“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics” – Benjamin Disraeli
Make that four: lies, damned lies, statistics and whopping great fibs you tell your children.
As a child, I (like most children in the world) trusted my parents implicitly.
When I was about 3 and learning my alphabet, I remember a conversation with my parents over lunch, pretty much along these lines…
Parent: Guess what? Mummy and Daddy have been really clever.
Parent: Yes. We have invented a whole new letter
Parent: Yes. It’s called “kicking kuh” and it looks likes this… (writes a K)
Fast forward a couple of days or weeks (I can’t remember exactly, it was thirty years ago). I was watching Sesame Street. Guess which letter Sesame Street was brought to my by? Yup, Kicking Kuh.
WOWSERS! My parents are soooo clever that Sesame Street has found their new letter, and now EVERYBODY is using it. So. Cool.
A few years later – when I was about 8 – my sister and I were just discovering rude words. My mum told us that she knew the rudest word in the whole wide world. My sister and I managed to persuade her to tell us what it was, on the understanding we would never use it because it was SO rude. Ok, mum we promise.
My mum then whispered the world’s rudest word: Big Toe.
Shhh, don’t say it too loud.
My sister and I weren’t convinced, but being as mums never lie and are always trustworthy, we did actually believe her. So much so that a few weeks later my sister fell out with her best friend over it. Like, properly fell out over it – they didn’t speak for days.
Now I am a mum myself, and I am coming to realise that it is only a matter of time until I, too, start making up ridiculous stories to tell my children. It started the other day when I told my toddler that the moon is made from cheese. I know that isn’t especially original, but hey.
A girl’s got to start somewhere.
What whopping lies have you told your kids? What porky pies did your parents tell you?