The Daughter is going through a bit of a phase of fibbing and taking things (sweets mainly, poor deprived little bean that she is). Nothing serious, and I know it's all perfectly normal. But I take a lot of stock in the truth, having been told a million lies by some people I've been unfortunate enough to meet along life's winding roads, so I am trying to teach her the value of honesty. Of course, I'm merely human and have fallen foul of my principles on occasion (mainly while I was an impressionable youngster) and am seizing this opportunity to unburden my conscience.
Many lies are borne out of fear - of embarrassment, of getting into trouble, of having your pocket money stopped to pay for a replacement glass coffee table... Yes Mum. When I said I'd tripped over the cat and fallen onto the glass topped coffee table, I actually sat on it whilst drunk and broke it. And yes, I know I was lucky not to rip my bumcheeks to shreds. Sorry.
I'm also sorry for smoking out of my bedroom window and using a glass to keep my fag-ends in behind the curtain. And for throwing the glass onto the flat roof of the kitchen in a panic when I thought I was going to get caught. And for having to climb out of my window, onto the flat roof and picking up all the fag butts when there was no-one in the house.
I'm sorry for stealing a pound, buying some microwave popcorn and Smash Hits, and storing it in the outside toilet. (Not actually IN the outside toilet, that would have rendered both rather unuseable). Similarly, I'm sorry for stealing a Caramac from the newsagents, and smuggling it out in the sleeve of my coat. That was the extent of my light-fingeredness, so please don't have me down as nowt but a common feef.
I'm sorry for using my friend Jessica as an excuse for being out all night at a 'barbecue' when I was actually downtown drinking, or at house parties (also drinking). And I apologise for saying I had food poisoning from said 'barbecues' when I was, in fact, talking to God on the big white telephone courtesy of a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.
I'm sorry to my friends older brother, for drawing a tiny smiley face on the corner of his GCSE English homework while I was in their dining room getting changed after an afternoon in the paddling pool. I am also sorry to another friends younger brother, for making him dress in girls clothes and walk down to the shops. And for spraying his mums perfume all of the clothes in his wardrobe. Although his sister must share some of the blame - you know who you are!
So you see, I'm not perfect. The gold plating on my halo is worn in patches. Some of it I can blame on being led astray, but some was just purely me growing up and learning as I went. But after this baring of my soul, my conscience is clear. So when the Daughter next tells me some fancy tale about someone at school having dolphins in their garden pond, or spirits some chocolate limes out of my handbag, I'll try to stop my imagination running away me, thinking she'll end up in Borstal or on some programme about professional tea-leafs, with camera's following her round as she proudly steals 30 handtowels from BHS. I promise to try and remember the misdemeanours of my formative years and go easy on her. Or, I might just keep my chocolate limes in the car and put some locks on the kitchen cupboards..