Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Pants on Fire
He does present a small challenge. Almost every night, after we send him off to get ready for bed, he comes back with his jammies on to fetch one of us to tuck him in. The following dialogue ensues:
"I'm ready for bed."
"Good. Did you brush your teeth?"
"Go brush your teeth."
"I did!" (spoken with great indignation)
"Son, I know you didn't brush your teeth. Go do it."
"I did! I promise! Do you want to smell my breath?"
"No thanks. Just go brush your teeth and I will come tell you a story."
"Why don't you believe me?"
"Son, just go brush your teeth."
"Ooooh Kay." (Drops shoulders, grins, and goes off to brush his teeth)
What makes this ritual a little disconcerting, is that sometimes he is quite convincing. I can know in my gut that there is no way on earth that he had time to brush, but when he looks at me with that cute face and offers to pinky-promise that he is telling the truth, I want to believe him. Just the skill we want our children to develop: Effective lying.
Problem is, he got it from me - because he sure didn't get it from his mother. She can't tell a lie to save her life. She has this innate purity that refuses to be dishonest. It is a beautiful thing - and often funny because there are times she will try to fib, and it just doesn't work. You can spot a surprise a mile away. I, on the other hand, have some skills in this department that I shouldn't use, or be proud of. It would seem that some of the FOMLs picked them up from me.
My middle child (FOML #3) had a small incontinence problem when he was very young. He would come in the house with a giant wet spot on his jeans. This dialogue would occur:
"Son! What happened?"
"You had an accident."
"No I didn't"
"Yes you did. I can see it."
"I promise I didn't have an accident"
"Look at your pants"
(Looks down) "What? I don't see anything"
"Go take your clothes off and put them in the washroom."
"They are all wet!"
"No they aren't"
Eventually, and under duress, he would put his wet clothes in the washroom without ever admitting that they were wet, or that he had an accident. It was like some kindergarten version of Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch. (Too obscure? Here's a link to it.)
I know it drives my kids crazy when it seems we have some type of "parental psychic ability". And to a point, I think we do have some degree of "lie detector" ability built in. And thankfully, this ability can be developed spiritually as well - we call it the gift of discernment. The Spirit can help us as a spiritual lie detector if we are worthy, and use it wisely for important things.
Whenever I hear the term "Lie Detector" I immediately think of an old Steve Martin sketch that most of you have probably never seen. I had seen it shortly before entering the MTC, and one of my mission buddies had seen it as well. This guy was one of the funniest guys I have ever met. We would walk around quoting this sketch in English and Spanish. Good times. Enjoy: