Friday, January 14, 2011

A Life of Rigorous Honesty

My husband is the most honest person I know, sometimes annoyingly so. He doesn't see the value in white lies, preferring to pursue what he refers to as "a life of rigorous honesty".

I, on the other hand, well - the best I can hope for is a life of slightly strenuous honesty.

Sean calls me "the fibber", which sounds kind of horrible, like I tell whoppers all the time. I'll admit to telling callers I'm not home, or faking sick, or answering "only one" when asked how many of the brownies I ate. This is what normal people do. I will admit to using embellishments when telling a story. Take the carrot incident a few posts back. Honestly, a pretty lame story. But just think about how much more entertaining it would have been if I had bitch slapped the personal shopper with the carrot and it turned out she was a black belt in karate and whipped me in the middle of the grocery store parking lot! Now that would have been a story!

White lies are part of the very foundation of my parenting. "They're closed." and "They don't make those anymore." and "It's out of batteries." are the phrases that keep me sane on a daily basis. There is only a small window when these little fibs work, usually between the ages of 2 and 5. Older than that and they start wondering why the ice cream parlor isn't open at 2 on a Saturday in July.

It doesn't always work. This afternoon, Katie was finally at school (after 4 snow days), Henry was asleep, and Julia and I were playing dolls. I was tired and the couch looked very inviting, so I said to Julia, "Come up here and snuggle with mommy. I have the sleeping sickness, did you know that?" Her eyes narrowed and she looked at me side-eyed. Julia is no dope. "It's true. Sometimes I'll just be in the middle of a sentence and...zzzzzzzzzzzzz." She burst out laughing and jumped on my stomach. Fib fail.

I'm not advocating full scale LYING. Lying is bad. Fibbing is kind of bad. Big difference. You should never lie about things like someone dying, or where you went to college, or how good you are at a sport. You should always fib about things like your weight, how often you clean your house, and how often you floss.

Fibbing is an adult thing, like drinking or renting a car. Children are not allowed to fib, even about the flossing. Children, in fact, are held to the rigorous honesty standard. We're lucky that, so far, our kids are not adept at the whole fibbing thing. Katie's eyes get huge, her voice gets indignant (WHAAAT? Of COURSE I brushed my teeth. GAW!), and she changes her story 50 times in 5 minutes. Julia just says things that are completely ridiculous. Like when she went to preschool and told her teachers that Daddy hit Mommy. That made for an awkward conversation with the teacher.

I admire Sean for his honesty, and hope that our kids take after him in that regard. And that's no lie.

Photos of the day for January 13 and 14. Henry!

1 comment:

  1. I had Hank convinced that when the ice cream truck comes around, they play that music to let you know they are out of ice cream. The truck would come by playing that scary horror show clown music and hank would frown and say "oh, that's too bad - he's out of ice cream again!"
    mother's do what they need to do to survive.