One of the nice things about kids is that they tend to be terrible liars. When I was a kid, I couldn’t even intend to tell a lie to my mother without breaking out in nervous laughter. It really gives the whole thing away, when you walk in the room, take one look over at mom and then burst out laughing. I’d just turn around and walk back out. So I’m not sure what I was thinking when I started to teach Milo how to tell a lie that was both good and effective. How did I ever end up here?
Milo’s modeling agent wants us to take him to New York in the summer to take part in a huge modeling/talent convention. Since we aren’t sure if this is a good idea for us, we told Milo to keep quiet about it to his friends. One of our big fears is that our little egotist will alienate all of his friends if he isn’t careful. But is seems that Milo didn’t realize we were talking only about the New York possibility. He’s doing a bridal runway show this weekend and had to get measured for a tuxedo Monday night. The next day he really wanted to talk about his fitting but was scared that he wasn’t supposed to say anything. So he invented a cousin’s summer wedding as a pretext to the fitting. Now I find out that he’s been telling friends about how he can’t wait to score with the pretty flower girls and how he’ll be charming them all with his keen dance moves after the wedding. Note to self – time to cut him off from watching The Big Bang Theory.
So after he confesses all of this to me, I had to take the time to explain that we are only being closed mouthed about New York. The rest of the modeling gigs, he can share. Humbly. Very humbly. But that doesn’t solve one small problem. For Milo to do the bridal show this weekend, he needs to miss play practice. This will require some deception because he is not supposed to miss any practices. I figure since he is playing a Yeti and has only 3 lines in the whole play, he can miss one practice but I’m not about to say that. I’m also pretty sure that he can ad lib with some grunting and cavorting around but again, I can’t say so. So I laid out what we will tell the play’s producers. “Ok, Milo. We will tell the producers that we have to go out of town this Sunday and we were unable to avoid it.”
“Wow, Dad. That’s a great idea, because we really are going out of town. That’s like the truth.”
“That’s right. When you need to lie, you need to lie with the truth. That way you can say that you told the truth. You just didn’t tell the whole story. You always have to keep the story simple and as truthful as you can. That’s what makes it believable.”
The realization that I am training my son to lie like Machiavelli suddenly dawned on me. “And don’t think you can pull that shit with me, ” I told him, “You have to always tell me the truth. Or else.”
“Don’t worry, Dad. I won’t” Suddenly, I feel like June Cleaver accepting a compliment on my lovely dress from Eddie Haskel. What have I done?