One of the things I love about momming is what your kids teach you. They start out with one and only one communication skill- crying. You watch them develop, and watch their body language develop. This is fun, because at some point, they will attempt to lie. They will get better at lying. You will get better at telling if they are lying, they will get better at hiding it, and like virus and anti-virus, both working frantically to develop and mutate faster than the other guy, you do battle.
When my kids were quite little, I would just say, "I know you are lying." Because they were, and we both knew it. They would ask "How do you know?" I was not about to tell them; sometimes I wasn't even sure which bit of body language had given them away, but in any case, I wasn't about to hand over my secret decoder ring to the other side, so I told them, "when you lie, your nose turns purple. Only moms who have been to momschool can see it. Kids can't." (Momschool is something else I tell them about; perhaps I'll blog on that later.) Prima daughter then made my life even easier by casually sticking anything she could find in front of her face when she lied. It was really hard not to laugh. I'd be thinking: it's time to be stern now, don't laugh! And she'd be carrying on a conversation with a stuffed fish in the middle of her face, hoping I wouldn't cotton.
Now. Prima grew out of this, and I'm happy to say we have a good relationship, with very little lying. Middlekid and Thirdling got in a fight yesterday. Both came to me yelling "she did it, she hit me first!" and so on. After the obligatory lecture about 'it doesn't matter who hit who first, no one should have hit second either,' I told them they would have to sort it out because I wasn't there and I would never know the truth. Now the problem; Middlekid said "but mommy, you said our noses turn purple when we lie."
Middlekid is 10. I did not realise she still believed it. I should have; I remember being totally crushed around that age when my mom told me there was no such thing as Santa Clause. And then the Duh-Award drops out of the sky onto my obviously very soft head: This is so totally what I deserve for using a lie to control their lying. Oh, the maternal guilt! You have no idea...
So. I'm off to the hospital for another d&c tomorrow. Wish me luck, blogland. (place cool, animated frowny face icon here)