My son knows how to read. Sure, he still struggles with some words, but as I’ve told him, even grown ups sometimes run into words we don’t know while we are reading. I’m thrilled that my son can read (and that my daughter is starting to read too). I must admit, though, that I am a little disappointed. The fact that my kids can read means that I have to stop lying to them in the way I most frequently lied to them. I can no longer lie about what is on a restaurant’s menu.
It wasn’t lying per se. It was more sins of omission. I skipped reading about the $7 PB&J sandwich. I didn’t mention that the fancy restaurant offered a hot dog. I didn’t list french fries among the options for sides.
But now my boy can read. Soon my girl will too. I can no longer lie to them about these things.
This is what children do: They learn things, and their parents can no longer lie to them. We have long been past the point of being able to lie that “It’s bedtime!” because the first bit of time my kids learned to read on the clock was that all important hour.
Even when faced with a couple of bedtime-truthers I still enjoyed my authoritarian censorship powers over restaurant menus. Sadly that is no more.
Yes, I can still say “no” to them, which happens particularly when my son reads words like cake or ice cream. Still, it was a lot easier when I could pretend that whatever restaurant we were in didn’t have such things.
I am learning to adjust. After all, if we are already out and spending the money isn’t it better to spend $7 on a PB&J that will be eaten than on a $7 something else that might not. Same with the fancy hot dog and the french fries.
Instead of lying about what’s on the menu I have to tell the truth about why certain foods shouldn’t be eaten all time and why others should be eaten more frequently. I also have to be honest with myself that I, too, prefer french fries and want to order dessert.
My eye doctor keeps telling me that we may need to think about bifocals “next year.” So far “next year” hasn’t come, but it will. Hopefully bifocals will be all I need, but as I get older it may come to a point when I need my kids to read restaurant menus to me. And if that happens, I don’t want them to lie about the good stuff.
Besides, I love reading. I’m am proud of my kids’ reading. For that achievement they deserve to order what they want. At least sometimes.
This was written as a part of Blogapalooz-hour when ChicagoNow bloggers are given a topic and are challenged to write and publish a post about it in an hour. Tonight’s challenge was “Write about a time you told a lie.” (Yes, I’ve told worse lies than this, but nothing good comes of those types of lies. I chose not revisit any such serious incidents for this post.)
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