Monday, February 22, 2016

The First Lie

I've been waiting for this to happen - I knew it was only a matter of time. Thursday was the first time my daughter looked me in the eye and blatantly lied to my face. Repeatedly. And she got caught.

We've been having an issue that started a few weeks ago. When we'd get home from school I would unpack her backpack and clean out her lunchbox, only to find that she had not really eaten her lunch at all. Maybe a few blueberries but that was about it. We kept talking about the importance of eating her lunch - especially since she hardly eats any breakfast at all. "How are you surviving such a long day, with SO MUCH ENERGY, and only on about 100 calories?!"

When we got home, she would tell me that she was hungry (obviously) so I would make her eat her lunch from her lunchbox, and she would happily eat all of it in its entirety. So, she would eat it at home, but just not at the table with her friends at school.

A few weeks ago, her teacher mentioned it to me. "All of a sudden, she's not eating her lunch anymore." I know. We agreed she's distracted and wants to play. I told her I'd discuss it more with Ellie. So, Thursday morning, as I was making her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to go into her lunchbox, I laid down the law:

"Ellie. Look at me. You have to eat all of your sandwich at lunch today. No matter what. You HAVE to eat ALL your sandwich. If you don't, then there will be NO SHOWS and NO iPAD for the rest of the day. Do you understand?"


"So what do you have to do?"

"Eat my sandwich."

"And what happens if you don't eat your sandwich?"

"No shows. No iPad."

"That's right."

We went over it again right before she got out of the car to go into school.

So, sure enough, she happily jumped into the car at 2:30 that afternoon with a big, happy declaration:


And I believed her, because she is easily bribed with television shows. I congratulated her and told her she did a good job. However, as our drive home went on, I began to get the sense that maybe she wasn't being entirely truthful.

"Mommy? Are you gonna be mad at me?"

"Why would I be mad at you?"


5 minutes later

"Hey, Mommy? I don't want you to look in my lunchbox."

"But I thought you ate your sandwich?"

"I did. But Mommy, I don't want you to tell me that I didn't eat my sandwich. That makes me very frustrated."

So for the rest of the drive home, we had a big talk about what a lie is and what the truth is. I gave examples of truths and lies. I explained that we can't tell lies to mommy and daddy - that lying isn't nice and that we aren't allowed to lie. I told her that even the Bible tells us not to lie. She understood the concept.

"So, I'm gonna ask you one more time. Did you eat your sandwich?"


It was at this point that I texted Grant.

Me: Are you at home?
Grant: Yes
Me: Okay. We are in the neighborhood. I think I'm about to catch her in her first lie.
Grant: Awesome. I'll be there.

So we walk in. I pull her lunchbox out. I ask one more time. I explain what a lie is one more time. And I tell her that if she didn't eat her sandwich she will also have to go to time out for a long time. DID YOU EAT YOUR SANDWICH?


"ELLIE. THIS IS A LIE. You lied to Mommy."

"Here. Give it to me. I eat my sandwich right now and then I watch a show, okay?"

So she had no shows all day, and no iPad, AND she had time out AND she had to eat her sandwich for dinner AND we had about 10 lectures about lying. I'm not sure if she got it or not. I know she just doesn't want to get into trouble.

I emailed her teacher and we will be repeating this whole process again on Tuesday. She has to eat her lunch, and her teacher will remind her of that. Sigh.

So, it happened. At least it's done. I feel such a huge responsibility to make sure she turns out to be a decent human with an honest heart. I guess that job starts now. 

Parenting is fun!

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