Friday, June 12, 2009

I've Been Duped!

My son is honest to a fault. If I'm in the kitchen and I hear Lucy crying in the living room, all I have to do is ask why. Sam will immediately offer up the reason/reasons, which can range from 'because she can't reach the crayons' to 'because I belted her in the head.' When I pick him up from school, he'll often volunteer whether he's been good or bad before I even speak to his teachers. I don't think it's really about morals or values or anything. I think it's just that he doesn't know how to lie.


Lately he's been experimenting a little with dishonesty. Dipping his toe into the pool of falseoods, if you will. For example, let's say Sam wants to throw his ball in the house. This is expressly forbidden, and he knows that. Recently, he's been coming to me to ask if he may throw his ball in the house. When I say no he says, 'Maybe I just not tell you I throw the ball!' So far, he hasn't actually carried out any of his diabolical plans. I think he's starting to realize that if I don't see him actually do something, well then maybe he might not get in trouble for his actions.

One deceptive behaviour he has mastered, much to my dismay, is the art of pretend sleeping. Sam is a kid who still needs to nap most days. Many kids his age are so over napping, but if he misses his afternoon snooze, he literally begs to be put to bed between 5:30 and 6. And then he gets up at the crack of dawn the next day and mama can't have that, so the afternoon nap stays.

All through vacation, napping wasn't an issue because he was so worn out from swimming, golfing, beaching, etc. that he would drop off to sleep the minute we closed the door. But once we got home and back to our normal, non-exhausting schedule, getting him to sleep has been a struggle. If I hear him jumping 'round his room, an easy task in our old house, I simply sit with him until he's asleep. Twice this week, though, he's faked me out!

How? Well, our neighbors are having their house painted (and I can't leave them alone. Go read all about it at the Philly Moms Blog.) and sometimes the noises they make with their ladders and such sound an awful lot like Sam running around his room. Just to be sure, though, I check on him whenever I hear a suspicious sound. We have creaky stairs (old house, remember?) and I guess they are loud enough to alert him to my approach. Two times now he's made it into his bed and done a remarkable job of looking asleep without me catching on until much later.

The good news is that since he still doesn't get lying, when I ask him what he was doing in his room, he can't help but respond with the truth. Even if the truth is that he's been playing with his cars and monkey toys.

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susan said...

Oh, it starts so young and so subtly. We've moved into the "I'm just hiding behind the bathroom door because I was just licking your chapstick but I didn't bite it yet so I'm not really eating it" phase. I curl up in terror every time I think that it is my responsibility to mold and guide this brilliant little mind.

Arizaphale said...

Feel reassured that the ability to lie is indicative of intellect!