I wasn't a naughty child.
In fact, I was a very good child. Ask my mum and dad.
I desperately wanted to please all of the adults in my life. Parents, teachers; I lived to please them.
I thought they would only like me if I was good.
So I kept the naughtiness bottled up inside of me. When the pressure of being so angelic got too much, I would have to let the naughtiness out a little. But I would always do it in secret.
I could not be told off.
The adults must like me.
So I became a stealthily naughty child.
Naughty in a sneaky, passive kind of way.
Naughty in a way that didn't elicit a telling-off, because...
...I never got caught.
I did things like sticking wet toilet paper onto the ceiling in the school toilets.
Throwing the skipping ropes over the moose's head at Brownies, where noone could reach them.
Spilling paint on the resource room floor.
I even stole wine out of the teachers' fridge at primary school.
(I had to mix it with sugar and warm water to make it palatable).
Nobody ever found out. I escaped, scot-free, every time.
Adults loved me.
I managed to maintain my angelic reputation, and be extremely naughty, both at the same time.
But the biggest thing I ever got away with, was what I like to call, 'the great cosmetic surgery heist'.
When I was about 8 years old, a cyst grew smack-bang in the middle of my forehead. It stuck out. The other kids pointed at it. It was ugly.
But it was so useful.
When I didn't want to eat my pumpkin at dinner time, I'd just cry and say that "my bump hurt."
I would be let down from the table.
I would still get dessert afterwards.
It was like a magic button!
I used it frequently.
So frequently, that my mum decided we should get it removed.
And so we went to the doctor.
He decided it was too big to remove with local anaesthetic.
So I went to hospital for surgery, under general anaesthetic.
I was terribly excited. I got a day off school. The nurses wheeled me around in a bed. And gave me jelly to eat for lunch.
It was awesome. I was a celebrity! I ruled the world!
Now twenty years have passed. Enough is enough.
When we become adults, we give up our childish ways.
We stop trying to please everyone.
We learn to love pumpkin.
We tell the truth.
And when we're adults, our parents can't tell us off anymore. There is nothing left to fear.
We are free.
So I have decided it is time to own up to my naughty ways.
Because the truth is, my cyst never hurt at all.
Not one little bit. Not once.
It was an ugly, ill-placed little flaw, but it never caused any pain.
It certainly didn't require surgery.
And I never told my mum that. Until now.
Sorry mum. I hope you still like me.