The Lie

Up until recently, my children’s lies were pretty amateur.

“I didn’t eat it!” says a face covered in chocolate.

“I don’t need to poo!” Smell says otherwise, bub.

“I didn’t hear you!” right after I’ve had them repeat my instructions.

In general the children are dumbfounded by my psychic abilities in this regard.

But Me First blindsided me with a whopper the other day. It wasn’t just the lie; it was that he played on my sympathies and manipulated a situation to suit his own desires.

I guess you could say it was the grown-upness of the lie that upset me.

On Tuesday evenings, Me First is supposed to go to karate. Except he never wants to go.

This battle has been ongoing ever since he started karate a couple of years ago. Can’t say I blame him for not wanting to go, it doesn’t really look like much fun.

The Tuesday afternoon showdown begins as soon as he walks in the door.

“I don’t wanna go to karate,” he says, followed quickly by, “Are we gonna go out to eat?” Every once in a while we do. But somehow taking them out for dinner every time they go out for a bit of exercise seems to defeat the point.

Last week was no different.

“No, we aren’t going out to eat.”

“No, I won’t buy you a toy or otherwise bribe you to do something you ought to do anyway.”

It looked a bit like it might rain. The sky was a heavy, ominous gray. Me Too was already tired, so I guess you could say my determination was wavering. I wasn’t properly suited for battle.

Me First threw himself on the couch, declined to have a snack (!), and told me he was exhausted from having two class periods of PE that day. They do that sometimes, but it wasn’t on Tuesday’s schedule.

I told him that and he said one of the teachers was absent so the schedule had been changed. (This also happens pretty often.)

I didn’t have my guard up, and had no reason not to believe him, so I let him stay home.

That evening, though, when we got in the bath and I went to wash his hair, he resisted.

“I didn’t play outside today, and I didn’t have PE so my hair isn’t dirty,” he said.

Excuse me???

So I was a chump. Fanfreakingtastic.

I’ve come to the conclusion that if continuing karate is gonna make him a liar, then it isn’t worth it.

So there goes that.

He got loads of exercise when he was in preschool, but now at elementary he’s sitting all day long. They only have PE once or twice a week. Most days, by the time he’s finished his homework he’s too tired to go out and play, but I guess I’ll have to find a way to encourage him.

He’s always been so active that I’ ve never had to worry about him getting enough exercise.

Or telling convincing lies, for that matter.



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Xana
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 17:39:47

    They don’t play outside at recess? M always does. It’s one of the things I like about Japanese school since they are cutting back or eliminating recess in the US now. She also walks 2.5 km each way to school and we have lots of space to run around, it must be really hard in the city. Would he be interested in another sport? Swimming? Soccer?


    • hamakkomommy
      Jun 02, 2012 @ 18:27:12

      They have a short recess in the morning, but he says that by the time he goes downstairs and changes his shoes to go outside recess is over. He takes forever to do anything, so that doesn’t surprise me. They also have a recess after lunch, but he usually needs that time to finish eating.

      The school is only about a five minute walk away, which is convenient. I know most kids walk a lot further.

      Unfortunately, we don’t have a yard and they can’t run around inside because we have downstairs neighbors. We do have several parks nearby, though, so we really just need to get the homework finished in a reasonable time and get outside.

      I’m torn between finding another sport for him to join and just trying to incorporate more free play. The good thing about karate was that there weren’t matches and stuff taking over all of our free time. That’s one thing I hate about kids’ sports here!


  2. jane
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 07:01:02

    I teach at ES and JHS schools in Japan and they get 10 min. between every class (at least they do in Okayama ) and though they don’t go outside they run around the halls and class. Also, doesn’t he get play time after lunch?

    That being said I think an outside school activity is good just as a way to get away from stress/homework and to make friends. Shop around- there’s gotta be something he likes.


    • hamakkomommy
      Jun 03, 2012 @ 07:34:03

      He probably runs around during the breaks, but I don’t think he makes it outside after lunch because he still takes a long time to eat. At least he’s eating, which was better than last year when he stuck the food in his desk resulting in an epic ant infestation in his classroom and eventual disposal of his desk.(~_~;) Thankfully they didn’t charge me for it!

      In preschool, they let the kids spend an hour in the morning playing outside, as well as almost that much in the afternoon, plus they had PE several times a week. I was surprised by how sedentary elementary school is in comparison.

      When I was a kid in Georgia in the eighties, we had fifteen minutes of recess in the morning, fifteen minutes after lunch (longer if you finished eating early) and thirty minutes after school while we waited for the buses to come, plus PE every day. Don’t know what it’s like now, though.

      We are gonna check out a soccer club and a swimming school in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime I’ll try to get them outside more.


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