Two days before Father’s Day, my daughter handed me the card she had made for me at nursery.
“Shhh! It’s a secret.” She said, putting her finger to her lips. “I can’t tell anyone about it.”
“And I can’t tell you about it.”
“And you can’t tell anyone about it. Not even yourself.”
What is a lie if not the big brother of the secret? My daughter is just as poor at both. I ask her if she has eaten all her fruit at nursery. “Er, no daddy.” She says.
“What did you do with it?”
“I threw it in the bin” she admits, a little shamefaced.
I grin and tousle her hair, feeling the lack of a fib is far more important than the actual deed.
I can see the temptation to lie emerging though. Three and a half years without one is a long time. More than I’ve managed. This morning when I saw the buttery toast my wife had made for her sitting on the plate-with-piggies-on-it, I asked “Did you lick off all the jam?” She hesitated and then confirmed that was the case; but I could have sworn I’d seen her first blush. Or perhaps it was just the strawberry.