The Lady Speaks

But, Mom, it’s all Saddam’s fault!

Has El Commandante….'Chokes on Pretzel'…President Bush ever taken responsibility for anything?

His speech yesterday sounded familiar to many parents out there. (Thankfully, I only had to read it. That was painful enough.)

I used to hear the same sort of excuses about ten years ago, when my kids were little. (Names changed to protect the guilty.)

"Who broke the lamp in the living room?" I ask.

"What lamp?" said the nine-year old Son.

"I didn't know the lamp was broken," said the six-year-old son.

"I think the dog broke it," said the three-year-old Only Daughter, "but it could have been [Son #2]."

"Nuh-uh! It was already broken when I got there!"

Always, always, you'll hear, "Not me, I don't know nothin'' followed soon after by "blame someone else". From there, you usually start to reach the truth, because they know that you know that they're desperate.

In this case, the truth was the children decided to play kickball in the living room, and Son #1 hit a homerun off the lamp. (But it was Son #2's fault too, according to Son #1, because if he'd just caught the ball, it wouldn't have hit the lamp.) And the children, knowing their beloved mother, knew it didn't matter who actually broke the lamp, because they'd all get in trouble for playing kickball – again – in the living room.

It's not lying, so much as it's a game, testing a child's evasive manuevers and a parent's skill at interrogation. It's also early training for the teen years: "How did that dent get there?! It's a brand-new car, and no, the dent was not there when I bought it!"

Normally, though, kids grow out of it. They get in trouble for telling fibs, they're called to account for their actions in school. They learn to accept responsiblity for bad decisions, and they learn that they're expected to make corrections or amends, as the case may be.

President Bush is – no surprise – about 45 years behind the curve.

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March 30, 2006 - Posted by | Bush, Children, Government, War

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