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by Karen Legge

The Invention of Lying

I like to think I am a cracking role model to my child.

I utter please and thank you at every opportunity. I try to keep calm in stressful situations (apart from the odd expletive in the car when some f…fool cuts me up at the traffic lights). I eat with a knife and fork, remembering to close my mouth and not talk with a gob full.

Yet somewhere along the way I’ve clearly failed Harry in his social development. Either he’s witnessed this trait first-hand or more concerning, he was born with the skill. Err, hello my little sociopath. Somewhere, at the ripe old age of two, he has learned to lie.

Now – we are not talking malicious porkys here. There’s no “I didn’t hit him” whilst the other child is sprawled on the floor, wailing. He’s not got the subtle nuances of white lies sadly: “You haven’t got dark circles under your eyes mummy – you’re fresh as a youthful daisy!” However – somehow he has taken to using one big whopper of a bare-faced lie.

Poopy. Yep. The poopy lie. He’s not a subtle pooper. There’s the proper gurn as he tries to expel his morning porridge in to his nappy. His little face turns puce and the breath is held. He’s also taken to uttering ‘oooookayyy’ in a strained tone, as a little personal poopy pep-talk. Let’s be honest – he knows it; I know it; anyone in the room knows it. We have a code brown on our hands, something that’s clearly established even before the earthy aroma hits. Earthy being the polite way of saying god-awful stench.

So I ask the question. “Harry, have you done a poopy?” Wait for it… Here it comes. “No mummy.” Ok. Try again. “Harry – is there a poopy in your nappy?” Not looking at me, continuing to play with his trains, I get a casual “no poopy.” Whaaaaat! Bare-faced! The audacity.

I’m not sure how I deal with this. He’s a bright cookie and he knows (and he knows I know) he has unleashed all hell in his size 5 disposables, yet he will always tell me no. Do I chastise him for his blatant untruth. Do I go along with it and pretend to believe him? I retract this, I value breathing clean air too much. Or do I replicate his behaviour and demonstrate that lying about pooping ones pants is unpleasant for all involved – not wearing a nappy myself, this may not be an advisable strategy. I’ve taken to reminding him calmly that we both know he has pooped, that he needs to tell Mummy the truth and that we need to quickly go and get rid of it before the green fog engulfs us. Neither of us want to deal with the poonado but let’s just be upfront and honest, then get that bad-boy bagged and binned!

I don’t like to think this is a skill he has witnessed from me. I may have lied by omission about a few additional pieces in my wardrobe to his Daddy. I may have uttered half-truths to my hubby: “you deserve to play golf on a Saturday and Sunday, as you work hard all week (but I’m pissed that I have to entertain a toddler by myself when everyone else is doing family stuff).” And I may have blabbed the odd bare-faced one myself about my spending habits: “My manicure… I haven’t had it done for weeks…”

could take full responsibility for this social skill development – or anti-social skill – but I strongly believe the blame lies somewhere else: with the rabbit every parent loves to hate: BING.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail – credit to BBC

As well as teaching my child how not to sneeze – ‘aieechee’ – and how to say words incorrectly, this bunny lies, steals and murders. No butterfly is safe near his clumsy rabbit paws and every shop keeper should keep a close eye on their lollypop stock when he’s in town. His worst crime however, is teaching my boy how to lie. “What happened to my mobile phone?” asks the odd mini parent/carer figure, Flop. “I don’t know,” replies Bing. Yes you do, you lying little git! You smashed it and put it in the bin. Know this: your sins will find you out though my long-eared friend.

With the responsibility clearly residing with this strange super-sized rabbit pre-schooler, I feel less parental guilt as another motion is passed and denied by my toddler. I figure we only have six months left of nappies so perhaps there will be less of a necessity for lies once the potty is introduced. More importantly, the desire to watch twelve episodes of Bing back-to-back will hopefully be replaced with some more socially acceptable, like… Paw Patrol – they seem upstanding canine members of the community. Failing that, I’ll at least teach him to back me up – “Mummy no manicure Daddy.”

When did your child learn to tell little porkies? What is the best denial you’ve ever had? Any other ‘interesting’ traits your little people have developed? Please share!

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