Pants on Fire

posted by Momo Fali on June 8, 2011

For nearly four years, I have chronicled my son’s blatant honesty in this space. I never thought I would say what I am about to say.

He’s been lying a lot.

Of course, he doesn’t hide the truth when it comes to telling someone that their forehead is greasy, or that their hands are wrinkly or that his 53 year old therapist must be “younger than mommy because she is smaller”. That one was a double whammy.

No, he’s been lying about whether or not he got toothpaste on the counter, his socks were put down the laundry chute or if he put the skateboard away. These are things for which he wouldn’t be punished, yet he lies about them nonetheless.

These untruths are spoken despite the fact that we have a steadfast rule. You will not get punished if you tell the truth.

The other day I sat him down and said, “Enough! I have taken away your video games, the TV and your controllable car. I have sent you to bed early and denied you dessert. You need to understand that you have to tell the truth! It is important and this is final, buddy. WE DO NOT LIE IN THIS HOUSE!”

Then he looked up at me and asked, “So, can I go outside and lie?”


Make sure you stop by my review page where I’m giving away a $100 gift card to Best Buy courtesy of BlogHer and sponsored by Samsung and a $100 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods courtesy of BlogHer and sponsored by Gatorade.  Leave a comment on the individual posts for a chance to win. It’s that simple! And, I’m not lying!


  • Kimberly

    Looks like you may have a future lawyer on your hands. Lies and can find loopholes. Good luck!

  • Cris

    Oh my! I have to admit I giggled at his cleverness.

  • Sarah

    So far, my children are really bad at lying, so I almost always catch them. At least, as far as I know . . .

  • AlisonH

    Only if it’s lying down on the grass and studying the clouds, kiddo.

    Good luck. It’s heartbreaking when they do this but hopefully temporary. Getting caught and held to it is the best therapy–he’s lucky to have such good parents.

  • Emily

    Gotcha on the technicality, too funny! How did you keep a straight face?

  • SurprisedMom

    You have a great rule about telling the truth and punishment, but you also have a very clever son. So, what was your reaction?

  • UP

    For some odd reason, all little boys lie about toothpaste; on the counter, whether or not they used it, how the tube got empty in 2 days, etc. It’s an oddity of the Adamic nature. I’m sure Eve had the same problem with Cain and Abel!!

    Well, she had bigger problems later on, so maybe you should nip this in the bud!!!


  • Tara R.

    Oh he is quick. My son used to do that too when he was younger… tell me the truth about big things, then lie about the little, unimportant stuff. He did eventually grow out of it… I think.

  • Lynne

    Oh my goodness…….flashback to the times when my kids were younger. My youngest (who is now 21) could parse a sentence and out-logic and argue and debate with the best of them. I remember thinking when he was about 4 or 5 that I should have gone to law school so I would be able to hold my own in the logic/arguing/debating dept. The “can I go outside and lie” comeback is exactly what he would have said to me. It does get better, so hang in there. I will say that I learned that the absolute worst thing to do with him was to speak in anything but calm even tones, no matter how hysterical I was on the inside. It was like throwing gasoline on a fire to lose control with him. I don’t comment often, but enjoy reading……….

  • lceel

    He just wants you to think he’s perfect.

  • Aimee Giese | Greeblemonkey

    Dex has some issues with this, and other related stuff. one thing is, he has such a crazy imagination, he makes up these stories, and all of a sudden they ring false, and you’re like, “SERIOUSLY? Someone make you eat grape jello with spiders in it today? REALLY???” He is getting better at starting it with “OK, this is JUST a story, but…”

  • meleah rebeccah

    Well, you can’t really argue with that one!

  • Oscar

    That is priceless…

  • Una

    I once found size 6 foot prints on a glass coffee table so I lectured my size 6 footed 3 year old boy on the danger of walking on glass .He looked me in the eye and said “I did nt walk on it .” I lectured him for 10 minutes on the non lying policy of our house …I know he said ” I did nt walk on it I ran on it “

    • Momo Fali

      That? Is awesome. Mostly just because it wasn’t my kid.

  • Tom

    Perfect. That kid has a razor sharp mind.

  • Mrs. Tuna

    I can hear the wheels turning from here.

  • Irene

    You always make me laugh! I stop by ESPECIALLY when I’m having a bad day.

  • Miss Britt


    And what did you say to that?

  • holly

    My 9 yr old is just coming out of the lying phase…thank goodness.

  • weaselmomma

    and that kid has just done it to me again. Please hold while I wipe off my monitor and keyboard.

    On a related note, I know that he has OCD tendencies and this behavior, my dear could be easily related to that.

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