The Mum Network

“Not Me” and “I don’t know” Do they live at your house?


Greetings from beautiful Malaysia where I am sitting with an iPad on Langkawi Island with perfect views to Thailand. Words cannot explain this place so will post photos when I can as it’s ideal for a family holiday for most budgets. Have a few posts from some time ago that will go up this week as well as some new ones….this was one from when the 4 munckins went through a real honesty phase!

When I was a little girl, Mum used to say there were 5 people living in our house plus two Chinamen called “Not Me” and “Don’t know” (I don’t think the Chinamen thing was meant to be racist, those words simply sounded a little Chinese if said quickly). This is not be confused with the beautiful Asian couple who cleaned our house each week that we always called “Um Choo and Um Cha” and whilst it seemed perfectly normal back then, I’m sure as kids we made up these names for them because we couldn’t remember their real names….anyway, I digress…..

“Not Me” and “Don’t Know” turned up whenever Mum was screaming something along the lines of “WHO LEFT THESE CHIP PACKETS LYING ON THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF THE TV!” – “Not Meeeeeee” I would reply. “Don’t Knooooooow” my little brother would scream as he ran out the front door fast enough so he wasn’t asked to come back and pick anything up. As always, my little sister was left taking the blame or left to pick up the pieces of what “Not Me” and “Don’t know” had or hadn’t done.

Those responses came out of our mouths so often and so quickly that even now I can recall hearing Mum starting a sentence with “Who……” and having my response ready to go. Whilst I guess we weren’t intentionally lying, it also wasn’t the best form of taking responsibility for your own actions.

You only realize how much mischief you get up to as a kid when you have kids of your own, so with the above in mind, I thought I’d be one step ahead of my kids and told them as long as they always told me the truth and they will never get in trouble (what was I thinking?!?!).

Most recently it’s been pretty hard not to crack a smile or a frown as my kids made the following statements and admissions:

Mr 4 to Me last week: “Mum, I know you are going to personal training but it’s not working, you still look like you have a baby in your tummy”

Mr 6 to Me: “Mum, do you think we should get Nanny Di to give you cooking lessons because you just can’t cook as well as she does”

Miss 3 to Me asleep in bed at 5:30am: “Muuuum, come downstairs quickly, I made my own brekkie and there is weetbix, sugar and milk all over the TV room floor”

There are so many incidents that I’m sure all parents can share about the little truths the kiddies tell but I’ve often wondered about what is it that triggers our brains to go from ‘truth’ to ‘white lie’ to ‘lie’ and at what age do we do it? Is there anything wrong with my four year old telling me I look like a fat pig? It certainly stopped me putting an extra chocolate in my mouth that day. What’s that saying? “The truth hurts” Perhaps it does in the short term but perhaps a little more honesty is what we need?

As a teen and in my early 20’s I can recall telling some whopper lies. I’m not sure why and I’m not sure for what purpose but ‘exaggerating’ is what I called it and the game of politics is what I played. I was constantly chasing my own tail and remembering whom I had told what and what game I was playing with whom. It all seems so pointless and juvenile now. I think about this a lot but I find that people who are insecure or afraid of the truth tend to lie, play politics, argue a lot and generally find themselves in a tizz about a lot of unnecessary stuff. Growing up does amazing things for perspective doesn’t it (ahhh, if only we all knew then what we know now, we could have changed the world!)

As time has gone on and I’ve grown up and become more mature in friendships, life and in business, I try to always tell the truth. I try to be as honest as possible at all times and whilst I’m not perfect, I am astounded at how not only speaking the truth but being true to your own person, thoughts and personality makes an astounding difference to your life (Ok, sometimes I am still known to exaggerate a numbers slightly but there’s another story behind that!).

I say what I think and I think what I say and most importantly, I stand by it because it’s the truth.

For the most part stating the truth has worked for me but I can’t say it never gets me in trouble. I often watch my words roll out of my mouth in slow motion whilst simultaneously thinking “Nooooo, don’t….say….what….you…really….think…now…idiot…What…a…life….changing…..or…… career….Limiting …move”

SO what do I say when I honestly can’t tell the truth? Simply……… “I can’t tell you that right now” Or “I don’t know” Phew, isn’t THAT easier than a constructed story!

Hubby dearest has always stated that “When you don’t lie, you don’t have to remember anything” – it’s one of the wisest things I’ve ever heard.

Here’s how hubby applies this theory:

Me to Hubby (imagine me RANTING trying to have heated argument with hubby): “Why is the house a mess and why haven’t YOU done the dishes ALL DAY”

Hubby: “Sorry, I forgot”

ARGUMENT OVER BEFORE IT’S EVEN STARTED. He genuinely is sorry (and I want an apology) and he truthfully did forget because he’s a bloke.

So In return for telling the truth, I expect people to be truthful to me, it’s the only thing I expect of my family, my friends, my kids and my colleagues. Honesty and Integrity. What a simple concept. Tell me the truth and I’ll tell you the truth.

I also believe in Karma and couldn’t believe it last week as I was running out the door for work and a pair of scissors I was using to cut a piece of thread off a jacket magically disappeared from where I had them, I screamed out to everyone in the house “Who took the scissors?” and in an ironic twist of events, my Mum yelled back “Don’t know….Not Me!!!”

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