Pants on FireMarch 1, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Posted in Lollipop | 17 Comments
We’ve reached a milestone at our house. Lollipop told her first lie.
Here’s how it went down:
Lollipop: “Daddy, I would like M&Ms for breakfast.”
Daddy: “Oh, you would? Well, how about some Cheerios instead?”
Lollipop: “Mommy lets me have M&Ms.”
Oh, she does, does she?
Bacon with a Side of Lies
I am certain that we have never indulged in M&Ms. (At breakfast, anyway.) Pop-Tarts, yes. Vats of syrup with the occasional waffle wedge dipped in? Yes. Bagels with strawberry cream cheese, hold the bagel? Yes. But M&Ms? Never.
(In my defense, we always have fruit with breakfast.)
So here we are. Lollipop’s a liar. A fibber. A prevaricator. Her pants are on fire. What’s a mom to do?
This mom does research. (Of course I do.) And I have discovered that children fib for many reasons. To protect someone (or themselves); to avoid unpleasant things, like, say, cleaning the marker off the coffee table; on accident; for approval.
Who Needs a Fairy Godmother?
But here’s my favorite reason: “magical thinking.” As in: Lollipop truly desires M&Ms for breakfast, so she says it out loud, in hopes of making it true. (Sounds like a good idea to me.)
However, this concept may also explain why, yesterday, we heard a “THUNK!” Then Giggles crying. Then Lollipop (holding a gigantic maglite from the kitchen) saying, “Oh, no, Giggles just ran into my flashlight.” Magical thinking indeed.
And something else I read offered up this gem: “[Lying] is a positive sign of developing intelligence and of an active and healthy imagination.” Sweet. I’m raising a creative genius — the next Madeleine L’Engle or Georgia O’Keeffe or Cher. I bet they all lied through their tiny teeth as toddlers.
Everything I Need to Know About Parenting, I Learned from Law & Order
So what’s a mom to do? Don’t blame. Avoid entrapment. Tell the truth myself. And remember that being honest is hard.
This means a few changes are in order. Next time Lollipop catches me sneaking M&Ms in the pantry, I can’t go with my usual, “No, Mommy was having some raisins. Would you like some?” as I deftly grab the red Sun-Maid bag.
Instead, I’ll say: “How about M&Ms for breakfast tomorrow?”
Magical thinking indeed.