Wednesday, October 19, 2011

To Tell the Truth

The Pumpkin has a very active imagination. She loves to make up songs, stories, names and, well, everything. She is taking drama class again this year, and she loves to pretend to be things. Most often lately she's wanted to pretend to be a teacher and I am the mom teacher, which is a cute idea.

She also loves to be silly and does things just to make people laugh. Part of her silliness is making up funny things, combining her love of thinking up things and being silly. She comes up with all sorts of things, and I'm constantly amused, as is Londo and the Pookie.

But it can be hard to figure out exactly what to believe sometimes. I know what she makes up when I'm right there (she is not really marrying her brother), and I can also guess quite a bit of what's made up about school (they do not have a classroom horse so they can learn about taking care of horses). But sometimes there are stories she tells that I don't know if they are true or not.

And just to keep me completely confused, she either doesn't understand the concept of "true" or thinks it means something it doesn't. Because after she told me the story about the classroom horse? She looked at me, nodded her head and said, "It's true." One time she even said, "True story"! Kids these days learn that internet speak early!

One thing that drives Londo crazy is when people lie to him. So he's worked to explain what is true versus what is a lie to the Pumpkin for years. She either isn't getting it or is pushing her boundries to see what stories she can get away with. Either way, it can be frustrating for all involved.

If we can't believe her when she says something is true, then it become really hard to trust that she's doing what she should be. For example, if we ask if she washed her hands after she used the potty, we've heard her insist she has even though we saw her NOT do it. But other times, she insists to the point of tears that she has and we don't know if she has or not, which must be extremely frustrating for her if she really is telling the truth.

I always keep in mind a phrase one commenter on Ask Moxie who was a teacher would say to her students' parents: I'll believe half of what the kids say happen at home if you believe half of what they say happen at school.

I know it's a normal development phase, and the book Nurture Shock claimed that the ability to lie shows intelligence in children. But it's still frustration.

On the bright side, she does have an amazing imagination and tells very interesting stories and comes up with very creative games. That's the part I concentrate on, even when she tells me that she truly had the toy first, not her brother, when I know she didn't. Who knows what that girl of mine is going to come up in her life? I can't wait to find out.