Lying is an unavoidable part of parenting.
My very nature is to be honest to a fault, like Jim Carey in “Liar Liar.” I suspect I drank truth serum instead of breastmilk when I was a scrawny newborn. I’ve told beggars on the subway, “Sorry, I only have my credit card on me today,” and, “Well, I do have a Luna bar. It’s a nutrition bar for women, but if you don’t mind that, you’re welcome to it. S’mores flavor.”
So when we made the family decision to skip church to go to an MLB event called All-Star FanFest, only because Daddy said something about how NYC may not host another All-Star game again in our (healthy) lifetime, I naturally thought we would have to explain to Micah, “This is a very special event so we decided to skip church but church is VERY important to us and we do not want to make a habit of skipping, OK? We love church but today we will not go, OK? Do you understand, Micah? And at least we went yesterday for Ellis’ baby dedication.”
But Daddy beat me to it. On Sunday morning, he looked Micah straight in his eyes, while changing him into his little David Wright jersey.
“Micah, there is no church today.”
“Dah-thee? We go to church? Big church and Micah church?” (Big church is for us parents and Micah church is his preschool class at church).
“No church today, Micah,” Daddy responded barely above a whisper.
I see, only now, that the vague lie was the way to go. How would we explain that the next All-Star game in NYC would most likely be when his parents are dead and buried (or at least so far down the road we return as grandparents)? And how baseball is a competing religion for Daddy. And how do we define “special event” since we may likely miss another day of church for an upcoming birthday party scheduled during service. (On a deeper note, wondering if we need to have firmer convictions with no exceptions?)
And I am a hypocrite. I seem to have no problem telling lies like, “Micah, you see that policewoman standing right there? She is here to make sure you hold Mommy’s hand when you cross the street,” or “Auntie Nicole told me that you can’t come to her lake house if you don’t listen to Mommy and finish your pasta.”
I can’t finish this post because I think I am having some form of heatstroke after telling pregnants and non-pregnants alike, “Drink plenty of water,” but not heeding my own advice while wrangling the kiddies. Feeling lightheaded and slow.
What lies have you told?