Originally posted 2008-09-10 18:35:03.
When this happened; when it dawned on me the whole rationale and intention behind the lie, I honestly did not know how to react, because I did not know which stand to take.
Last night, as usual, I headed over to Grandma’s after work, for dinner and the trip home with the kids to call it a night. While I was there, Grandma said Caitlin hadn’t pooped yet, again. We were talking about it and her diet during the day and the day before, and how else to ease the problem for her. Caitlin, in her time with her grand parents, has actually picked up some Cantonese being spoken and also from the Chinese serials on tv, that she can actually understand most of what is being discussed between the adults; only that she may not be able to speak it, yet. (We exclusively speak to her in English, though I’ve started practising Mandarin with her from her classes).
Sometime after dinner then, Caitlin, being the monkey that she is (born under the same animal year too) was being cheeky and was rude to Daddee. She wanted to be carried, I refused and she grunted / growled at me pulling her lips back. For the rest of that time / the night, I declared to her that I wasn’t going to speak to her at all and wasn’t going to friend her because I was both sad and angry at her, and also that there was not going to be any tv or Sesame Street podcast watching for the night, as punishment.
It would have been over an hour between that and the time we got home. Almost time for bed and she says to me she needed to poop. Knowing that this was more important, I carried-put her on her toddler-toilet-seat on the dunny, and kinda forgave her and sat by the door keeping her company; chatting and encouraging / supporting her knowing that it was likely going to be painful pushing out her hard stools.
In all, we sat there for over 45minutes, passing her usual bedtime. In that time, she says to me that there was a total of 3 plops; our reference to poop-progress. Knowing that usually the first plop would be the hardest, the rest of the “session” should be smooth sailing, pun intended.
In between there were the somewhat expected sobs of pain, and she used the toilet tissues to wipe her tears, dumping them into the toilet.
Since there was already 3 plops, I was getting impatient in that it was taking too long and she really already needed to be asleep. I asked her to start pushing, despite her refusals.
Then she tells me she is done. I can’t remember the exact conversation but when I already had some drops of soap ready to wash her bits, she tells me that she didn’t poop at all in all that time.
I couldn’t believe my ears. Initially I didn’t realise that she was lying. I made her repeat herself and what she did to confirm. I couldn’t check the toilet ‘cos there was dumped tissue floating on the surface. I specifically asked if any of the 3 plops ever occurred. She shook her head.
After washing her up, I took her out of the toilet and sat down face to face with her. I reminded her of the evening’s events, that she was rude to me, I was angry at her, but that I had forgiven her; and then she downright lied to me within minutes of that.
I smacked her on the ass. Twice. She knows we don’t stand for lying, and she should be reminded of it.
In choosing my words carefully so that there wasn’t going to be a repeat, I got her to recap what had transpired and to explain her actions.
She tells me that she lied because she didn’t actually have any (ready at the time) poop. Somewhere in there, it dawned on me that she had simply wanted to please me.
In all the adult conversations she has learned that we were concerned about her bowel movements. In the time leading to the lie, I was mad at her. This, apparently, was an attention seeking move, to “wag the dog”, to either possibly to get me to friend her again, AND / OR that I would be relieved to know she was free of her alimentary knots.
In a twisted way, she had my interest at heart.
It bugged me the whole night what had happened. I replayed and weighed the whole incident, her’s and my thought process, rationale, approach. Yes it is wrong to lie. But she lied not so much for her own interest because I said I forgave her after we both sat down to chat (her on the dunny and me on the floor just outside)- she said she needed to poop when I was still mad at her and hadn’t forgiven her yet. She knows I could very well leave her there and be on about my usual evening business at home.
It also occured to me that she may have confused her own body signals. It was knocking at the door, but not quite ready to come out yet; and she thought it was. But since it wasn’t ready after all, to please me she said there were 3 plops already, to follow through with the whole act of now-that-Daddee’s-put-me-on-the-toilet-I-had-better.
Something in me made me think I wrongly smacked her; after all she did cry her usual pain-in-the-ass-cos-of-hard-stools cry. A voice was also telling me that this whole thing is warped, twisted, about how she approached and dealt with and followed through with the whole incident, the way she thinks, the way she felt she had to follow though a possible mistake (knock-knock but no one’s there mistake) by covering up with lies.
That she woke up about 30 minutes later with real poop didn’t make my state of mind any easier. I seem to be as confused as she might have been last night…