July 15, 2016
Every parent looks forward to meaningful milestone moments. First steps and first words evolve to bigger moments like first haircuts and teaching them to ride a bike. So, I was thrilled last week during a trip back East to visit our families, when the boys and I shared one of those special “firsts.” We experienced our first LIE together!
The fact that we executed our first group lie on one of Cape Cod’s beaches were I spent much of my youth made it even more poignant.
(Here’s Charles. He got the ball of deception rolling)
(Here’s Arthur. He really helped sell our lie)
I’ve commented before on my blog that I’m a big fan of fibbing. Many people may choose to frown on it, but lying can enhance a bland story, get you out of having to help a friend move and even dodge a marital squabble from time to time. It’s an important skill I’d like to pass on to my sons.
We didn’t plan on lying at the beach. It just fell into our laps and we went with it. That’s usually how a great lie happens. When we arrived, a father and his two teen kids were putting the finishing touches on a fantastic sand castle. They were justifiably proud of their work and took several photos of it before they packed up their stuff and headed home where they no doubt spent the evening reveling in their granular accomplishment.
After the family was gone, Charles and then Arthur made their way over to this elaborate masterpiece.
I didn’t realize it at that moment but the stars were aligning for our precious dishonesty. About five minutes later an older couple strolled by and started to look at the boys. Charles was patting the sand in the castle giving the appearance that he was firming up the sides. In reality he was looking for a weak spot to destroy this thing of beauty. That’s kind of his thing. But the older couple looked at him, then looked at me, smiled and said, “Pretty impressive.” They were joking but without missing a beat I smiled back and said, “They’ve been here since this morning and I won’t lie, they’ve shed some tears. But I think it came out pretty well.”
The couple looked stunned. They totally bought what I was saying and asked me how old they were and when they started displaying a knack for architecture. As I answered their question, explaining that they were always fascinated with their toy blocks they boys began to help me with my lie. Arthur put a couple of sticks in the side of the castle and I commented, “Great, Arthur! I totally forgot about where we were going to put up our castle banners!”
Then Charles got into the act and started putting shells on the inside walls. “Charles, I thought you wanted to use larger shells for the interior design.” The couple’s astonishment continued to grow as they asked what else the boys had built to which I responded that at 13 months they we’re still trying to perfect sand castles. My wife, looking on from a distance, instantly knew what I was up to. She walked up to me, said hello to the nice older couple and then looked at me and said, “We should leave soon before the boys see the tide take away all their hard work.” Is it any mystery why I love this woman?
I said goodnight to the couple as they walked on down the beach periodically looking back in amazement at my boys in their sandcastle, contemplating whether they had just witnessed the next two Stephen Hawkings or Albert Einsteins.
Once they were out of sight, Charles puked up some seawater and we knew it was time to go. But as I walked off the beach with my wife and two sons, one of them smelling like seaweedy vomit, I looked back at the sand castle as the tide began to take it away and burned the image of the magnificent whopper we told that old couple into my brain. I knew it would be a memory I would cherish forever.
Of course, if anyone reading this post is wondering if I stretched the truth or even made the whole story up, I won’t blame them and I won’t be offended. It’s part of the Liar’s Code to have thick skin.
Least Favorite Child Results
Going on vacation to visit family in both Boston and North Carolina was not only an grueling ordeal, it took me away from my blog from July 2 to July 14. That’s a lot of days to cover and I won’t go through them individually but a tally was kept throughout and Arthur wound up with an 8 day to 5 day advantage when it came to being the least favorite.
Arthur’s strength on this trip was his willingness to be held by roughly 50 different people without crying. In fact he rather enjoyed being coddled by complete strangers as if he was giving them a huge thrill and honor. He’ll be a great high level dignitary.
(“Nice to meet you stranger. Why don’t you hold me while I feel you up?”)
His weakness was sleeping in new strange places resulting in keeping my wife and I up much later than we would have liked. If one of those strangers could have fit into the crib with him we would have been in business.
Charles was into being held which disappointed a lot of people, but I realized how much more I enjoy him when they are dozens of people to watch him. I didn’t have to chase him all over the place as he could be covered in zones by other adults. Charles wasn’t the calorie burn he usually is and that was fine by me.
Least Favorite Child Year One – Charles
Total Days As Least Favorite Child – Year Two
Arthur – 28
Charles – 23
Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 340