Ryan is mastering the art of lying.
A kinder way to describe it would be fibbing, but the way he does it is so smart and calculated that I am inclined to call it by its more intentional name.
Mike and Ryan were downstairs; I was upstairs. I could hear Ryan asking his Daddy if he could watch a TV show, and I heard Mike tell him no. A few minutes later, Ryan came looking for me upstairs.
Ryan: Can I watch a show, Mommy?
Me: Did you ask Daddy if you could watch a show?
Me: What did he say?
Ryan: He said yes!!
Me: Then why did you come ask me?
Ryan: Uh … cuz I wanna watch a show …
I came to pick Ryan up from preschool. As his teacher called his name to be dismissed, he ran across the room to me.
Ryan: Mommyyyyy! I didn’t have any timeouts today!!
Ryan’s teacher: Well … that’s not true. He was tackling his friends today and had to have some timeouts.
Me: Ryan, your teacher says you did have timeouts for tackling. It’s not nice to tackle friends. We need to play gently with friends.
Ryan: Yes, but I didn’t have any timeouts! Daddy is going to be so, so, so, so happy!
Mike put a show on for Ryan to watch in the morning before preschool while I finished getting ready. Mike then left for work and Ryan’s show ended.
Ryan: Mommy, I want to watch another show!
Me: No buddy, we’re going to be leaving for school soon.
Ryan: But Daddy said I could watch a show!
Me: Yeah, and you watched it. It’s time for school now.
Ryan: Daddy said I could watch two shows.
Me: No, he didn’t.
Ryan: Yes, he did.
Me: Ryan, I know for a fact that is not true.
On one hand, I mourn the little piece of innocence that has been lost. Gone are the days when every word he spoke rang of pure, sweet honesty. He is old and wise enough to know that being honest doesn’t always get you what you want in life; instead, one must attempt to manipulate certain situations to one’s advantage. It’s a sad inevitability.
On the other hand, I applaud his ability to read a social situation, to anticipate what I want to hear and to choose his words accordingly. It’s a sign that he’s figuring out his place in the world and learning how to successfully navigate around roadblocks (i.e., me) that may get in his way.
For now, at least, it’s amusing how childishly blatant his
lies fibs are and that no amount of logical debunking softens his resolve.
I'm Meg. I grew up in Ohio, came of age in Arizona and am now raising a family in Pennsylvania. I'm a freelance writer, an essayist and a stay-at-home mom to a spirited four-year-old boy. We're on a journey to adopt our second child through the foster care system. I'm told I am too organized and too sarcastic for my own good but I don't see how either is possible.
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