When my parents came home from Batam, where my father is stationed for his engineering project for months, my rowdy twin nephews greeted them eagerly. "Where are the plane tickets? Give us the plane tickets!" they bounced near the door like little puppies.
"We don't have any tickets," my father put his bags on the sofa.
My mother played along, "We went aboard as illegal passengers. With no tickets."
"What are illegal passengers?" asked the twins.
"When you get on a plane without paying."
"Reeeeaally?" the gullible eight-year-olds bought the lie. "Wouldn't you be caught by the police?"
"Of course not. We hid at the very far back where it's dark and no one could see us." My mother, a retired third-grade teacher, makes up stories like breathing.
My father groped around in his bag and found the tickets. "Oh, look, here they are. Tickets!"
"SEE!! You were lying!" the boys snatched the tickets, annoyed and pleased.
So, as you can witness, I live in a family of liars. Not criminal liars, only accidental.
Ever since the twins reached the age of six or so, my parents, my sister, and I started brainwashing them with harmlessly misleading statements. When the boys asked my sister to check their Math exercises, she would tell them the wrong answers just to mess with their heads. I informed them that I was pregnant with baby bunnies, or kittens. My parents occasionally fabricate fictional events that sound like truth when talking to them.
It's totally superfun. Transforming these kids into highly imaginative and articulate speakers. They bravely question and contradict adults (since they now realize that not all adults always champion honesty). And, the wicked part: They know how to improvise on their own creative versions of conversations, saying the most innocently creative lines. Their ingenuity amuses everyone.
Don't be so shocked when I write or say the most insane and inane things. It runs in my family.
Welcome to the madhouse.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 2:35 – 7:01 PM