Monday, April 13, 2009

The Care and Feeding of Hypocrites

Hypocrites are one type of person I have a lot of trouble dealing with. I'm a shoot-straight kind of gal and I don't like dancing around and definitely not flat-out lying. I just don't see the point. Lord knows, I'm creative enough to lie, but then I'd have to put in all the additional effort to remember the lie and who I told it to and why I told it in the first place, and you get the idea. Then it becomes a full-time job. If everyone just said things straight out then a lot of people might not be happy but they'd darn sure be working with reality.

So yesterday I did Easter at my parents with my brother/sis-in-law and my niece, who is four. She goes to a mothers-day-out program at her church once or twice during the week and was showing me her folder of stuff from school. There was one page with stickers for things done well every day, and her mother informed me that they also get stickers for doing things wrong. So I asked if she had any of those. She said yes, and the tale unfolded:

The kids were all out on the playground and my niece picked up a piece of trash and threw it in the trashcan. A little boy went behind her and pulled the trash out of the can (and apparently there was no argument that this object was indeed trash). So my niece took it away from him (they're the same age) and threw it away again, telling him it was trash and to leave it in the can. He didn't. He reached back into the can and took the trash out again, so my niece shoved him down to the ground. Hence the naughty sticker.

So her mother says "that poor little boy and he was wearing glasses. That wasn't very nice. She even made him cry." She looks over at my niece and says. "But you apologized, didn't you?"

My niece looks up, and completely matter-of-fact says "I apologized, but I didn't mean it."

My mom and I instantly had coughing fits that required the use of napkins over lower half of face. I know you're not supposed to encourage unwanted behavior by laughing but c'mon. You have to admit it's funny. The girl knows that you're not supposed to play with trash and by darn she was going to get her point across. Not only that, she couldn't understand apologizing for something she wasn't sorry for doing. You gotta love kids.

And the irony of the whole thing made me wonder exactly what we are teaching them sometimes. I guess they can't run mannerless in society but well, I don't know. My niece can apparently find any angle to get her way and can also argue her points quite convincingly given her age. I figure if all else fails, she can be a politician.

So what do you think? Any funny stories of kids telling it like it is? Any theories on teaching hypocrisy? Are they too young to understand?

Deadly DeLeon


Gemma Halliday said...

Ha! At least your niece has the straight shooter gene, too!

There are so many hypocritical things about the boy’s school, it boogles the mind. My favorite was the day I went in to teach a lesson on working hard to achieve success. I was instructed to give each child a prize at the end o the lesson – regardless of who had worked hard and who hadn’t. Sigh. Guessing that lesson didn't really sink in.


LuAnn said...

Well, at least she already has the attitude that some BOY is NOT going to run all over her!

Suzan Harden said...

That's right up there with the assistant principal who taught my son that it was okay to lie by ommission. Son and I had a long discussion on the subject that ended with -

Son: But Mommy, you tell lies all the time!

Me: What do you mean?

Son: You tell Daddy he smells good after he mows the yard, and he's really stinky!

Terri Osburn said...

I love this story. I'm with you, if only everyone was this honest. I can't be bothered to tell lies, so I've learned the art of remaining silent. :)

My daughter and I were on a plane this weekend and she noticed the woman across the aisle being a bit mean with her little boy. The woman was flying alone with three kids and they all looked to be 5 or 6 and under.

I explained the woman was probably a little frazzled and out of patience (since even *I* was tired of hearing this child repeat "MOMMY" constantly) but my daughter was adamant that there was no need for her to be so mean.

I tried to help her understand in some instances you have to mind your own business, but I was also happy to see her outrage and her belief in patience. I'm not sure how I taught her that, but I'm glad she's learned the lesson.

Jana DeLeon said...

Gemma - what a crock. I don't agree with that everyone gets a trophy so they don't feel bad either. When are they supposed to learn that life isn't fair and you don't get handed anything (unless your last name is Kennedy or Hilton, etc.)?

Jana DeLeon said...

Very true, LuAnn! And she's such a pretty girly girl. But tough as nails. Very much like her aunt. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Suzan - Hmmmm, so are you lying or are you one of those women that thinks men are masculine and sexy smelling when they sweat? Your son's probably not going to get the reason behind either, though, so I guess it doesn't matter. LOL

Jana DeLeon said...

terrio - while I see your daughter's point in theory, please jot it down and remind her of it when she has to fly (sans husbands, who never seem to actually fly with kids) and take her three with her. :)

Bet she has a whole different view then.

Suzan Harden said...

*grin* I didn't think five was the appropriate age to explain pheromones and sexual attraction. Though my husband, who walked in on the tail-end of this conversation, had to go back outside to laugh when I tried to explain I wasn't lying, using the example of how some people like chocolate and other people don't.

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Suzan!!! For the record...I agree with you on the sweat thing. :)

Terri Osburn said...

Jana - I will take great joy in reminding her of that conversation as the indulgent grandmother with the endless patience. LOL!

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL terrio! You mothers and your revenge. Now, see why I didn't have kids....... :)

Tori Lennox said...

Not sure it quite fits but when I was three, I think, the little boy next door stole my tricycle. My parents had taught me it wasn't nice to hit people. So I kicked him. *g*

Jana DeLeon said...

ROFLOL Tori - That is exactly the kind of logic my niece uses. Too funny!

Bookmobiler said...

"if all else fails, she can be a politician."Bad! Bad! Auntie!

BTW I read and enjoyed your last book. And that's no lie.

M. K. Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M. K. Clarke said...

Oh, the life of a straight-shooter. You're honest, they're mad at you for it; you bush-beat, they want the truth (or it all depends on who asks). I think retired radio talk show host Bob Grant put it best, "Nobody wants outright honesty, even if they do ask."

I give it, they hate me for it, but they'll know my stand on things. and like me or hate me for what I'd said, anyone who asks respects my honesty.

True story: I rode the bus one day and a little girl says to her mom, "Mommy, why is her hair all white like that?" The mother didn't want to her to keep talking about it, but I heard her, and boldly went to the little girl to tell her, "God used Crayola markers that make the color popcorn the day I was born." (I'm born with full albinism). The mother smiled -- I think she was grateful for the out more than my being mad like she'd thought I'd be from her daughter's inquisitiveness -- and the little girl said, "Oh, okay," then went back to her Dora the Explorer doll.

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