Ads 468x60px

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Liar, Liar, . . .

Fact: We all lie.

Some people tell really big lies, but most people tell relatively small ones, and most of us do this on a daily basis.

"Wow, (insert name of relative here), I really love the (insert name of really crappy gift here) that you got me.  I can't wait to wear/use it!"

"I would love to come to your candle/purse/really-expensive-cookware party, but I have the (insert a random but common illness here)."

"That haircut looks really great on you!  You look so much younger/thinner!"

"I don't know what happened to your M&M's, Gavin.  You must have ate them all!"  (Okay, I confess.  I ate them.  They were good, and once I had one I just couldn't stop.  I deserve a little chocolate now and then, don't I?  Not the whole bag?  Oh, okay.  My fault.)

Little white lies.  No big deal.  Right?  Well, that's what I thought, too, until a certain three-year-old started telling little white lies to me.

Me:  Gavin, did you pick up your toys?

Gavin: Yes, Mommy, I picked up my toys.

Me:  Are you sure you picked them all up?  Every single toy?

Gavin: Yes, Momma, come look!

And this is what I found . . .


My first thought was that maybe he didn't understand what I meant when I asked if he picked up all of his toys.  I mean, he did pick up some. (By "some" I mean maybe five, and that's being generous.)  "Hmmm," I thought, and told him he needed to finish picking up the rest of his toys.  While I was a little perplexed at this, I didn't really give it a lot of thought, until later that same day.

Gavin: Mommy, can I have my treat now?

Me:  Did you eat all of your Poptart?

Gavin: Yes, I ate it all.

Me: Okay, I'm going come check.

And this is what I found . . .

Oh, you mean that Poptart?

I was in shock.  Wait, what just happened here?  I think he lied to me.  Oh my gosh, I think he just LIED to me!  I couldn't believe this!  It's not that I am living in some fantasy world where I think my kid is a precious little angel who never does anything wrong (I mean, have you read some of my other posts?), but he's never lied.  In fact, he's sometimes honest to a fault.  He tells on himself when he says words that he's not supposed to.  "Mommy, I just said 'stupid' when I was in the bathroom."  He even tells on himself for being mean to the dog (A common occurrence around here.  Might explain why the dog is a psychopath.).  "Mommy, I just hit Arnie, and he's very sad."

Okay, Andrea, try not to overreact.  Maybe he thought he finished most of his Poptart and now he could have a treat?  I was only comforted by that thought for a little while, though, because the lies just kept coming.

- "Yes, I finished my quesadilla."
- "Yes, I put my shoes on."
- "Yes, I put my clothes on." (see below)

Totally dressed.  Sun's out, guns out!

And on and on and on.  I was to the point where I could no longer deny the fact that this tiny person was not telling me the truth.  So, how was I going to handle it?  I didn't have to wait long for another opportunity to address the matter.

Me: Gavin, did you pick up all of the clothes that were on the floor in your bedroom?

Gavin:  Yes, Mommy, come look and see.  (Okay, so he's not getting the point that he shouldn't want me to come look and SEE that he's lying).

And this is what I found . . .

Clothes?  What clothes?

So, what did I do?  Oh, I used a fancy little trick known as "timeout."  I explained to him that since he lied and told me he picked up all his clothes when he didn't that he would have to go in timeout for lying.  Luckily, timeouts still work relatively well for Gavin, so he was pretty sad that he'd have to spend some time alone in his room. (I'll admit, I was a little elated.  Five minutes of quiet?  To myself?  Yippee!!!)  After his timeout was over, I told him he had to really pick up all of the clothes this time, and he did.  I'm not sold on the idea that he understood the lying part, but only time will tell...


  1. First of all, I NEVER lie.

    Second of all, I would give you advice, but It'd be terrible. (See I told you I don't lie.)

    Third of all, I used to hate it when my mom would punish me by sending me to my room, but then one day I realized it was the greatest place on earth - all my toys were there - so yeah, that was a pretty ineffective method of discipline.

    Oh! I have an idea. How bout if he says Mommy can I have a treat? And then you say yes, but don't give it to him. Maybe that would make him understand how lying makes other people feel. Or is that just mean?

  2. So many things are hilarious about this (not your sanity or loss of it. that's not hilarious). Avery has told me on more than one occasion that Elmo spilled his milk, or Cookie Monster got out his toys. Really? Also, "sun's out, guns out" is tops. And I'm jealous that timeout still works for you. Not here. I'm struggling for a proper punishment...

  3. Oh dear I swear this post ate up my comment, not only once, but twice!
    Anyway I was saying that maybe he did pick the toys and clothes up, only he put them back to floor again! Kidding aside, it's good that timeouts still work for him.
    Love your writing style, Andrea!
    visiting from vB

  4. great post! Its something we all go through, i think??? Thanks for giving me a chuckle this morning, I needed it!