Amy’s been inquiring about telling the truth and lying, lately. Trying to understand exactly what these things refer to. She thought she was lying when she was yelling back at her dad the other night, so some clarification is in order. We practice — she asks me an obvious question like “Are you holding an instrument?” and I answer, and she judges whether I was telling the truth or lying. Then it’s her turn.
Tonight, she came out of her room cheerfully, announcing that she needed to pee, and then telling me, “Ask me if I peed in my diaper, and I’ll say ‘Yes!'” — and, irritated, I launched into a discussion of the need to come out and announce the need to pee BEFORE peeing in the diaper, and how if this kind of thing continues, we’ll have to stop the peeing breaks after bedtime. (Because it sure seems like it’s just an excuse to get out of her room, see what I’m watching on TV, converse, etc; especially if there’s no actual progress toward keeping the diaper dry.)
After I sent her back to bed, it occurred to me that I missed an important part of the conversation. She was telling the truth about having peed in the diaper (having lied about it the night before), and was proud of herself for telling the truth. And well she should be. And I missed it and missed the chance to affirm her in truth-telling, even — actually, that should be especially — when the truth is negative.
And, by the way? Sometimes I think I need to start researching now what careers require lots of dawdling and talking back.