Monday, February 4, 2008

What A Tangled Web

My daughter and my niece take ballet and hip hop classes together so my sister-in-law and my husband take turns shuttling them back and forth. (I don't do it because I take care of The Conqueror whose bedtime falls smack in the midst of class time.) On Thursday evening, it was my SILs turn to do the chauffeuring. They arrived home much later than I expected them to so when Her Highness came inside, I asked if class ran over.

"No," she replied. "We went to eat." That isn't entirely unusual that the girls demand a snack so I thought little of it until she said that they'd eaten in.

"Well, where did you go?"

She replied that they'd eaten at a wing joint. Honestly, I was irritated that my SIL took my 8 year old into this particular establishment at 8:00 on a Thursday night because it is more of a bar than a restaurant in the evenings. I was peeved but my SIL and brother have very different views on parenting than I do so I tried to play it cool. That is until Her Highness said the following.

"Aunt Soandso said not to tell you she took me in there."

"What?!"

"Yeah, she said to tell you that it took a long time to get home."

Well, I was furious at this point. She told my kid to lie to me! Are you freaking kidding me!?
So, being me, I got on the phone and called and left a scathing message for her to find when she arrived home.

I sent HH to the shower and tried to calm myself. Soon, the phone rang.

It was SIL and she was furious that I had called and insinuated that she had told HH to lie. Of course, I believed my kid. She doesn't lie.

SIL was adamant and after five minutes of listening to her, I realized that she must be telling the truth. She said, "I knew she was going to tell you we were there. She tells you everything. We were only in there a few minutes picking up food. I knew you wouldn't like it but we didn't stay long."

I was forced to realize that my daughter had lied to me.

As soon as I confronted her, she began sobbing. Readily, she admitted that she had lied. She had no reason why she lied other than she thought she was going to be in trouble for going to this place. I explained that she wouldn't be in trouble; she is a child and was with a grown up and had no choice but to go there. I resisted the urge to rip her apart and told her that I loved her no matter what but that she couldn't lie to me anymore and that her lie had caused me to argue with Aunt Soandso. She bawled and apologized, vowing never to do it again.

And then I made her call my SIL. I didn't want to; she was so sad and upset and I felt like my disappointment and disapproval were really hurting her (she's a pleaser, God help me). It was really hard to push it that extra step but I felt I had to to prove the point and drive home the message that lying was not tolerated.

She called and cried and apologized. Then I hugged her and put her to bed, promising not to tell Daddy (I did tell him) and that it was over.

This was a situation I had yet to deal with; I think I did the right thing but it was really hard.

Seems this motherhood gig only gets harder as they get older.

And I thought the sleeping issues with the little one were hard. Yeah, right.

12 comments:

suchsimplepleasures said...

oh honey...i feel your pain!! my step-daughter has lied to us, on numerous occasions, to protect her biomom...she'd rather be the fall guy, than have us be mad at her mom!! but...a lie is a lie.
it's so so so hard, being a mommy. and...it doesn't get easier. the lies get bigger. the attitude gets bigger. i often ask myself what it was that i was thinking...and, i haven't come up with an answer yet!!
xoxo

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

Oh, sweetie. I think you did very well. You got her attention. You showed her she was wrong. That's the most important part. Big hugs for you. So many parents wouldn't have lifted a finger. PROPS to the other member of the We hate our in-laws club. Did I mention I'm home & will have to see mine this week. YEAH!

MamaGeek said...

You nailed this post. Little kids = little problems. Bigger kids = bigger problems. You did the right thing which is usually the tough thing. I say good job Toni!

Marie said...

Life lessons are so important Toni...you did the right thing!

Jenni said...

I think having her call your SIL was probably the best thing you could have done. Our kids seem to get immune to us, but even the super-tough kids have a soft spot with other adults. That probably hammered it home.

Good job!

DIXIECHICK said...

Toni, honey..you definitely taught her lesson that she will remember always...good parenting! I would have done the same..hey, guess what? You won my "Lost Trivia" contest....come over and see how well you did!

Life As I Know It said...

Yep, it gets harder as they older. More complicated issues.
Sounds like you handled things perfectly!

Kellan said...

I think you handled it perfectly. And, you are right - it just gets harder and harder - but you will do just fine. Take care - Kellan

Robin said...

Yea for you! I think you handled it perfectly. I remember the first time Son truly lied to us. It made all those toddler and infant issues a breeze!

And, it also sounds like your SIL respects the fact that you have different opinions and kept her there only to pick up some food.

Robin said...

Yea for you! I think you handled it perfectly. I remember the first time Son truly lied to us. It made all those toddler and infant issues a breeze!

And, it also sounds like your SIL respects the fact that you have different opinions and kept her there only to pick up some food.

Laura McIntyre said...

That really is a tough one, i do think you handled it the best way you could

Cathy said...

Sounds like you did the right - the call to the SIL was important for her to make.
Not looking forward to bigger problems...though I am looking forward to sleepng through the night. Is the trade off worth it???