Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Names have been changed to protect the unskilled liars
The burning question this week: When did children become such terrible liars? Just the other night Em was sitting in the living room with some paper. I simply asked what she was doing, out of plain curiosity. She quickly shoved her hands behind her back and yelled- "I'm just coloring. I'm not using scissors- I promise." Which of course, she was. Never mind that if she'd just asked I would have let her use them. If she had just said "coloring" I would have gone back to what I was doing, none-the-wiser.
Today a boy I am babysitting, we'll call him Thomas, and Em were playing in their room. They completely trashed it. The book drawers were empty, toys were strewn from wall to wall and the stuffed-animal net was empty (AGAIN!). So I asked them to clean it up. They were not allowed to watch a movie until it was finished.
An hour later Thomas comes to me and asks for something to drink. I told him they could have a snack, including a drink, when the room was clean. He said OK and disappeared into the abyss of toyland. A few minutes later he returns and tells me he has to go to the bathroom, sensing he was just avoiding helping I asked him to finish cleaning first. To which he begins dancing and whining dramatically while grabbing himself. "But I'll pee my underwear."
Well, obviously I wasn't about to have him pee all over the house, or himself, so I unlocked the door (we have a 2-year-old endlessly emptying the medicine cabinet so it stays locked). A minute or so later I hear the toilet flush and the sink come on. He leaves, shuts the door and goes back into the bedroom.
Our apartment is rather small, I can hear everything from practically anywhere. I hear him start laughing- and mind you he didn't wait until he was even all the way in the bedroom before he began gloating- "Hahaa. I fooled her Em. I didn't even go potty. I just got a drink."
Again, he yelled his lie so loud because.....??? I am really rather confused. I remember when I was younger thinking I was brilliant because I got away with so many things. Mom never knew I was lying. As I got older she mentioned that she could always tell we were lying. I secretly believed she was just saying that to feel better about not catching all of my lies.
I am starting to realize however that maybe I was never a very good liar. Maybe no kids are ever very good liars until the grow up a little. They really don't know how to lie! How would it be if we never taught them?