Everything in this post is true:
I lie. I lie strategically, manipulatively and, most typically, to my children. I was the one who told them that the ice cream man’s truck only plays that music when the ice cream is all gone. I tell them the TV is broken to avoid watching stupid shows about spelling (Hey, I already know how to spell, kids, so it’s B-O-R-I-N-G to me!) or that I have to pee when I want to sit on the pot and read Twitter for a while.
I have kept lying for one simple reason: it makes my life easier. I figure I can always work on trust down the road — in intensive therapy, which is where I am sure we are all headed.
But today, I branched beyond my kids with my lies, and now they are memorialized in the Chicago Park District database. These lies will follow me for the rest of my days.
The rationale: I was signing Simon up for a park district class called “Tots in Motion,” which will enable him to play with grimy toys and listen to a story twice a week at a ramshackle field house near our home. As we approached, Sadie started whimpering that she wanted to come too. I get that. I would hate to see my brother gnaw on a tattered old copy of Curious George while I was left to roam freely in the autumn sunshine. So, I uttered a very empowering sentence: “Let me see what I can do.”
The problem: I introduced myself to the class leader and said I wanted to register my kids. She handed me a clip board (whoa, what’s the budget for this operation?) and the release forms. Thinking on my feet, I told her I would use one sheet for both of my kids. But, then, like committed self-sabotager I said, “What’s the age range for the class?”
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
She told me it was 12-36 months. Because I am a math prodigy, I said, “Wait. 36 months? Is that…????” Uncomfortable watching me struggle with basic math, she jumped to my rescue, “Oh, it’s almost two-and-a-half.”
Whoa. That’s when I knew we had to be best friends FOREVA because her math skills sucked as much as mine. But also? I really wanted her to be another adult on the team to enrich my children’s lives. Mostly because I look like Madame Curie next to her.
I stared at the form. Then, I shaved a few months off Sadie’s birthday, making her approximately 2.5. Then, I realized I had to shave off Simon’s too, otherwise, he would only be about 7 months younger than Sadie. When I came to, I was handing the “teacher” a fistful of money for my kids to take this class. You know– Sadie, who’s 2.5 and Simon who’s about 13 months old.
The permanent record: I was mortified during the class as all the nannies were oohing and aahhhing over Sadie’s ability to hold a paintbrush and speak in complete sentences. I played dumb, which you and I know was not so much of an act. On my way out, the teacher said she would be entering all the information in the database later today so she could get me a receipt later in the week.
Great. So, she’ll check that database I am already registered in and see that I totally LIED. We’ve taken Chicago Park District classes before, so the damn database will betray me.
Now, I am left to ponder my fate:
Will we get kicked out of class because I lied or will she think I just haven’t nailed down my kids’ birthdays yet? Will I get my $20.00 back? Maybe she won’t notice that the birthdates don’t match? Will she confront me next time we try to attend Tots in Motion? Should I just tell her the truth? Should I challenge her to a math-off?