Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Gray Area

Today Motormouth was telling me that his new best friend is no longer his friend because the friend lied to him. As I was encouraging Motormouth to give his friend another chance, that friends forgive and it would be sad to lose such a good friend, I realized how ridiculous what I was saying was. After all, I have been teaching Motormouth that lying is a terrible, hurtful thing to do. It makes people not like you or trust you. Lying is my pet peeve and Motormouth knows that I can forgive a whole lot of things as long as he is truthful. So, why defend his friend? I have no idea. By shrugging off his friend's lie am I teaching him that lying shouldn't be considered a big deal? His friend's little lie falls into that huge gray area that is so hard to explain to young children. I have to tell you, I hate that gray area. I don't like exceptions to rules. Sure the exception is what makes the rule, and what makes life so wonderfully complex. It also makes life exhausting. Ask any parent who's child is in the "why?" phase. The gray area stinks like moldy cheese.

Rule: Never, ever talk to a stranger, or take candy from a stranger
Exception: Except at Christmas, when not only will we let you talk to a stranger, we want you to sit on his lap, ask for toys and take candy from him while we take your picture.

Rule: Your body is precious and is not any one's property. It belongs to no one but you.
Exception: Selling your teeth to someone who comes into your bedroom at night while your parents aren't looking. (I blame the tooth fairy for prostitution)

Rule: Lying is a terrible thing to do.
Exception: Unless someone is doing it to you and not the other way around.

Rule: Sharing is mandatory when playing with others
Exception: unless it is your little brother and it is just easier (and I do mean quieter) to let him have it.

Rule: We have plenty and do not beg for things.
Exception: Halloween.

Yep. I do not care for the gray area. It gives me a headache.

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