little kid is on a real lying streak lately and I'm getting tired of it.
Yesterday he walked into the room with a completely blue mouth and a guilty look on his face.
"Why is your mouth blue?"
"Uh, yes, it is. What have you been into?"
He was struggling to keep a serious look on his face, his little mouth pursing as the corners turned upward, struggling to smile.
"Did you get into the candy?" I checked his hands and they were still damp from a suspicious recent washing.
His mouth turned into a little "O" and he rolled his eyes toward the ceiling--making a bizarre face that was very similar to the ridiculous face Big Kid used to make when he first started telling lies. "No, mine Mumum."
Walking into the room he just left, I found a small pile of candy wrappers under the desk. He continued to deny his involvement, despite the blue candy wrappers and his blue mouth, and he got in trouble for it anyway.
Later that day he was taking forever with lunch and wasn't allowed to leave the kitchen island until he finished his bowl of homemade mac and cheese. About 10 minutes later he came into the room I was in, triumphantly announcing that he had finished.
"Really? What a good boy!" I exclaimed. As I got up to go into the kitchen, I saw that he looked nervous. "Did you really eat it?" I asked, watching the "I'm lying" face creep up.
"Yes, I ated it all! Like um very good boy." The bowl was indeed empty, but my suspicions remained.
Then I suddenly remembered a jedi parenting trick The Renee told me about years ago:
"Hey, little kid, I've got a special test that tells me if kids are telling a lie. Will you please come here?" I asked, squatting down to his level. He looked a little apprehensive.
"Whys you want me to?"
"As part of the test. It's no big deal if you really did eat your lunch, I just need to make sure."
I stuck my arm out, thumb up. "Okay, I need you to squeeze my thumb with your hand and look into my eyes while I ask you a question, alright?"
"MMMkay," his eyes were growing wider, as he tentatively reached out and wrapped his small hand around my thumb.
"Okay, now squeeze my thumb and look right at me," I said, looking into his eyes, "little kid, did you really eat all of your mac and cheese?"
He hesitated for just a moment. "Yes I did." He tried to sound confident.
Any fear that I had that I'd be unable to read him correctly completely faded with that one sentence. Anyone who had truly eaten their mac and cheese wouldn't have that slight tremble to their hand or those wild wide eyes or that scrunched up little mouth struggling not to laugh.
(Laughter and smiling is a nervous reaction for little kid--it took me months of total rage as he laughed in my face during punishments before I realized this and now I know to ignore it.)
I shook my head in sad disappointment. His shoulders drooped. "little kid. This is very sad for me. The test says that you're lying. It is not good to lie. God doesn't like lies, Santa Claus doesn't like lies, and you cannot be telling lies. What did you really do with your mac and cheese? Don't lie more! That will make it worse!"
"I feeded it to a dogs, mumum," he admitted. I praised him for admitting it and felt pretty amused by the whole situation and my glorious new trick...until bedtime.
Because at bedtime, I found an enormous bowl-sized clump of mac and cheese under his bed, partially ground into the carpet.
And he blamed it on the dogs, who must have put it there once they realized they didn't like mac and cheese.