April 29, 2012

Opportunistic Truth Teller

I’ve been thinking the last few days about how without Dave in the picture anymore, my kids have only me to emulate.  I guess that can be good and bad.   I asked the baby why he didn’t eat his waffles this morning and he said, “Because I hate them!”  That is just so me.  For all of Dave’s shortcomings, he did have many endearing qualities.  He was a very calm person.  He didn’t get rattled easily.  When he was healthy, I would freak out about things, and he would calm me down by declaring that everything would be ok.  It was comforting.  He wasn’t a dramatic person.  We were complete opposites in that way.  I’m so verbal.  That voice in your head that stops you from saying certain things….I really don’t have that.  And it makes it impossible for me to be a liar.  Dave had that voice…and he was a man of few words.  And a lot of them were lies. 

Today we were outside all day.  I told the darlings there would be no tv, no video games, no wii.  Our days are so much better like this.  We have a bathroom downstairs off the patio, and I walked in to find an unflushed mess and loads of toilet paper filling the whole bowl.  Only when I bent over to flush, already worried it was way too much tp and envisioning the hot plumber’s muscles, I noticed it wasn’t tp at all.  It was Clorox wipes.  Like 10 of them.  One of these little darlings has wiped their ass with Clorox wipes.  Great. 

So I call all the darlings, in such a way that surely they know there is trouble.  I’m so great at disguising my feelings, right?  They sulk over and I asked who did this.  Of course none of them did it.  So then I say if someone doesn’t speak up, you’ll all be punished.  The two older darlings then blamed the baby, who wears a diaper, for shitting and wiping with Clorox wipes.  This is annoying.  So I say that whoever wiped their ass with Clorox wipes is probably going to get cancer on their ass, because the wipes are poison.  There is only silence.   The older darling is alarmed.  I can tell right away he thinks he has cancer. 

He has inherited Dave’s liar gene, and he suddenly admits that he did in fact poo, but didn’t put all those wipes in there.  I’m struck immediately by how much he looks like Dave in this moment.  So I calmly asked what he used to wipe.  I know for a fact we were out of tp down there, because I was on the patio last night with a friend and used the last of it.  Silence.  He then says he checked his butt, and didn’t need to wipe.  Really.  I suppress my laughter and ask him to show me how he can see his butt.   Because I can’t see mine.   He smirks and knows he is caught.  For punishment, he has to reach in and pull all the wipes out.  We discuss the difference between Clorox wipes and the regular flushable wipes we use to wipe our butts with.  (People, please tell me you use wipes!  Because if you stepped in dogshit in your yard, you would not simply wipe it off with toilet paper.) 

I’m suddenly in a panic that my kid is a liar.  I flash forward to his teen years, and I’m chasing him through the streets with the police.  He’s strung out on drugs and all he does is lie.  Fuck you Dave, for never learning to tell the fucking truth. 

This is what I’ve learned about lying, from living with a liar. Lying is about not being able to accept failure.  And people need to be allowed to fail.  I fucking fail every day at something.  And every day it’s a new opportunity to learn how to do it better tomorrow.  I didn’t scream at him.  I don’t want him to be afraid to fail.  More and more, I see how our responses to stress define who we are.  If you can’t fail, then you already have.  And you’re not even out the gate.  If I am nothing, nothing, then I am at least honest.  I’ve been called ‘honest to a fault’ many times.  And I despise a liar as much as anything.  I don’t really know another way to be.   I don’t know what happened to make me this way.  Maybe I’ve just failed so much that I’ve learned to embrace it.  To laugh at it.  To look at it as a gift.  Because it can be.  Because every failure is an opportunity.  And I’m an opportunist.  Life is less work that way.  Ya hurd me?


  1. I would love to sit and have a conversation with you. You amaze me. Just with something as simple as the way you handled this shitty situation. So aware of your feelings and the feelings around you. The strength you're finding to control your reactions (I am TERRIBLE at controlling my reactions... I scream, I yell, and I want everyone to know HOW mad I am by making them just as mad. TERRIBLE)

    Long story short, I want to be a better person. You show me that I can be. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I hope you know that you are more than entertainment. You're real. You inspire. I laugh with you. I cry with you. And, I'm always cheering you on. You have come so far... and you don't seem to be slowing down, at all :)

  2. I love reading this blog and how you tell a story about your life. I love forward to reading this blog often.

  3. I both love and hate your blog. My husband is your Dave. Mine is still alive, but he is everything your husband was. He has a pill addiction, he lies and sneaks. He's doing well right now, but I keep waiting for him to go back to the lying, sneaking pill popper he has been for the last few years. He went into a psych ward this winter and came clean on so much stuff.
    Sometimes, I can read your blog. Sometimes, I can't because it feels like my life. I both love and hate my husband for everything he has put us through. I can identify with you and it scares the hell out of me that I could be writing this blog someday. Thank you for sharing your life. Thank you for being so honest. Thank you for making me feel like I have someone out there in the world to connect to, even if it's just by reading your blog.

    1. My husband also is an addict. =( pills, food and he lied to me for 6 years about it....so dissappointing. I am also waiting for him to go back to lying, sneaking fast food..pills...anything to escape.. so, I relate.

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  5. We use wipes here when we make a grumpy. If it helps :)

  6. I am loving your blog. I have spent the past 3 days since I found your blog reading from day 1, absorbing and aching for you and your family (I'm not a psycho, I swear). Then I got to this post and stopped dead in my tracks. I grew up with the propensity to lie (don't all kids) but I never stopped. White lies, big lies, the-truth-is-worse lies... and no matter what I did to try to stop myself, nothing has opened my eyes as much as your simple, yet true, words: "Lying is about not being able to accept failure. And people need to be allowed to fail...If you can’t fail, then you already have." OUCH! OK, I'm awake. Thank you. I have 3 little boys and I would never want them to grow up to be adult liars incapable of failing. THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  7. I am one of the guilty ones of finding your blog (because it was #1 on the mommy blog page) and reading every post from day one in two days! You are a miraculous woman! My life has never been anywhere close to the life you have but I can say that you and your posts have made me think how lucky I am and That my life is a dream compared to others and I need to appreciate what I have. I always have complained and yelled and have been so upset over the littlest things. I found. myself today Being patient with things and telling my other half how lucky I am to have him and our son and I hope I continue to appreciate it and not take it for granted. I only have one child (who is in his terrible twos I have to add) and I feel like my hair is falling out and going grey. I could not imagine having to deal with 3 boys and your obstacles as Well! But you are awesome and I could only hope to be as awesome as you!! Keep it up!

  8. I don't have a filter either. No brain or mouth filter. Sometimes stuff pops in my head and out my mouth faster than projectile vomiting. And then shit will slow down real fast like the Christmas Story when Alfie said Fuck when his dad was changing the tire.