I was having a conversation with my mum the other day about how I hate to lie.
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I can't bear it. Not even little, white, ones, I told her. I much prefer to be honest and be free of getting caught out. This is less to do with being incredibly moral and more to do with being an absolute wimp. However, it's just dawned on me that I lie to my daughter daily. I lie so frequently and elaborately, that a lot of what she believes is fiction. In fact, a good lie is my favourite go-to parenting tool for getting stuff done.
My biggest and most used lie of the festive season was Father Christmas. My husband called him every night, reporting back on how kind she'd been to her sister, how many vegetables she'd eaten and if she'd washed her hair. She was obsessed. For some reason, she was convinced that a disused driving-test centre on the way to her Grandma's house was the North Pole and to be honest, I agreed. It was handy having him so close in case of any dinner dodging emergencies.
She also thinks there's a policeman that lives a few doors down who checks that everyone is getting dressed nicely and that they put their seat belts on. I even used the postman as a law-upholder the other day, as he was conveniently doing his rounds whilst I was attempting to fold a ruler straight 2 year old into her car-seat. As soon as she saw the official looking red shorts and jacket combo she sat down and buckled up.
I also use the cat a lot. I tell her that if she's leaves her yoghurt the cat will eat it and if she doesn't pick up her pens the cat will take them. This has backfired in a few different ways including random foodstuffs, that she's not so keen on, ending up in the cat bowl and cat/toddler standoffs as she tries to protect her glitter glue (that the cat actually has no interest in whatsoever).
Father Christmas isn't the only number we sometimes dial. My phone contact list is a who's who of all the best people to keep you on the straight and narrow: the dentist for teeth brushing, daddy for disobedience. They can be called at a moments notice, at any time of day and always pick up first time.
Some fibs bring absolute joy. I often buy small gifts and tell Violet that her little sister bought them for her. It melts my heart as she thanks her 7 month old sibling profusely, face beaming, for purchasing her a present.
Every line she squiggles is a masterpiece, every note she sings is angelic and every dance move she busts is award worthy. I hope these exaggerations make her feel confident, secure and loved. And let's face it, a touch of over-excited hyperbole can genuinely brighten a day.
So clearly I'm not as virtuous as I thought. In fact, I'm damn straight deceitful. But I do it because I love her. Because I love her and because I want an easy life.