes like a dying star. A knee-jerk, defense mechanism that has sprouted up in our home is the response of “I don’t know. Let’s look that up later.” Sounds like a great parenting response, right? Except, I have no intention of looking up how clouds change shape, later. I am also not planning to researching what dirt is made of, or how rugs were invented. My response should really be “I don’t know AND I don’t care,” but for now I’m putting the onus on a future, fictitious Google search and moving on.
- The “That looks great!” Lie
Bless our children for being the little aspiring artists/dancers/laundry folders that they are. But I have to wonder, am I doing my 5-year-old’s future spouse a disservice by telling him that the towel he just folded looks “perfect” when it really looks pretty much exactly the way it did when I dumped it in a heap on the floor? Probably. But that kind of sounds like her problem.
- The Birthday Lie
Like yours, my kids spend a great deal of their energy negotiating the acquisition of more toys. It doesn’t matter where we are or what kind of crap toys are available, if there is something plastic within a 100-yard radius, my children will ask for it. Because I’m a mean mom, my answer is almost never an outright “YES!”, but rather a carefully crafted and well-thought-out, “Maybe for your birthday.” Or Christmas. Or whatever holiday is further away on the calendar.
If my current tally is accurate, I think I may be responsible for over $600,000 worth of bikes and one adult motorcycle to kick off my 2-year-old’s next trip around the sun.
Of course, all these non-truths are fairly harmless. The world is not going to implode if my toddler doesn’t eat his birthday cake on the back of a Harley or my kindergartener never learns how rugs were invented. Just like I won’t be any worse for the wear if I never know you think my haircut is hideous or that my boss is fairly certain I don’t know how to floss.