Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reading Between the Lies

Kids are not very good at lying, but this is only because they haven't had as many years of practice as their parents.  Parents love to lie to their kids.  Well, let's face it, parents simply love to lie.  But it's so much more fun when someone believes you, so we tell the lies to the most gullible people we know.

Parent: You better be good because Santa is watching and if you're bad you'll get nothing but a lump of coal in your stocking.
Kid:  What's coal?
Parent: I meant bologna loaf.
Kid: Eeew!  No!

Parent: If you leave your tooth under your pillow, the Tooth Fairy will come at night and leave you a quarter.
Kid: My friend Amber said the Tooth Fairy left her a dollar!
Parent: Amber is a liar.

Kid: Why can't I have Dr. Pepper?
Mom: It's bad for you.
Kid: Then why does Dad drink it?
Dad: It's only bad for kids.  Now finish your McNuggets.   

When Buzz was three, we were on a long flight to Kansas to visit Lois's parents.  Buzz kept getting out of his seat and wouldn't hold still.  Finally I whispered to him (so Lois couldn't hear), "If you don't stay in your seat, the pilot is going to come back here and yell at you."  We didn't have any more trouble with him the rest of the flight. 

Lois's uncle, Dr. Teeth, is an orthodontist.  At a family reunion a few months ago, he told all of the kids that if you don't brush your teeth, bacteria will get in your mouth and eat the food left on your teeth.  What happens after you eat?  That's right, you poop.  And where do you think the bacteria will poop?  That's right, IN YOUR MOUTH!  For all I know, this is actually true, but I don't care because whenever Buzz or Rocky give us any trouble about brushing, all we have to do is remind them of what Uncle Dr. Teeth said. 

So we shouldn't be all that surprised when our kids start to invent falsehoods of their own.  Has your kid ever told you that he hasn't been in the chocolate stash when there are tell-tale signs all over his face?  A while ago I caught Rocky with his finger in his nose.  I said, "Don't, Rocky."  His reply, "I wasn't!"
"You weren't what?"
"I wasn't picking my nose." 
"Who said anything about picking your nose?"
"...Well, I wasn't."

A lot of times, my kids know when I'm full of it.
"Dad, what are you drinking?"
"Broccoli juice.  It's really good.  Do you want some?"
"No it isn't, it's Dr. Pepper!"

"Dad, are you eating chocolate?"
"No, I'm chewing tobacco."
"Oh, I mean, I'm eating broccoli."
"It smells like chocolate."
"Huh.  That's weird."  

Studies have shown that it is the intelligent kids who are the most effective at lying because it takes a strong intellect to recognize the truth and then invent a plausible alternate reality.  So think about that the next time your kid lies to you.  And if they're not lying to you, that just means they're smarter than you are and you haven't figured it out yet.