Grandparents Day (Part 5)

December 2, 2009

When my wife and I talked with the mommies after Grands day, we learned that Random Granddaughter is working quite diligently on creating a life full of tumult. Mommy gave the private school counselor a ride to her home after work and learned that RG was recently involved in some “creative story telling.”

I don’t remember the exact details, but it involved a toy or piece of costume jewelry that had disappeared for a couple of days ago and RG found it and shared an imaginative story about how it had been discovered again (by her, of course).

The mommies have always encouraged RG to be truthful. Until the age of four she was notably honest.

I suspect that children, in general, learn, from about the age of five, to embellish and manipulate and “spin” information before presenting it to adults. In other words, children learn to lie by the age of five.

I remember when I was five leaving a jacket at school and telling my parents a lie about it. My father, whom I suspect was a pretty good liar himself, punished me severely and gave me a big speech about always telling the truth. My reaction, of course, was to dedicate myself more diligently at concealing and dissembling to the adults around me.

9 Responses to “Grandparents Day (Part 5)”

  1. woo Says:

    I have to say that I think the ability to tell a convincing lie is a vital part of socialisation. As is the ability to distinguish between times when a lie is necessary and times when the truth is preferable.

    So, looks like RG is well on the way to becoming an excellent adult 🙂

  2. modestypress Says:

    Random Granddaughter is trying out different schemes for arranging her life. She has considered, so far, being a fire captain, ferry captain, train engineer, artist, teacher, concert pianist, and marathon runner. If she becomes skillful at deception by the age of six, she will probably talk Grandma and Grandpa into signing our deed to our land and house over to her. Once we do that, we will have to serve her as slaves for the rest of our lives.

  3. Average Jane Says:

    I completely agree with Woo. The art of lying is a social necessity. Besides I don’t know why people make such a big deal about telling the truth. When did the truth ever make anyone happy!

  4. modestypress Says:

    Woo and Jane,

    I completely and sincerely agree with your profound comments. Cross my heart.

  5. modestypress Says:

    I think part of the issue with Random Granddaughter’s lies are either

    a) She hasn’t learned to lie in an economical and efficient way to spare feelings and contain as much of the truth as possible to make it more convincing than elaborate and rococo stories


    b) She hasn’t learned to get her lies published or issued as “works of literature” or “works of art.”

    But then, she is only five years old. Time enough to deceive the world by the time on a grand scale by the time she is six.

  6. mommy Says:

    I was going to ask you on what basis you thought lying was wrong, considering that you disregard Biblical morality and are a nihilist, etc., however, I am relieved to see that you don’t. Still love you, anyhow.

  7. modestypress Says:

    Mommy, first of all, I will mention, as I have said to Pete, and to visitors from worldmagblog, you are welcome to post religious-inspired and religious-compatible comments. I don’t delete comments unless they are tedious and/or excessively long-winded. (I own the wind at this web site.)

    I will say briefly that I consider ethics/morality to be a product of physical and cultural evolution. We tell people not to lie because a lot of lying would make civilization unworkable. Suppose one of the companies that hires you as a consultant says, “We will pay you $5,000 for the work you do for us.” If they didn’t pay you, things would begin to unravel.

    However, certain lies are necessary for civilization to function. When Nazis asked people, “Are there any Jews in your house,” most people (even many devout Christians) consider it appropriate to lie.

    On a trivial level, when a wife asks her husband, “Do I look fat in this dress?” and he answered honestly, many marriages would not last. Quite unlike this world, where spouses always tell each other the truth and all marriages last.

  8. Karen O Says:

    How are the mommies handling this?

  9. modestypress Says:


    I am not entirely sure. In the past, sometimes when talking about popular culture myths such as Santa Claus and also talking about some of Random Granddaughter’s more fanciful flights of fancy and story telling, they have sometimes asked her, “Is that pretend or is that real?” or similar questions.

    She has usually been able to respond sensibly and appropriately. However, she was mostly engaging in innocent and creative imagination. She has now apparently entered the world of I can make things up. What can I do with this talent that will serve my purposes?.

    If that direction takes her into the world of writing stories and plays, then that direction is fairly well accepted by society. If she takes that direction into the world of launching ponzi schemes and deceiving lovers, then perhaps not such a good thing.

    RG shows signs of being:

    a young lady of great intelligence, creativity, and talent;

    a young lady of strong impulses and emotions;

    a young lady often confused and ambivalent about herself and others.

    Fasten your seatbelts

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