Childhood is a time of lies. Innocence and joy as well, obviously, but MOSTLY lies. We should all be ashamed of ourselves. Of course we should. Lies are not good. Lies are bad. I know this because I have spent 17 years bringing children up and telling them so. Er... *shifty look*
Some of those lies are for their own good though. The one about the Tooth Fairy? A distraction technique laced with bribery used in an attempt to distract a small person from the horrific realisation that a TOOTH HAS JUST FALLEN OUT OF THEIR HEAD.
It's traumatic, that's what it is. But it's alright because the child's thought processes run thus: "What? Wait? There's a fairy coming? With money?" and they wander off in search of a sibling to brag at completely forgetting the horror of discovering their own tooth in an apple thirty seconds before.
And Christmas? Well, that might just the biggest lie of all. Specifically designed to give parents at least one small part of the year where they have a chance of controlling their offspring's behaviour if it strays into hair-tearing levels of despair on yet one more trip to the supermarket."Santa doesn't visit naughty children," IS, almost, the most believed lie in the world by anyone under the age of ten and they believe it wholeheartedly with no correlating evidence or proof at all. *rolls eyes*
And then there are the OTHER lies. The lies we ALWAYS tell our children:
"In a minute..." (when it'll be ten minutes)
"Soon..." (when it won't be)
"I'm doing something..." (when you're not)
"I just have to finish this..." (when you don't)
" You'll love it, of course you will" (when, quite clearly with arms folded and lip stuck out, they will not)
and, of course, the BIG one:
"It'll be alright."
And just thank the gods that sometimes it is, because then at least you can maintain some semblance of parental credibility.
And then there are the specific family lies. The ones that blithely trip off the tongue because you've said them so many times before like this one and the one I tell every morning on the way to school with the six year old. The last of the brood. The only one I still have the responsibility of getting to school in a morning. The lie that I've told countless other mornings for an entire decade to the other, now older children, the ones who are NEVER late for secondary school.
The one that goes: "We're not late darling, we're just making an entrance."
*Apologises to children*