Remember Pinocchio? When he lied to Jiminy Cricket his nose grew. As the lie became more elaborate so did the branch his nose had become.
If this happened every time my kids told a lie I would never again need to buy firewood. Speaking of fire…
Once upon a time I was a little girl and my mother told me not to play with matches. What did I do? Yep, you guessed it. One day I tried lighting a match. I burned my finger in the process and avoided all matches like the plague for another 15 years or so. I’ve passed on my hard earned wisdom to my children, but sometimes kids just insist on learning the hard way. None of them have burned body parts, but Mr. Smarty-pants did catch the yard on fire. Okay, by yard I mean a small miniscule pile of leaves on the sidewalk. He lit a match and pretended to smoke it (never mind that he knows smoking is bad for him and has declared repeatedly how gross it is). When the match flame reached halfway, he dropped it on the ground and then went off to join the others in tree climbing. Someone noticed a faint wisp of smoke coming from the leaves on the sidewalk. I imagine Mr. Smarty-pants said a number of words in his head that he is not allowed to say out loud within my hearing. He’s smart and does not panic easily, so instead of freaking out, he proceeded to toss dirt and then covered with a board and stomped it out. The board wasn’t really a good idea, but he did get it put out without incident. At that point, after threatening bodily harm if his sisters tattled, I’m certain he was heaving a sigh of relief, thinking that disaster had be averted. Unfortunately for him, a neighborhood kid told his father, who came over and proceeded to complain. Granted, it was not Mr. Smarty-pants’ shining hour, but compared to some of the hooligans on the street, he isn’t exactly a bad influence. Add in that half the neighborhood seems to congregate in my driveway far from any parent, whereas I’m right inside or in warmer weather out and about with them, the father’s diatribe was a bit overdone. After all, Mr. Smarty-pants didn’t set his yard on fire.
Needless to say Mr. Smarty-pants went into Pinocchio mode when I asked what happened. His sisters emphasized that it wasn’t any of the kids playing with them or them. My BS alarm went off with a very shrill “BEEP, BEEP, BEEP” when Mr. Smarty-pants claimed, “Well, I did see some teenagers walking by.”
Yes, random teenagers just happened to stop in front of my yard so they could play with matches. I sent my CSI team, Soup King, out to investigate while I
interrogated questioned the witnesses. Mr. Soup King found one half-burned match. He has a promising career as my forensics investigator.
I found it highly suspect that Mr. Smarty-pants did not want to leave the room as long as his sisters remained. BEEP! Miss Diva confirmed what I suspected. I then confronted him with the truth. He denied once, twice, and then hung his head as I repeated in my very stern “scary and strict” mom voice, “I take issue with being lied to far more than you doing something stupid. You put out the fire and no harm done, but lying is not acceptable. Keep that in mind.” So, when I asked a third time, “Did you lie to me?” He admitted. “Don’t lie to me again.” Of course, he will probably forget that last part and we’ll go through this all over again the next time.
He admitted the truth, subject closed. So, even though he retreated to his room upset, I wasn’t overly pissed at his behavior. Was it stupid? Yep. As a kid would I have lied in his shoes? Most likely. Since he did admit to the truth, his reward for owning up was me not turning into Mean Mom.
I take these types of lies in stride. I expect them even if I don’t like them. He lied because he knew full well that he’d done something stupid and that, while I might be laid back, pissing me off is not a wise idea. A little fear of justice is a good thing.
Miss Drama lives in her own world though. Sometimes I’m not certain what her definition of “truth” is. In fact, I think she lives on “opposite planet”. I am learning to translate her version into my reality:
“Yes, I ate all my food.” Often means: “I fed it to the dog.”
“I did my homework.” Translation: “I wrote one word, maybe two, or was that last week?”
“I have my homework.” Translation: “…Somewhere…”
“I brushed my teeth.” Translation: “I painted the bathroom sink with toothpaste. The toothpaste may or may not have come in contact with my teeth during said art project.”
“Yes I have panties.” Translation: “But I didn’t put them on. I’m not wearing socks either. If I could skip clothes altogether without you noticing, I would.”
“I did my chores!” Translation: “I played in the cat box, shoved the dirty clothes in a corner, and fought with Miss Diva over who was supposed to fold and who was supposed to put stuff away.”
Teaching her my language looks like it will be a long and difficult task.