Becoming a parent has changed me a lot. This is mostly for the better – I’ve become calmer, more patient and happy to put others first. But it’s not all good. I’ve always been a very honest person and, try as I might to always tell the kids the truth, I find that I tell a lot of little white lies to them.
Take Saturday evening for example. Somehow or other, the boys found the chocolate eggs we were going to pass off as the Easter Bunny’s handiwork.
We knew they were going to get loads from family so had told them that parents don’t buy Easter eggs. We explained that they only come from the said bunny and relatives. When asked whether this “rule”, as they interpreted it, was Theresa May’s doing, I answered in the affirmative.
So that was a triumvirate of tall tales already. I had perpetuated the myth of the chocolate-toting rabbit and suggested that, as a result of new legislation, we couldn’t get them any. I had also implicated the PM, but I don’t really feel bad about that one.
That wasn’t that though. Upon discovering the eggs, the boys quizzed me as to who they were from.
I panicked and admitted they were from us. Why? Because they had got good school reports and we had therefore decided to bend the rules. I don’t know whether this constitutes undoing one of the previous lies or adding another one via embellishment.
Either way, action was required. While Kate got the kids ready for bed, I hurried down to the shops. I told the boys I was going to buy wine. That was a lie as well. We already had some.
Fortunately, I found one of the last remaining Easter egg hunt boxes. The eggs were smaller and much more believable as offerings from a generous, big-eared mammal. Again, I’m not sure whether this atoned for my earlier acts of dishonesty or exacerbated – eggsacerbated? – the situation.
I rushed home and was back in time to read with the boys. Again, they had questions. This time concerning how the eggs would be hidden. I told them the Easter Bunny would do it. Lie! They didn’t like the idea of that. The cat might attack him.
I pretended I had misremembered and that, in fact, he would leave them by the back door. Lie! I would take them in and hide them on his behalf. As it turns out, this proved to be a half lie too. Kate hid them.
So while we had a nice family Easter, there is an underlying and tangled web of deceit. There are now several Easter eggs in the kitchen cupboards and I know they’re going to last for a while. It’s also pretty likely that the last few may disappear during evenings in the weeks ahead and the lies will continue.
Will I end up with egg on my face? Time will tell…