Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fatherhood Reflections XLII - Liar Liar Pants On Fire

Today the boy was caught lying.

We had spent time in the car wondering how he had spent the entire week's allowance of $10 by Wednesday. In doing so, we broke down the food he bought each day and made he recall everything he bought. Still we couldn't reconcile about $2+, which at this level, is quite important because $2 can buy you a sumptuous recess meal with excess to save up.

The boy was straight faced that nothing was bought from the bookshop, so we were early wondering if he had bought more food without remembering, did someone steal his money, did he accidentally drop it, did he forget to take his change etc.

Then at night while the wifey was packing his bag for the next day, she uncovered this new spangled pencil sharpener thingy shaped like an hourglass with fancy erasers at the other end. Very fancy indeed, and it was something she hadn't seen before the previous day.

Immediately the boy gives the ultimate guilty face. The wifey's interrogation began. It took a lot out of the wifey to express her disappointment and anger at being lied to. I could tell she was very disappointed, as was I, at such a revelation from our cute young innocent boy. Not so innocent anymore I guess.

The boy took all the scoldings without looking too guilty. Wonder what was going through his head at being found out? Obviously it wasn't one of guilt. So daddy comes in for the sledgehammer punishment. Told him to stand at the main door entrance facing the entrance to reflect on what he did wrong. He was to stand there until I was happy. 

I took a shower and did everything normally while he was standing there a good 10-15mins. Then when I was satisfied I went over to talk to him again, but still I wasn't convinced he understood how serious this incident was. So I told him he was going to sleep at the doorway tonight to help him understand how serious this was to us. 

Now he starts panicking. Keeps saying he doesn't want to sleep there yada yada. I ignore his pleas and told him to keep standing there. To add more seriousness to driving my point through, I took his bolster and threw it at the doorway. This was when he couldn't contain it longer and began bawling and crying his eyes. To add to the drama I switched off the living room lights as if we were all going to bed.

In the end I let him cry a good 10mins before finally coming out and talking to him again. This time everything came out naturally. He had gone with 5 other friends to the bookshop and all of them decided to buy that fancy sharpener together. In the end I kept emphasizing that telling the truth even after having done wrong is always the most important, especially to family.

Couldn't help thinking about my own antics when I was that age, lying to my mom about similar things and getting caught. There were guilty pangs when disciplining him, but yet it was a necessary process he had to learn from before he makes lying a habit and thinking he can get away with it easily.

Next whole week, he is on an allowance of $1 a day.


A day in the life.

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