Monday, May 3, 2010

A First Not for the Scrapbook- Addison's First Real Lie

Addison is a very imaginative girl. Since she was old enough to talk, all of us closest to her have learned to fact-check when Addison tells a story, because she has been known to spin quite a yarn. Time and time again, Dan and I simultaneously roll our eyes at something she's spouting to us from the back seat of the car-- driving seems to bring out some of the best of her stories. However, although she can't always be relied on to tell the whole truth about something, they have never been outright lies-- she's not spinning these tales to deceive anyone, she just has a very active imagination and likes to share her non-reality with us.

Today was a little different. I was upstairs, getting Owen's crib / nursery area ready... we got a whole bunch of stuff at the store yesterday and were finally ready to get all the pieces put together. Addison was downstairs watching tv and eating her Cheerios... after about 30 minutes, she yelled to me from the bottom of the stairs that she was having trouble with her pants. Assuming she was having difficulty getting them down to sit on the potty, I told her to come upstairs and I would be glad to help her.

A moment later, I walked out into the hallway to see my daughter walking backwards up the stairs, pants at about mid-thigh and her "unnie" also half-removed. (She has been in a pull-up instead of underwear for the last day and a half, due to a short bout of diarrhea the other day-- just taking precautions.) I have learned that when she walks into a room backward, it means that she's embarrassed or ashamed of something, or thinks she will get in trouble. I asked her what had happened...

Me: Addison, why are your pants down?
Addison: I was has-ing trouble. I tan't det dem up.
Me: Did you go pee-pee?
Addison: I went pee-pee but I flush already.

This caught my attention. Addison never uses the big potty downstairs without assistance, and wouldn't have attempted to dump her little potty on her own. Plus, the obvious factor-- I hadn't heard the toilet flush.

Me: Addison, did you pee-pee in your unnies? I didn't hear you flush, are you sure you didn't go pee-pee in your unnies?
Addison: soooooorrrry.

After assuring her she was not in trouble (this was her first acki-dink in weeks, probably brought on by wearing pull-ups again as opposed to regular underwear) we changed her unnies, put her pants back on, and I sent her on her way. While I was finishing tying the bumper pads onto the crib, I thought more about the situation, and it broke my heart-- what I believe happened was upon realizing she had an acki-dink, she must have tried to pull her now-wet pull-up down to sit on the potty, realized she couldn't get it back up, and determined that whether she liked it or not, she was going to have to ask for help. The walking backwards suggests how embarrassed she must have been, having had an accident (or acki-dink) for the first time in so long... I'm so glad I didn't overreact in the moment, because it's clear to me that she punished herself already.

It also became clear, though, that the "I already flushed" story was her first real lie. It was a story that she told specifically for the purpose of covering up something she didn't want me to know... her first deceitful tale. Maybe I'm lucky to have made it past her 3rd birthday without hitting this milestone-- she has always been, to a fault, an honest child. Even when she knew she'd be in trouble, she always told the truth. Does this scare me? Absolutely. But now that I know to keep an eye out for it, hopefully the next time she does it, I'll be ready to talk to her about why lying isn't right... although I can't help praying that this moment doesn't come anytime soon. Maybe I'm naive, but I'd like to see my honest little girl continue being truthful at least a little while longer.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Maybe seeing that you didn't react harshly will sink in and she'll learn real fast that telling the truth is easier.