It’s a little bit on the funny side that, as responsible parents, we tell children lying is bad. There is never an explanation of the different categories of lies there are. Big, horrible, lies that are designed to hurt others and make a situation dreadful for no reason other than a love of chaos. You know the sort, ones spread around by spiteful people with the sole intent of causing misery for their own amusment.
White lies, ones intended to protect a person’s feelings from some minor emotional truth. Which goes a long way to explaining why certain people tried out for The X-Factor when the only notes they could carry were in their wallets.
Surprise lies, which are not ones that happen when you get caught in a situation you shouldn’t be in. Rather you know about a surprise party and when the focus of the event asks you to meet up you spin them a yarn to avoid ruining said surprise.
Then their are parental lies, which we all know about. Santa. The Easter Bunny. The Toothfairy. The Man who will come and take you away to an orphanage if YOU DON’T JUST SIT DOWN AND EAT YOUR FUC….
I digress, only slightly. The parental lies, aside from the last one, are meant to sprinkle a little magic in your children’s lives. More importantly you can tell ones that sprinkle a little imagination into their heads.
Such as what I’ve recently done with Stacey, Nugget’s elephant teddy bear. One day, as I was getting ready to go to work, Nugget came running up to me with her elephant and held the teddy up to me.
“Stacy wants to go to work with you today, daddy,” Nugget said, smiling.
I shrugged and opened my satchel wide enough for Stacy to be dropped inside. Zipping the bag closed again I knelt down and gave Nugget a kiss on the forehead.
“I sure hope she doesn’t cause me any trouble in the office,” I said to her. “Remember the story we read a few nights ago about the elephant in the park.”
Nugget did her cute little mischief laugh she does. Hands up in front of her mouth, chuckling away while her shoulders move up and almost cover both ears. She ran away delighted with life.
Of course I’m a nutter by trade and was already thinking about some of the stuff I’d tell Nugget at dinner that night. But then we live in a golden age of technology. A time when taking a picture and showing it to somebody instantly is as easy as taking our your phone…with a camera on it…and taking the picture.
I’m not sure were I was going with that. I’m tired.
Anyroad, off to work I went. When I got in I did my usual email reading, chats with the lads on my team and my morning cup of coffee. Then I set up picture one.
Empty mug, teddy head first in it. Snap. The story then behind this picture would be that Stacy drank all my coffee.
Next up, after doing a bit more work (because obviously I can’t be just taking pictures of a stuffed animal all day and get paid) was Stacy helping me do some work.
Despite the simplicity behind the picture, setting it up was hard. They say never work with children or animals when it comes to photography. Well let me tell you stuffed animals are just as hard to work with. I mean you give direction, describe the scene, and still the bloody thing keeps dropping the pen. But, picture secured complete with the story that Stacy had written down some notes on my pad.
Of course, me being me, I wasn’t above taking pictures away from the privacy of my desk.
Off to the kitchen area I went, Stacy the Elephant in hand. One of my co-workers even asked what I was doing. I told them I had taken a bunch of pics of the elephant doing things around the office. I guess with a more sane person they would have been confused by this statement, while secretly sending HR an email to say that I had finally snapped. But I’m known for being how I am, that is certifiably insane (I’m only not certified because I slept in on the day of the exam), and they just laughed.
That night, shortly after dinner, Stacy was retrieved from my bag and Nugget sat on the sofa beside me. I took out the phone and opened up the gallery to show her the pictures. Using the art of the parental lie, I told her that while I was away Stacy had moved and done all these things. That only when I was looking at her did she become a teddy again. Nugget’s eyes opened wide as she listened, laughing with her mischievous laugh at the pictures, and looking at Stacy every few seconds just in case movement happened and she missed it.
That night Nugget went up to bed with Stacy and we could hear her on the monitor telling Stacy she had been so naughty but so funny at daddy’s office.
Because sometimes, just sometimes, it’s okay to bare-face lie to your kids. As long as your feeding their imagination in a positive way.