Maybe it was the fact that I’d caught Man-Child II wagging at home on said day, that my lie detector radar was more finely tuned than normal. Either that, or just having two 15-year-old men-children has enhanced my skills in this area. That and having been a 15-year-old myself of course (a fact most adolescents can’t actually believe about their parents).
So after Man-Child II had eventually made it to school for the last day of term (following countless threats from Mother of a Man-Child), he and a few mates planned to go out. He casually saunters in to mention that he’s staying at his “girlfriends” house (I use inverted commas because I call her that but he might only say she’s a close friend). I instantly suggest he re-phrase the question and he responds: “Okay, Mum is it alright if I stay at GF’s house tonight?” Sorry to seem anal, but in my book 15 year olds still ask permission, they don’t just tell.
Now he had actually stayed there before with a large number of people, and I’d spoken to the mother to ensure everything was kosher. So I said I guessed it was okay, but could I just have the mother’s number again to ensure it was fine. “Sure, I’ll text it to you later” (meaning I’ll never bother to). “No, GF is standing right here, please just give me the number for your mother.”
Following a swift glance between my son and GF (which I couldn’t help but notice and which made even more sense later), she tells me the number, but has to consult her mobile phone because it’s new apparently. Okay, no problems. So off they head to Maccas apparently on the way to GF’s house.
So I ring the mother on her mobile. I’ve spoken to her before, but wouldn’t recognize her voice to be honest. Pleasant chit-chat ensues…..”Hi it’s Man-Child II’s mother, just wanting to make sure it’s okay if he stays over etc….” Then I can’t help but say to her “Gee, you sound very young, in fact almost too young to be GF’s mother. Obviously that’s a compliment I say” feeling like I’m treading where I shouldn’t go. And then I have the conviction of my instincts and casually say “Look sorry, I’ll have to call you back, can you give me your home phone”. And suddenly, I am met with silence on the end of the phone. The deathly silence of someone who has been caught out – BINGO!!!
And the voice that now sounds even younger on the end of the phone says “I don’t know the number”. “Oh really I say, so this isn’t GF’s mother is it?”. “No”. “Then who am I talking to?” She tells me. And so I say simply ”(name), next time your friend asks you to lie for her, and to lie to me, I’d strongly recommend you say No! And obviously, you won’t be seeing Man-Child II at the party tonight!”
Father of a Man-Child is standing beside me laughing, in total awe of my detective skills. He’s always known I don’t miss much (or really anything) but this is taking my expertise to new levels.
My next call is to Man-Child II, killing the romantic dinner at Maccas, cancelling the joy of the night to come, and telling him he has 15 minutes to get his lying arse home or there will be even more trouble.
Turns out he wasn’t planning on staying at the GF’s house, but somewhere else, and the parent wasn’t home until late, and since he knew I’d say no he came up with another story. And so we had a discussion about trust, and telling the truth, and the need to try us out occasionally and just maybe we’d let him go. And over time, eventually we’d let him go without asking any questions or calling any parents because we knew we could trust him.
I also said, here’s another way to look at it Man-Child II – next time, tell me both the lie and then the truth – you might find I prefer the truth and say yes !! I realize this could backfire big time, but he got what I meant – honestly!!