Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Pretty Little Liar

Oldest daughter came home from summer camp on Tuesday just overflowing with excitement.  I knew they had been to the Aquarium - one of her faves - that day but there was more to this.

"Mummy," she beamed. "I got to feed the dolphins today!"

I was very surprised because I know that's quite expensive and not something she would get to do with a community centre day camp.  But she was full of details...

- no one else wanted to do it.
- the dolphins were called Hannah and Hilda
- one of them had a weird fin
- we walked through a little gate to get down there
- the trainer lady was wearing a wet suit
- she held my hand so the dolphin wouldn't bite me

and it went on and on...her little smiler getting bigger and broader as she told the story.

I was bummed I had missed such a special moment in her life. I aksed if anyone took pictures but she said she didn't think so because it all happened so fast.

She told everyone about it. So proud of her special moment. And I was so proud of her. So much so that I was determined to find a picture of it. Someone must have one somewhere.

So this morning I asked her day camp leader about it.

"Did anyone take any pictures of her feeding the dolphins on Tuesday?" I asked.

"She didn't feed the dolphins," he said matter of factly. "Not with us at least."
I looked in my daughter's direction and caught a glimpse of her stricken face before she suddenly got very interested in the tops of her shoes.

It was all a lie. A very elaborate and believeable lie...but a lie nonetheless.

I walked over, knelt down and very quietly asked her if she had made it up. She mumbled "maybe" and continued to stare at her shoes.

I was shocked and also felt a little foolish that I had fallen for her story but decided that right in the middle of the community centre with all her friends nearby was not the place to have a discussion about it and so I let it go for the time being.

Now - to be honest - I'm a ltitle at a loss on how to deal with it. She has a very vivid imagination and loves to write stories and draw pictures of all kinds of things. I would have been so excited if she had written a story about a girl that got to feed the dolphins. Not tell everyone she did it herself.

And this is not her first time at the "I caught you lying" rodeo - not by a long shot. And each time - as she gets older - the lies get more elaborate and thought out and, well, believeable.

So begins another chapter in my parenting book that I like to call "I hope to hell I'm not screwing this up..."

At least - looking on the bright side - turns out I didn't miss anything after all.

she may look harmless...but I think she's actually plotting to take over the world.

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