November the 5th, Truro, post swimming lesson walk in the rain to a friends house.

Me: Will you be really upset if we miss the fireworks tonight?

Prole1: No, I can live with it. If we don’t see any tomorrow night I will be terribly upset though.

Me: I can understand that.

24 hours to wriggle out of that one then….

….and 24 hours later he had forgotten about it.

Soon I will not be able to do this.
Deliberately not mentioning things to the Proles is becoming a ‘crime’ in my mind and a ‘likely cause of emotional scarring’.
I know, it’s in my head but it seems to go against the spirit of the rules.
Once this idea, of deception through inactivity, was the bedrock of my parenting as the butterfly mind of the two or four year old Proles careered past ideas, situations, desires and food stuffs with a range of varied and totally unpredictable consequences.
Simply keeping quiet about the cause of the last tantrum or ignoring the fact we had slipped past the toy aisle or neglecting to mention the broken toy we were all looking for was in the bin were all stock in trade.
I would not lie to the Proles.
Where necessary I would be totally straight with them.
Where other parents would cater to the every need of their children, cook separate meals for each child in their care, drive out of their way every single day to see the cows or turn the house upside down for the favourite socks I would just sit down in front of the Proles, look them square in the eye and say ‘I’m sorry, I just can’t do that today, but I promise that if you ask me again tomorrow I will’
After a while, as long as what I was saying was true and I kept my promise, they came to accept this bargain.
Since the Proles hardly ever remembered what was so important the following day I hardly ever had to act on it.

However, if they ever DID remember then I was bound over to do whatever I had promised.

I felt it was ok to take this attitude as long as I followed two simple rules:
Never break a promise to the Proles.
Never make a promise to the Proles you can’t keep.

I told myself: ‘Never do this.’

Now as they become older and wiser the concept of lying and deception are far more complex.
I have no doubt the Proles trust me, or rather they trust the system.
You have to have rules in a home and the rules are for everyone.

Today I had to work late and the only person I could find to pick up the Proles from school was the Artistic Director of a successful theatre company I occasionally work with. I asked if he could collect them and he agreed.

As I sat, still in a meeting at work, I received a text from him some 15 minutes after he had taken them back to our house:

‘Just getting the chairs ready for the “house meeting” where I will be told the rules of the house. X’

Prole2 called the register and, after they had agreed they were all present, Prole1 detailed the rules.

The balance of power is shifting.