I try to be an honest person, mainly cos if you’re the kind of person who lies all the time, it tends to come back and bite you in your big, fat, dishonest arse. That and I have a terrible memory so it makes sense that I don’t try and confuse my sometimes near Alzheimer’s mental state with a slew of half truths, white lies and little fibs. Or as Mark Twain succinctly put it-
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
Being a parent of a child with special needs,however, I’m ashamed to say, has allowed my own inner Pinocchio to come alive and sprout a rather long branch for a nose. There are 3 things that parents of babies are obsessed with. I call it the WTT factor-Walk, Talk, Teeth. When is my child going to walk, talk and grow his own set of gleaming chompers?It’s like a competition, a race to see which child finishes first.
Now, it’s hard to lie about the teeth when it’s plain to see that there are none, but I have found myself lying about the walking and to a lesser extent, the talking. I was on a bus home one day and there was another buggy in the buggy area. After some manoeuvring, we managed to get both of them lined up properly and not too much in the way of other passengers. The occupant of the first buggy was a little boy, probably around the 1 year mark, with a near full set of teeth and some basic words-bye and no seemed to be his paroles of choice. I got chatting to his mum, who eventually got around to asking the question, “How old is she?” and when I said “17 months”, there was of course the usual surprise-Mini is small for her age- followed by the common “And she’s no teeth yet?” And when this was followed by a query as to whether Mini was walking or not, I cracked and said she’d tried a few steps which was met by an approving nod.
|Look Mam-no hands!|
I feel so bad about lying because Mini is doing really well-she’s standing on her own for a few seconds, she’s climbing up on the sofa by herself and she’s just about ready to navigate the stairs without any assistance so I’d hate her to pick up on the fact that I’m disappointed with her progress because I’m not. It’s just so exciting to see children develop, to learn new skills. I know I need to find more patience and chill.Kids do things when they’re good and ready, not to please anyone else but I know that the day Mini takes her first steps, I will burst from excitement and it’s the promise of this excitement that just pushes me over the line sometimes into the grey fuzzy world of the half truth.