“Is the water finishe”’, I asked as he held his water bottle and stared out of the car window. “Yes”, he mumbled not too confidently.
“May I have the bottle?” I asked.
Then he mumbled something. I asked for the bottle a second and third time as I quickly realised he was not being truthful.
If there is one thing I have emphasised to the children, it is my hatred for being lied to, being made to look like a fool. I have said to them again and again that no matter how bad a situation is, tell me the absolute truth. Let us deal with the related consequences later but start by being honest with me and by taking complete responsibility. After all it is clear mother dear will always find out the truth.
So I asked if he had drunk his water one last time and he looked down to indicate he had been lying. I had to keep my cool, because I was driving but also because that moment reminded me of a story.
In my Primary Seven, I was introduced to a whole new collection of novels. I am not sure but it must have been the Enid Blyton’s “Famous Five”.
One night I was deeply engrossed in one and could not put it down. Now because mother dear expected me to be revising as a serious Primary Seven candidate, I put the novel within the confines of my Maths book and appeared like I was revising.
As fate would have it, I fell asleep while mother was in the shower. She came out only to find the books had fallen; it was obvious I was not reading. Mother had me for dinner and breakfast if you know what that means. But aside from the pain of being scolded and the severe embarrassment from the situation I also found myself in a place where people could not trust me. And that hurt deeply!
Many years later those many experiences come to mind along this parenting journey. It is countless times that the children do the very things we did when growing up. Often times I tell them I know the tricks of the game because like wisdom teaches, there is actually nothing new under the sun.