Friday, February 20, 2009

Pants on Fire

There's a liar in my Rolling Readers class. I've suspected it for a few weeks now, and today the evidence became overwhelming.

I like to engage the kids in the stories by asking related questions. If the book includes a toy factory, I'll ask if anyone's been to a factory. If the book's about Karate, I'll ask if anyone practices karate, or another sport.

Today, I found out this kid can play three musical instruments (guitar, piano, and trombone), has marched in a parade, owns a boa constrictor, and has seen a Yellow-spotted Bongo plant. When I questioned him on this last one, he gave me an emphatic head nod.

"Uh-huh. I have."

I told him I thought the Yellow-spotted Bongo was made-up. To which he dropped his head and said, "Oh."

I don't have kids. I've never studied child psychology. But I have a feeling that in some way, lying is part of being a kid. You're learning what you can do with words, and having fun making things up. I make things up every day at Starbucks. It's a smashing good time. I don't remember if I was a lying kid.

I wonder if this kid likes the attention he gets from telling each fantastical lie. Maybe he doesn't get enough attention at home. Still, it could escalate into bigger and more significant lies, and Wall Street doesn't need any more of those. Would it be too bold to read this book next week?


Mom said...

You definitely weren't a lying kid, but you always had a great imagination, which is one of the reasons you're such a good writer. Maybe this kid is the start of a new story; please keep us posted if he is. I can't wait to see what you make up about him making up things.

The Hawaiian language has many colorful expressions; here are some of theirs for "liar." The first one is my favorite:

waha.heʻe --nvi. To lie; lying, deceitful, false; a lie, liar. Lit., slippery mouth.

Waha o ka heʻe -- (liar) Octopus mouth.

puni.puni -- Redup. of puni 3; lie, to tell a lie, cheat; liar.

hoʻo.puni.puni -- To lie, liar; to deceive, deceitful, false.

He keu ʻoe ā ke kanaka wahaheʻe -- you're the greatest liar ever seen.

pelo -- vt. To flatter, tell tall tales, lie.

lpanik said...

Mich, I knew a kid once that never lied and always TRIED to tell the truth but sometimes people did not believe him. He was from Missouri. You might have known him.