Back in September 2014 I wrote and published a post called When Should We Stop Lying To Our Children? and the post included this passage;
“From telling your kid that the ice cream man only plays Greensleeves when he’s run out of ice cream or that the shops are closed today, to saying things like “we are almost there” when you’re really a few hours from your destination or “this won’t hurt” when taking them to get their shots or removing a splinter, these untruths will catch up to you one day.”
Well, that day for me was last Thursday.
While Mummy was at work I took the boys for some dinner at the local shopping centre and then we did a spot of groceries in preparation for the Easter four day long weekend. As we were going away for a couple of nights I picked up some fruit and vegetables, a dozen hot cross buns, some non-dairy milks, and some snacks for the road trip. Our weekend away was about an hour and 45 minutes drive west of our house with the festivities being held at my wife’s aunt and uncle’s property just outside Lithgow which is the other side of the world famous Blue Mountains.
As we were getting together with 31 members of her extended family for the weekend, to make things easy for our hosts, home-made pizzas were the meal of choice with over twenty pizzas being on offer. As I am vegan and knowing that there wouldn’t be any vegan friendly pizzas on the menu I picked up some vegan friendly cheese to put atop a vegetable laden pizza for me.
Typically, Master 4 was being a real shit and wanted this and that. He kept taking things off the shelf and I kept telling him to put them back promising that something better would be down the next aisle. With tantrums occurring in every aisle we went down, I didn’t know how long I could keep up this charade of eternal promises of something better just around the corner.
About six aisles down he settled on coloured popcorn which I was never going to buy, but after his biggest tantrum that measured as a 7.4 on the Richter scale, I told him to throw it in the shopping trolley. From then on there were no longer any tantrums. Not even the smallest aftershock.
Our 7-year-old son is a smart and helpful kid most of the time. He recognises his brother’s tantrums and how difficult and straining they can be on my wife and I, and when he can, he tries to help out. Sometimes he actually makes it worse, but hey, his attempts and quelling the fire is as hit and miss as our attempts, so I love him for doing this.
At the checkout he was trying to distract his younger brother and asked him to come and play just beyond the next register, one over from where I was putting the items. Unfortunately the little one has clued on to this distraction method and stayed back wanting to make sure that his popcorn made it on the conveyor belt. So, I put it on there and seeing this, he then went off with his big brother.
Just after that I swiped it from the register and put it in the baskets that were stacked before the conveyor. I felt bad, but what am I to do? Master 4 kept looking over so I had to manoeuvre myself so that I was between him and his view of the items being scanned. I told him he could have them once we got the the car and rushed to pay and then whisk the boys out of the store.
On arrival at home I unloaded the car and Master 4 asked where his popcorn was. I told him that it’s not in any of these bags and I must have left a bag at the shops. I put on my best “geez I’m disappointed with myself” look and he bought it. He truly thought that I had left a bag behind at the shops.
The kicker was, unfortunately I actually did. The lie came back to bite me. I truly did leave a bag at the shops. As John Lennon wrote, instant karma was going to knock me on the head, and it did.
And it wasn’t just any groceries, but a bag with expensive items in it including my vegan cheese. Of course, I didn’t discover this until after I put the kids to bed as my wife was still at work when I started the bedtime routine. After I got them to bed I finished unpacking the groceries and noticed my deodorant and the vegan cheese was missing. In that bag was also a big bag of grapes and some mini lettuce, the latter being for our pet rabbits and guinea pigs.
So with my wife home, I jumped in the car and drove back to the store and as I did I called them on the way to ask them if they had a bag left behind. I was asked to tell them the missing items and I when I named the vegan cheese’s brand name and the three pack of mini lettuce they told me that they had it there and I just had to pick it up.
My karma wasn’t as big a punishment as it could have been. I mean, technically the people after me could have picked it up and claimed it as their own forcing me to have to have bought these items again, but the fact that I still had to make an effort of jumping in the car and driving up to the shops with my tail between my legs was enough.
Have you ever had a lie you told your kids come back to bite you? Share your story with me.