Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Invention of Lying

The Invention of Lying was a moderately funny movie about a guy that discovered lying in a society of people that always had to tell the truth.  Everyone was completely unable to lie until the Ricky Gervais character invented it.

It's a forgettable flick.  I only remembered it after witnessing my own daughter's recent discovery of dishonesty.

For five years she's been completely honest (to the best of her ability).  If she farts or takes the last piece of candy or spills something she owns up to it.  It's been nice.

Then I tried to get her to take a nap.  We were going to see a baseball game which would keep her up way past bedtime.  One of my top mom responsibilities is making sure she gets plenty of sleep.

We both laid down and I pretended to be asleep.  Usually she gets bored and eventually succumbs to a slumber that then lasts three hours.  I waited and peeked at her.

A half hour in she gets out of bed.  "Well, I was asleep!" she announced.

She hadn't been asleep.  I persisted in trying to get her to nap for a long time.  After it was evident that she was not going to comply, we had a talk about lying.  I conveyed to her that it's a lie to say you slept when you didn't.

Then Dad called on his way home from work.  Julia asked to talk to him in private.  I gave her the phone and eavesdropped in the hallway as she marched off to her room to chat with her Dad.

"I took a nap Daddy," she says.
"Are you sure?  Mommy says you didn't," he says over the speakerphone.
"I did.  I'm not lying.  Mommy is the one that is lying."

Oh really?  She came back and handed me the phone.  I was stunned.  I spent the remaining time until my husband got home evoking Jesus and Santa Claus in an attempt to impress upon her how wrong it was for her to deliberately lie to her father.

"Santa knows when you're sleeping," I told her.  It even says that in the song!  "When did you think you were asleep?"
"In the middle, when you were sleeping," she says.
"I wasn't asleep.  I was pretending so you'd fall asleep."
"You saw me?" she asked.  "Oh."

She apologized to her father for lying as soon as he got home.  Only after I pointed out that I knew the truth.  And Santa Claus too.  She knows all about lying now.  It's a whole new ballgame.