Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Lies Damn Lies
I think this might be a generational difference but I don't think I lie to my son as much as my parents lied to me. I don't mean devastating, family secret, your-mother-is-really-your-sister type lies. No, I mean the little ones, the white ones, the "if you eat an apple pip an apple tree will grow in your tummy" ones.
In fact, I think I have only ever used two LWL (little white lies) on him.
1. Father Christmas only comes to good little boys and girls.
2. Monsters are scared of the half empty beaker of milk on his bedside table (this, in my defense was an on-the-spot LWL after he had woken up in a cold sweat screaming about monsters being in his room. It did the trick, by the way.)
I can remember a whole host of LWL dished out by my parents including "picking your nose will make your face cave in", "if the wind changes your face will stay like that", "if you swallow an insect they'll lay eggs in your bottom" (actually that might have been my sister that told me that), and "too much telly would give me square eyes", to name but a few.
I was witness to a friend of my dad's telling his 4 year old daughter that if she didn't eat all her greens that he would phone up the tramp they'd seen the day before and get him to take her away. He did this over a family Sunday lunch and I can't begin to tell you how deathly the silence was at the table after that particular ultimatum.
My friend Stephen tells a story that he used to bring stray dogs home when he was a kid, his mum always smiled when he did and told him that sadly they couldn't keep the dog but she'd take it to a farm where it would be looked after. He subsequently discovered that she took them to the vets to be put down. He has been in therapy ever since.