I hate hate hate lying.
I don't mean I hate doint it, either. I mean I hate it in general. I'm not good at it, but that's beside the point.
When I had this little squishy smell-good bundle of fuzz to bring home from the hospital, one of the things I knew I wanted to instill in her was honesty. I had the mentality before she was even born that I would reward honesty. That I would punish lying over ANY other infraction. That if she'd just tell the truth, be honest with me about her mistakes and misgivings, that I wouldn't lay the hammer down. That I would help her see the lesson to be learned, and reward her honesty.
Since she could talk, I've encouraged her to "just tell me the truth," promising she won't get in trouble as long as she is being honest with me.
So when I noticed the weather film over her window was ripped, I asked her about it.
"What happened to your window?" I asked casually, even though I had thoughts of a Polly Pocket playing Peter Pan and ripping it open with a plastic dagger or something.
"Hmm," she said, furrowing her brow and cocking her head, as if she hadn't noticed. "I don't know," she decided.
"Chloe, if you know what happened to it, will you please tell me? You know I won't get mad if you'll just come clean," I urged. It was CLEAR she knew what happened, and that it had been at her own hand.
"I don't know, Mom, I promise! You hafta believe me!" she argued. I didn't believe her, but her plea was so convincing. If it weren't so obvious, I would have definitely bought it.
"Chloe. Seriously. Just tell me how it happened."
"I really don't know. It musta been da wind. Ya. Da wind was really stron' da udder night," she fabricated.
"If you did it just tell me. You know I'm going to punish you for lying. Even if it was maybe by accident, you need to tell me," I suggested.
Her face fell, and I knew she'd given up the fight.
"Da udder day when I was playin' Polly Pockets I accidentally ripped it," she confessed. I KNEW those Polly Pockets had a part in it.
"Ok. See? I just wanted to find out what happened to the plastic, that's all. It really upsets me you lied to me, though," I told her.
"I'm sorry, Mom," she apologized.
I tucked her in and read her a story, and noticed a few more small holes up by her top bunk. I just shook my head as I left the room. I have never got onto her for coming clean, even when she broke something or did something that justified punishment. I've always praised and encouraged honesty.
So why does she feel like she has to lie?
If I wasn't dreading the teen years before, I sure am now!