“Mama, that shirt makes you look like a tired clown.” Bless him. Logan does not lie well. I think he gets this from me. I am gifted in the art of exaggeration but have no poker face.
Recently Logan experienced a significant personal dilemma. A friend at school kept confronting him at recess with the question, “Am I your best friend.” Logan struggled with this situation for multiple days before breaking down on the car ride home one day.
“Mama, I just don’t know what to tell him. I keep running away whenever I see him but he keeps asking me the same question all the time.”
We talked through various options but Logan was determined to tell him the truth. He reasoned, “Mama, lying gets me in the biggest trouble at home. It is not a good habit. I’m just going to explain to him that my best friend is [insert name of current BFF here] .”
The following day, Logan gave me the update and said that he was honest but the kid began to cry and get mad. Logan didn’t understand. Not only is he a bad liar, but he’s a concrete thinker. His world is pretty black and white. He was completely thrown by the situation. I suggested he just tell the kid “You are my good friend” but Logan didn’t think that was specific enough. There are no continuums in his world.
The situation reminded me of when my Grandfather had a stroke. (Warning, the following story may alter your current views of my family. Let us establish now that we deal with everything through humor…often at one anothers’ expenses. Ya’ gotta laugh or cry, amiright?) The family was gathered in Missouri at the hospital. We each took turns going into the hospital room to spend a few moments with Grandpa to let him know we were there. The stroke temporarily disrupted his short-term thinking. After my brother’s turn, he came to the waiting room to report on his visit with Grandpa and told us that Grandpa kept asking “David, are you going to college?” David said that he answered multiple times that yes, he was going to attend UCA in the fall but Grandpa’s mind was on a loop and he would shortly ask the question again. Finally David just told Grandpa that he was going to Harvard in the fall. What’s the harm in that?
My timehop app today reminded me of a similar situation last year in which Logan did manage a little storytelling. Logan’s basketball team had lost. LOST BIG. On the way home from the game, we reviewed what he needed to work on before the next game and praised him for being a good sport. I told him that Jack had cheered for him during the entire game. Logan then leaned over Jack’s carseat and whispered “Jack, I won my game!” He then explained, “What? He’s a baby. He doesn’t know better?”
Lying is still bad but perhaps a little exaggeration is in order when you need to feel better…better than a tired clown.