My kids are horrible liars. Really, they try to follow through with a lie, but they always break at the last-minute. Their conscience takes over and the truth comes tumbling out quickly and usually with a few tears.
Now, I am not saying this is a bad thing and I’m not saying that they never lie or will never lie in the future. They are kids and they are growing and learning and they are going to make a few mistakes along the way. I don’t want them to lie but sometimes their brutal honesty can also be annoying.
I make a lunch for the three older kids to take to school everyday. They still have not clued in ,not even my 10-year-old daughter, that they could throw away everything at school and I would never know they didn’t eat their carrots or apple or all of their sandwich. They come home and empty their lunch boxes and go over every last detail of what they ate and why. While I appreciate the honesty, there are a million and one things to do in the afternoon and discussing lunch just adds to the work.
My 5-year-old son is especially truthful. If he and his 3-year-old brother get into a fight, he will be the first one to come downstairs and say, “I punched him in the back because he took my toy. Then, I called him a Dumbo.” Okay, now go work it out and let me make dinner. He will come home from a friend’s house and say ” So and so wanted to take cookies up to his room but I said we shouldn’t and then I told his mom.” Oh, I’m sure his friend and friend’s mom LOVED that. That’s not annoying at all.
My daughter is the same. She will be snotty or talk back, whatever, and we will send her to her room. When she comes out to apologize she will come to me and say ” I wrote down that you and dad are jerks and that I don’t like you. I was just mad and I’m sorry.” Sigh, that’s why she has a journal, to write down her feelings and we don’t have to see it! She is allowed to read before bed at night and we tell her what time she needs to turn out her light. Now, we are usually downstairs watching TV and she is upstairs in her room. We would never know if she read for an extra 10 minutes, but she will come downstairs to tell us she read until 8:06 when we told her to stop at 8. Good grief!
My three-year old son is too young to lie or worry about his lying, but I will say, he OWNS all the crazy crap he does. For instance, I will see a huge dent in the wall and ask who did it. He will come running in, look at wall and with pride say ” My did that!” Or toothpaste will be all over the counter and he will say ” I fezeed(squeezed) the WHOLE thing out by myfelf (myself)! My like blue fo(so) much!” No fear whatsoever.
Now we come to my 8-year-old son. Oh boy, this kid is a thinker. I mean he thinks waaaay too much. He is very sensitive and struggles with doing the right thing and just being an 8-year-old boy. Bless his heart, he will try to lie but it will eat away at him until he breaks. He has a reading record to fill out for class everyday and he has to write down the EXACT time he spent reading. It can’t be a minute off or that bothers him. He has to read for 80 minutes a week and he usually reads for 80 minutes a day. I want to tell him “Oh for God sake, just fill it out on Thursday night! You’re good.” But my kid is obviously a more honest person than I am.
This past spring, we had a crazy a sports schedule. Different kids had to be at different places at different times. It was brutal, as usual. One night, the day after my husband’s birthday, 2 of my boys had baseball practice. I took my five-year old to his practice. My mother was visiting so she came along as well as my daughter. My 8-year-old had practice later so he stayed home with my husband and my three-year old son. We had to hurry through dinner and I had to leave without cleaning the kitchen, which KILLS me. I asked my husband to have it cleaned when I got back and he agreed. I knew he would make the kids do it.
My five-year old finished practice and we headed home. When we pulled into the driveway, my husband was sitting outside, shooting the breeze with the neighbors, as usual. He looked at me and waved and I thought to myself, ” If that kitchen is still a mess, I’m going to kill him.” I waved to my neighbors and to him and asked through clenched teeth, “Did you get to the kitchen?” He smiled and answered ” Coop’s doing it.” It’s a good thing the neighbors were there because I would have flicked him off otherwise.
I walked in the kitchen door and my 8-year-old was at the sink with his back to me. My eyes went straight to my husband’s birthday cake on the counter. Oh. My.God. The thing was destroyed. The icing was all scrapped off and there were chunks missing. My mother exclaimed ” My God, it looks like the locusts got it! What in the world?” My daughter’s jaw dropped at the sight of it. I assumed my three-year had gotten into it. I asked my 8 year if he knew what happened. He turned around slowly and looked at the cake, not in my eyes, and said in a very quiet voice ” No, I don’t know what happened.” I looked at him and the kid had the nerve to stand there in front of me with blue icing ALL OVER his face! My mother had to cover her mouth and go in the other room to keep from laughing. My daughter busted out laughing right then and there and said ” Oh, really Coop?” He looked at her then back at me. I said ” Are you sure you have no idea what happened to the cake?” He shook his head and his eyes started filling up with tears. I stared him down and said ” Son, you have icing all over your face.” He started bawling and apologizing and he was sent to his room. As I was tidying up the kitchen,I found blue icing smeared all over the cups, plates and silverware he was supposed to be putting away.
Just last week, Coop went over to his friend’s house. When he came home later, I could tell something was bothering him and I asked if he wanted to talk but he said he was fine. We had 3 practices that night, so in the rush of everything I kind of forgot about it. When he came home from his practice that night, he still seemed worried about something. He was following me around like he wanted to talk but wouldn’t spill the beans. I figured he would open up when he was ready.
He went to bed and got up the next day and still seemed out of sorts but we don’t have time in the mornings before school for heart to heart talks, so I sent him off on the bus. He came home that afternoon and was very quiet and contemplative. I knew from experience he was about to break so I waited. I was sitting outside reading the mail when he came up and sat next to me. I asked him if everything was okay. His little lip began trembling and he looked at me with his big blue eyes and said, ” Jake and I looked at an inappropriate magazine at his house yesterday.” That was not what I was expecting at all. Mainly, because Jake and his family are Mormon and they don’t even have “inappropriate” drinks at their house. I am way more inappropriate on a daily basis than Jake’s entire family. I said ” Okay. Where did you find this magazine? What was the name of it?” He wiped away his tears, ” We were playing hide and seek and we hid in Jenny’s room.” Now I was really confused. Jenny is Jake’s older sister and our babysitter. She is so mature, sweet and responsible. I was intrigued and I asked him to go on. ” She had stacks of them in her room and the name of the magazine was…….. Seventeen. There were girls in bikinis.” He put his head on his knees. I had to take deep breaths to keep from laughing. This poor child. He was probably thinking about this all night and day. I hugged him and explained that Seventeen is a fashion magazine for girls. That it’s not “inappropriate” but they shouldn’t have been in Jenny’s room looking at Jenny’s things. It was very hard to keep a straight face.
I know the decision to tell the truth will not always be easy for my kids. I know they are human and they will be confronted many times with taking the easy way out or telling the truth when it’s difficult to do so. For now, I will just enjoy their innocence and hope that they keep being as honest as possible.