This morning I was forced to have yet another long talk with my daughter about lying, a habit she has become increasingly comfortable with. She was very adament that under no cicumstances had she been involved in any sneaking of leftover Halloween candy. Unfortunately for her, she is still unsophisticated enough in her dishonesty that she didn’t do anything to hide the pile of wrapper evidence.
I like to think that I teach by example. That as often as possible I try to avoid resorting to “do as I say, not as I do.” I fear that in this instance, however, I may be a little hypocritical. Besides the obvious one about the guy in the red suit that she thinks is watching her, as I thought back on the past week it occured to me that I had actually told a pretty fair number of untruths. Enough of them that it’s almost a bit of a shock that my pants never caught fire.
After getting my oil changed, I told my mechanic that the knocking he heard had just started and that I was just about to mention it. I listen to my music loud and had no idea what he was talking about.
I told Alaina’a teacher that she must have taken her hat and mittens out of her backpack that morning. I never packed them.
I also told her I’d talk to Alaina about why it was wrong to push the little mean boy on the playground. I didn’t. I saw the whole thing and he started it.
I told my mother in law that the neighbors sometimes put their empty whiskey bottles in our recycle bin.
Several people were told that I must not have heard my phone ring. It just wasn’t within reach of the couch.
I lie to my kid even more. Two days ago she asked me if fairies were real. I tried to be honest until she reminded me about the Tooth Fairy. Then I backtracked. Some fairies are real of course.
When we returned home she was excited to see the Christmas tree I had picked up while she was at school. When she asked if I’d gone into the woods myself to chop it down, I said yes. Cutting two inches off the bottom is pretty close.
I also told her that she was being very helpful putting up the lights.
These were all relatively harmless and I’d be lying again if I said I was crippled with self-recrimination, but it was an interesting exercise. Other than my wife, ( who I would obviously never dream of lying to ) I basically was dishonest with almost everybody I came into contact with this week. I’m supposed to be setting a moral example for my daughter and need to be a little more cognizant of that.
One day she’s going to catch me.