When something other than the truth is presented to me as fact, that person is saying a few things to me.
- They do not believe I am capable of knowing the truth. They don't trust me to have the facts.
- They think that I'm too dumb to figure out the truth for myself.
- They're not afraid enough of me to worry about what's going to happen when I discover that I've been mislead.
- They do not respect me enough to save me from walking around this life with an invalid version of reality in my head.
- She seems to wonder: "How pissed would dad be if he knew the truth?"
- She doesn't think too much about me finding out the truth. Not that she thinks I'm too dumb to figure it out, mind you... That's what I keep telling myself anyway.
- She's progressively getting less afraid of what happens when I discover the truth.
- Again, she's not thinking about my image, cause she's five. Life would be better for her, if in my mental reality, for the first time ever since the creation of physics, the inanimate objects flew across the room of their own volition and broke. She's clearly a firm believer in "a first time for everything". She believes in it so much that she'll give me the far less likely, unbelievable version of reality expecting that I will buy it, and when I speak of it as an authority, others will gasp in astounded awe.
So what do these facts say to me?
- She knows there's a good chance that I'll be pissed. Well good. That's a start. I've taught her well.
- Although I know she's only 5, and the mind doesn't really think ahead until much later in life, I'm continually blown away at just how much smarter than me she thinks she is.
- I need to step it up a little when I blow the lid off of scandal. Clearly my reaction is far too pedestrian. Time for some shock and awe. It sucks that you can't spank kids anymore, cause I got mine. I did my time. And it worked. SO much easier than dreaming up punishments, or timing thing while they sit in a corner. When I screwed up it was "I'm going to smack the shit outta you!". Now that I'm in the driver's seat, I gotta dream up some new creative unexpected thing. "I'm going to... Throw out... something!" like I know what any of her toys are, much less where the ones she really likes happen to be. I can't remember events either, so I can't even threaten to not let her do something she's looking forward to. When we plan things for her, we don't tell her, so that she doesn't drive us nuts being all excited about it... Kinda leaves me with "Just don't do it again!" twenty years ago, I'd have been able to tell her that I'd smack her into the middle of next week, and be done with it. Sorry about the huge paragraph here, but when I hit enter, it starts item number 4.
- If I can't get her to knock it off, at the rate she's growing / learning, she'll be able to tell me anything she wants and make it convincing, and I'll be screwed. She's going to be smarter than me before I know it. I'm hoping that respect thing kicks in.
I went on a tirade today. She and I did the normal "do you want X for dinner," "No" "well that's what we're having." "I thought we could have Y" "No, we don't have Y, we're having X"... Today it was about what to drink with dinner. Water was the X, and Juice was the Y.
Let me clarify that a little...
"Daddy, can I have some juice?" "No, hunny, we don't have any juice. Matter of fact, we're short on Milk too, how about some water". "No thanks." "Well then, you'll be having nothing then?"
Now, we DO have a juice container in the fridge, but it isn't holding juice, it's left over coffee, that I make Iced Coffee with. I knew she'd seen it and figured she thought that it was perhaps grape juice.
For some reason, I have a peculiar pet peeve... When I know why someone is doing something that I don't want them to do, it makes me even madder when they don't stop doing that thing. I'm really sorry for that horrible explanation, but that's about as good as I can do... I think of it like when someone is telling a joke, and you already know the punch-line and it's not funny, even though the joke itself is very funny in it's own merit...
So I told her we had no juice, and instead of trusting that I know what I'm talking about, she pushed back her chair to get up, and my tirade began.
"So this is the part where after having just been told that we don't have juice, you're going to get up thinking that I don't know what the F I'm talking about, and you're going to go over to the fridge and point to this jug that looks like juice and tell me we do have juice, and then I have to say No dear, that's not juice, that's coffee, and then you say Oh. and you go sit back down, and I end up getting you water and you freakin drink it, shocked that I am actually right. right?"
Perhaps it was a little over the top, but. yeah.
She'd gotten so far as sliding down off her chair, by the time I finished my tantrum. She looked at me like "duh" and said "No... I have to go to the bathroom." And she went off to the bathroom. I stood there, still angry, but a different kind of angry... more a smoldering pile of coals rather than a raging fire. She came back out a second later, and climbed back up onto her chair, and suddenly I realized that I was NOT wrong! And NOW she'd lied to me too!
"You weren't in there for four seconds!" I shouted as if I'd cracked a major case.
"I was quick" she shrugged. (See item 2 in the first list up top.)
"Don't lie to me!" I said, totally calling her bluff like a badass. No response. Nothing. (See item 3 in the second list up above) She settled into her chair, ate, and said "Mmm, this is the best water in the whole world."
...OK, no, she didn't make that comment about the water, but It was funny. Note, that I cared enough about you, gentle reader, to allow you to believe a non-truth. I'm clearly afraid enough of what you'd do if you found out...