Monday, 28 October 2013

Bless me, father...

... for I have fibbed to my children.

But before you judge too harshly, let me set the scene.  It's the first weekday of half term.  Nevertheless, we had to get up earlier than we would do on a normal school day, as we had some tricky-to-sort-out admin to attend to that required the four of us to get in the car and wrestle with the black heart of Moscow's rush-hour on the MKAD (the Moscow motorway ring road).  You can imagine our delight then, when we arrived at our destination, to find that the offices we needed to go to are closed on a Monday.  Of COURSE they are; this is a municipal office and, like most museums and art galleries, doesn't open that day unless there's a bank holiday somewhere in the week (when all bets are off and who knows what the schedule is).

This, by the way, is not where the fib took place.  The Boys were aware we messed up (when I say 'we' I think you understand that I am not talking about 'me' - but no finger pointing, it never helps *cue much polishing of PM's saintly halo*) - and took the situation amazingly well.  Almost as if they were used to it.  Cough.

Then, we decided to make use of our trip by making a visit to the bank on our way home to carry out a transaction, which necessitated a) me to wake up out of my oh-so-attractive dribbling doze in the front seat and b) the boys to stop ribbing each other for long enough to get out of the back seat of the car so that c) Husband could negotiate with the bank clerk on a transaction which, we realised once we got home, was not actually completed.

Still no fibbing.  Some muttered cursing, yes, but no fibbing.

Subsequently, we managed to persuade Boy #2 to practice his Taekwondo routine with his older brother (admittedly, with promises of hot chocolate for the Boys who At Least Tried), play a few rounds of Uno without resorting to fisticuffs, get through some holiday homework, eat some lunch, select some activities for us to do later in the week, speak to the grandparents and check their house was still standing after the storms (it is), and choose which movie to watch later - all without me fibbing to my children.

Boy #2 is now ensconced in the music lesson he loudly complained about when informed it was happening (But it's the HOLIDAYS, Mum!), and as far as I can tell, enjoying it.

But he wouldn't be if I hadn't fibbed.

Boy #1 is supposed to have lessons at the same time, you see.  And here's where I may have muddied the waters a little; I got a text 3 hours ago telling me that Boy #1's teacher was not able to make it.  I knew that Boy #1 was looking forward to his lesson and yet I kept the information to myself and chose not to tell him about the fact that it had been cancelled until after his brother's lesson started.

Why?  Because I simply couldn't face the battle that I knew would ensue if my younger son realised that whilst he was having his lesson, his brother would simply be lying on the sofa reading Harry Potter*.  So, as far as Boy #1 is concerned, the text arrived half an hour ago, after Boy #2's lesson began.

So will my tongue turn black and fall out of my head?  Or am I simply utilising 'smart parenting' in this sin of omission with my younger son?

*This is, in fact, exactly what is happening.  And he doesn't seem too upset, after all...


  1. There is no law that says you always have to tell your children every detail of every transaction that takes place between you and other adults, no? Pretend you're a diplomat from a small foreign country. That's what I always did.

  2. I like Irene's take on this!

  3. Irene, great advice! Will definitely be using it.

    Iota, me too!

  4. I think it was definitely smart parenting. I wish I had been so smart yesterday. I took my older child (9 years old) to see his father in the play he was performing in, but had to tell my younger child (6) that she couldn't come - she wasn't old enough and it would be boring for her. Cue massive strop, repeated a couple of hours later when we actually went off without her. All that I said was absolutely true, and in fact my son was flagging towards the end and was leaning his head on my shoulder and saying 'can we go yet?' But maybe I should have invented a rule that the theatre didn't allow anyone under 8 in?


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