You Lied to Me - A Memory for Mother's Day

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Indecisively Restless

"Valerie, have you been watching TV even though you're grounded?"
"Are you sure? What have you been doing?"

I like to believe that I was a good child up until I hit those globawful teenage years. But no child is perfect and I'm no exception. I feel like I was always grounded or punished for something or other when I was younger. Throughout the years the punishments would change but one of the first things I remember being taken away was my TV time.

But I was a scheming, lying child and I hated being punished for what I thought weren't really wrongdoings. When I was about 6 or 7 I came up with an ingenious workaround to get out of my unfair punishment.

See my mom was the disciplinarian but she also worked later than my dad which meant I had a few good hours of mom-free time to watch TV. My dad was usually out in the yard, or the garage, or underneath the car working on something. He wasn't too concerned with what I was getting up to and even less concerned about what new punishment my mother had dished out.

So my great plan was simple but foolproof. I would watch TV while my mom was still at work and when I saw her car pull up I'd simply turn it off and tell her I hadn't watched it!

Who says kids aren't geniuses?

I finally decide to put my plan into action. I turn on our old TV. The TV is an old console TV. The ones built into the wood surrounding them? It weighs about 100 pounds and still works. I know because it's the TV my parents have in their bedroom.

This is what I was determined to watch ladies and gentlemen. 

Anyway, I turn the TV on and I probably watch Barney or Arthur or Sesame Street because we don't have cable and PBS is the only channel that's not showing some Jerry Springer type show. I settle into our recliner which is perfectly positioned in front of the TV and a window that faces our driveway.

I've probably been watching for a few hours when I hear my mom's car pull up. I quickly run to turn off the TV and settle back into the recliner, cool as fuck.

Mum opens the door in her work clothes. As soon as she sees me, she gets suspicious. She walks towards me. She looks at the TV and then at me and then the TV again.

"Valerie, have you been watching TV even though you're grounded?"
"Are you sure? What have you been doing?"
"I think you were watching TV."
"No I wasn't."

Then she does this bit of motherly magic I didn't know existed.

She goes to touch the turned-off TV screen with the back of her hand - the same way she would test my forehead for fever. 

"It's hot. You lied to me. You have been watching TV."

I sigh loudly, eyeball roll (I was an early adopter), and I earn an extra week of groundedness. She yells at me for lying. Tells me how bad it is to lie to your parents, blahblahblah. 

I never watch TV again when she's not there. Lesson learned. 

The end. 


It's totally not the end of the story. 

So it's a few years later, I'm probably 11 or 12 now. I don't watch much TV. My new form of punishment is no phone time. Anyway, I'm watching TV and it's been on a while when I get up to get a snack and kind of trip/brush my arm on the TV screen.

The TV screen that has been on for hours.

The TV screen that has been on for hours and doesn't burn my arm. The TV screen that has been on for hours and isn't even hot. Isn't even warm. 

And right then, like a lightning bolt I get it.


She couldn't tell that the TV was on because it was hot! She knew I was lying because what kid sits in front of an off TV like that? No one! She saw me looking all smug and cucumber (as in: as cool as) and knew that I wasn't just sitting there looking out the window for fun. Oohhh no. I had been watching TV and she busted me.

But the real motherly magic was the trickery she used to get me to never watch TV while grounded when she wasn't there, for fear that she would call me out on it.

Touche mumsies. Touche. 

Happy Mother's Day! 

What are some of your favorite mother memories? Did your mom ever trick you into behaving? 

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  1. I'm sorry, but this was really funny! :D

  2. Moms ALWAYS know!! lol


  3. OMG, LOLOLOL!!!! your mom = one very smart woman :) Also my parents totally had the same TV console back when (the piece of furniture). They would still have it if it didn't croak.

  4. Clever! I can tell when my kids are watching TV too - they're too quiet!

  5. I can't believe how much tv's have changed. Theirs still works but they hardly ever use it. And yes, she was. Very clever.

  6. Thanks Seni, it really was. I still think about it.

  7. hahaha that is awesome Mom trickier!!

  8. It is! She was way too smart to fall for that. I on the other hand....