Marjorie Sharmat wrote a fantastic picture book by this title, and I can’t for the life of me think of a better title for this post, so hopefully Marjorie, if she ever reads this, will agree and grant me post-publishing rights to the title.

We are owners of a Wii. I have been guilty of using it as a babysitter at times, but knowing full well that playing the Wii can rot a child’s brain (at least that’s what I tell my kids, which scares them not at all), I have established a few WiiRules. I stick to my guns on these despite the enemy’s creative, desperate, crazy, yet almost always unsuccessful attempts at battering my defenses. My kids know what they must accomplish before their 30 minute allotment of Wii time. The list is ridiculously long – according to them – and includes READING.

One of my dear children (who will remain unnamed for dignity’s sake) was anxious to play the Wii. I had been at home to see this child finish most of the required pre-Wii tasks, but had to run an errand and hadn’t witnessed the READING. Having learned a thing of two about parenting over the years, I decided to ask.

“Have you read today?”

“Yes. “

“For how long?”

“A LONG time, Mom”

Knowing that time perceptions can vary widely, I followed up with this simple request, “Show me what you read.”

This sweet, precious child disappeared briefly and reappeared with book in hand, confident look on face. “I read the WHOLE thing!”

There are a few basic Rules of Bearing False Witness which this child apparently forgot (or perhaps had never learned). They go something like this:

If you’re going to lie about a book you’ve read, you may want to glance at the title first and consider the fact that since your mom is a German speaker and teacher, there might be a few German books lying around the house. She may have been duped by you in the past, but telling your mom that you’ve read a book entitled Das Dchungel Buch is a BAD idea. Not only will you have to double your reading time that day, you will definitely NOT be playing the Wii.

And although you will give your mom a good laugh after this incident, she’ll also obsess about where she’s gone wrong on the lying front. You’ll need to prepare yourself for at least a month’s worth of Family Home Evening lessons on HONESTY.

Finally, please give yourself a small break – your lie was pretty lousy, which points to the fact that you’re not likely a repeat offender. So maybe your mom will knock the four weeks down to two.

She’ll let you know. After she’s done laughing.