I was talking to my little sister the other day when she had drily mentioned how funny it was that parents lie so much. “What do you mean?” I asked, curious as to what this world-weary 7-year-old would have to say about the harsh realities of the world. She then proceeded to divulge an entire archive of instances that she had apparently filed away for future reference and occasions such as these. Ready to bend the first ear that would listen, she vented on and on throughout our colouring session, eventually abandoning all pretense of markers and crayons to properly commit to the task at hand. These were her heartfelt inquiries.

  1. “Why does mummy tell me that dinner is ready when it isn’t?”

Personally, I suspect that this is a strategic ploy to buy more time and stall the kids from snacking before dinner. How effective is it? According to my sister, it only works about 60% of the time.

2. “Why does daddy tell me it’s 2pm when it’s only 10 am?”

Well, I’m guessing that daddy is trying to scare you into waking up early without taking into account that children (and most young adults on weekends) don’t really care whether they’ve slept the whole morning away and are highly unlikely to jump guiltily out of bed at the prospect of sleeping through lunch.

3. “How long is five minutes actually? And the truth please, my good woman!”

This came after a particularly impassioned rant about how parents always seem to take up a good portion of a “Sofia The First” episode whenever bumping into old acquaintances at the grocery store while their children visibly wilt further and further into the ground with each passing “five minutes”.

4. “Why does mummy tell me it’s 12 am when it’s only 10?”

Detecting yet again another time-manipulating technique, I patiently explain to my sister that it’s to make sure that she gets enough sleep on a school night. However, deep inside, I sympathize more than I can say. It’s no wonder these poor young things take so long to learn how to tell time!

5. “How painful is a headache? Why does mummy sit for ages in front of the television when she has one?”

This one I kept myself from debunking because there’s no telling when I might need to plead a migraine and excuse myself from the 75th time rewatching Moana.

Just when I thought my sister had run out of steam, she took a deep breath and started talking about the lies she tells my parents about tooth brushing, half-showers and unfinished meals. The entire episode made me think of how perceptive children actually are and at how early an age they begin to questions things. Is it something that they’ve learned from their surroundings while growing up or is it all in human nature? They may eat their boogers and have terrible handwriting but the fact of the matter is, even as they’re colouring in pictures of Disney princesses and drawing smiley suns, there’s no denying that these mini humans are way smarter and less naive than we credit them to be. So the real question is, are we really smarter than fifth graders?