“You Don’t Hear Nothing, MOM!” (When do kids learn how to lie?)
I can’t lie to save my life.
And if I manage to tell a falsehood, anyone that even sort of knows me, know that all you have to do is ask me twice to get the real answer out of me.
Friend: “Do you like this paint color?”
Me: “Yes!” (said in really high pitched voice)
Friend: “Really? You do?”
Me: “Actually no…I can’t stand it. Sorry. I can’t lie”
Friend: “Are you over him? I feel like you aren’t over him…”
Me: “Totally over him. Haven’t thought about him in months.”
Friend: “Really…I feel like you really liked him…sure you are okay?”
Me: “No…(starting to cry)…I really miss him…I think about him all the time…Can we watch Sex and the City?”
I just can’t do it. And not only can’t I lie, but I have no one to lie to, because it’s only Ellie and in my apartment together, 98% of the time. And for that reason, I just assumed that my darling little daughter would be equally as incapable of telling a lie. I mean, it has to be a learned behavior, right? That they pick up from watching others?
This morning, Ellie rose at the 4:54 am. Sidebar here: I hate that she sometimes wakes up super early for no reason whatsoever, and I try not to take it as solid proof that god hates me. For some silly reason I thought that the universe would cut me a break because it’s just me, every. single. morning. Of every. single. week. Of every. single. month. Of. every. single. year.
But no on this point too. The universe, and Ellie’s circadian rhythms don’t give a sh*t that I am the primary/sole/only caregiver to my amazing child. Nope. Not at all. And proof of this is in the fact that at least once a week she wakes up way earlier than is even remotely normal.
And this morning was one of those mornings. She got up, tormented for a good 45 minutes in my bed, saw the sun start to rise and then informed me, “Mom. The sun is up. It means it’s time to play.” (at 6:06am)
So we made our way out to the living room, where I tried everything in my power to keep my eyes open…and then I got smart about things, turned on Dora the Explorer, gave Ellie my cell phone so she could play her games, pulled the blanket up to my chin and did that parental sleep with one eye open thing.
At some point, I was jolted awake by the sound of my cell phone ringing (at 6:48am). I answered it, and it was my mother.
“Mom, what’s wrong?” I whispered into the phone.
“Nothing Car, what is wrong with you? You called me…” she said, sounding very concerned.
“Are you kidding me Ellie?!?!? Did you call Mimi??? Come on. Stop it!” I said, apologizing to my mom, and tucking the phone under my butt.
I thought Ellie would just sit and watch Dora. It’s pretty much her version of Sex and the City. She references the show all of the time. But despite this, Dora did not hold her attention. And don’t get all “she is 2, what did you expect?” on me. She totally knows how to use the phone and what she should and shouldn’t play with.
I began to doze back off…and I suddenly heard the water running in the bathroom…but it sounded like the flow of the water was being altered in some fashion.
“Ellie! What are you doing in the bathroom?!?” I yelled.
“NOTHING MOM. I DO NOTHING. GO BACK TO SLEEP!” she shouted.
“What? I know I hear that water running Ellie…TURN. OFF. THAT. WATER.” I said in that Mom tone.
“YOU HEAR NOTHING. NOTHING. I DO NOTHING. GO BACK TO SLEEP!” she shouted.
And now I was up.
“What do you mean I hear nothing?!?! I hear the water! Get out here!” I said.
So my punky toddler shuts of the water that I was apparently imagining, and stands in front of me, staring me in the eye.
“Ellie,” I said, “I can see that your hands are wet. What were you doing in the bathroom? Were you playing with the water?”
And my 2 3/4 year-old looked me dead in the eye and said, “NOPE.”
“What?!?!?! Ellie, are you lying to Mommy?” I said with disdain.
“No, I not lying, I just took a little moment, for a second to wash my hands a little bit. I was not playing with the water,” she clarified.
Awesome. I am not raising a liar. I am raising a politician.
“Listen, I asked you if the water was running because I heard it and you said no. That is a lie. I don’t like lies. Don’t do that again.” I said.
“I not lying! You hear NOTHING Mommy!” she said again.
Now the frightening thing is how convincing she was (and how tired I was). I mean if I didn’t hear that water myself, I would have actually believed that she wasn’t playing in it. I have no idea where she learned how to lie. I have no one to blame her lying on. And I know it isn’t from me (unlike the swearing. That is totally from me)
I have no answers. Only ways to cope with this personality flaw. And one of those skills is stocking up on beer and wine…in preparation for her teenage years.