I realized the other day that I tell my son quite a few lies in a day. I actually call them “lovely” lies because I’ve convinced myself that they aren’t full-blown lies. My “lovely” lies are things I say in tenuous times that could possibly be true. The thing is, I don’t know if they are actually true in the moment I’m saying them.
When my son asks me if we will see a digger while we are out I always respond with a yes. Truthfully, I never have a clue whether we will or not, but I say yes because (a) he loses it if I say no and, (b) given enough time, there is a good chance we will see one. Most times we manage to see a digger on our travels and I feel relieved knowing it’s been crossed off the list. In the off chance we don’t see a digger, I will excitedly tell him how something else is pretty much the same thing as a digger. If we see a shovel, I explain that this is a smaller, more convenient version of a digger. In more desperate times, I simply show him how his hands can act as a digger.
When I’m tired, I will sometimes bribe my son to get him into his stroller. Oftentimes, I find myself empty-handed on the bribe front, so I make the promise of a treat that I know doesn’t exist. Even though I have no treats to speak of (i.e. raisins, goldfish, etc.), I find myself dealing with the situation by using a rogue cheerio left at the bottom of his pushchair or a dandelion picked from the grass. With enough enthusiasm, I can convince him that the stale piece of cereal or ubiquitous flower he’s been bestowed is both an honour and a treat.
I suppose I don’t feel particularly good or bad about my “lovely” lies. I have convinced myself that they are simultaneously innocuous and necessary to me surviving parenthood. Parenthood is joyful, but trying, and sometimes a few half-truths or creative explanations have helped me navigate these waters more smoothly.
I had been thinking about my “lovely” lies a lot recently and this self-reflection increased even more dramatically after watching an engrossing documentary on Netflix called (Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies. It’s worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. It definitely made me gain insight into the lovely and not so lovely lies we all tell.
What about you? Do you sometimes tell “lovely” lies? Be honest…