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Apr. 29th, 2009 | 09:23 pm
posted by: shannonmariah in badparents

I had just been telling Todd and Cindy over supper tonight how much Emma's been lying lately. And convincingly, too. She told me the other day that she had to sit out of phys. ed. because she didn't have proper shoes. I was secretly outraged. I had mentally constructed an email to her PE teaching pointing out that 6-year olds are not olympic athletes requiring ergonomically sound gear. Thankfully that well-researched, rational email never got sent. A week later Emma told me the same lie, and this time she giggled and her whole story came crashing down. I had to explain the difference between a joke and a lie ... one of those differences is LETTING SOMEONE CONTINUE TO BELIEVE YOU, my sweet child.

This morning I sent her down to look for some breakfast while I was blowdrying my hair. When I asked if she had eaten, she said she had. "What did you have, Em?"
"Oh, I already cleaned it up. I put my dishes in the sink."
"Well, where are your dishes then?" I asked, looking into the empty sink.
"Oh, the dishwasher, I mean. I put them in the dishwasher."
"The dishwasher is empty."
"Okay, I didn't eat. I'm not hungry."
"THEN JUST SAY THAT. I mean, just say that next time, please, sweet angel child."

Tonight after we had finished supper at the McLaren's house, Emma saw her neighbour friend, Zoe, outside and decided to join her. I knew she had been back in our house a couple of times because she needed to put better shoes on and because I kept hearing our door slam. I had left Ferris in his kennel at home, not wanting to deal with the craziness of the Lilli-Ferris show. Emma finished playing with Zoe and came back over to the McLaren's. We cleaned up and said our goodbyes and made the long trek home across the driveway. As we reach our door, Emma casually drops into conversation that one of the times she was in the house she could tell that Ferris had to pee and so she let him out but he didn't quite make it.

I froze on the front porch. "Pardon?"
"Ferris peed on the floor."
"And you're just telling me now?"
"Well, I was busy."

I walked in to find a trail of pee from the back door to the bathroom, which is also near Ferris' kennel. The concentration of the puddle near the kennel/bathroom and the high velocity pee spatter suggested that the perpitrator peed, realized he or she was peeing, tried to contain said pee, and then rushed to the door, where the pee fizzled off. Which, really, made no sense.

THEN, I turned on the bathrrom light to find an even larger puddle of pee covering most of the bathroom mat. Also puzzling, considering the amount of urine from the first puddle was sufficent enough to have emptied one bladder.

"Emma, are you sure Ferris did this?" I mean, the kid is her mother's child, after-all. On a number of ocassions we have both been known to hold it so long that we barely (or don't, in Emma's case) make it to the toilet because we CAN'T MISS OUT ON ANY FUN. What if we go to pee and that's when THE MOST FUN HAPPENS? WHAT IF.

"Yes. Ferris peed."

"Okay, but did you, pee, too?"

Her friend Zoe had given her some gum, and Emma was chewing it like she's The Shit. Oddly enough, this is helping her case and she seems really legit. But, fuck, it just doesn't make any sense. So I press on, baffled. "Emma, did you hold it so long you peed? This is a lot of pee."

"Well," chew, chew, smack, chew, "ya. I peed."

"And Ferris peed?"

"Ya."

"You and Ferris both peed on the floor and you didn't come and tell me and then you lied to me about it just now."

"Well. It was an accident."

"The pee was an accident. Sure. But you lied. Again. For the fourth time in two days. How did this happen? Why did you let Ferris out of his kennel? Why didn't you open the door in time? Why did you lie? THERE IS SO MUCH PEE ON THE FLOOR. PEE. PEE. EVERYWHERE PEE. YOU LIED, EMMA. LIED."

Oh my god, I thought my fucking head was going to pop off and land in the pee causing more spatter I'd now have to clean ... FUCKING HEADLESS. I was losing my shit, man.

"Emma, go upstairs and get ready for bed, please. There will be no bedtime stories tonight. And not because you peed on the floor. Or because Ferris peed on the floor. But because you lied about it. This is very serious Emma. And now I have a lot of pee to clean up, so please go now."

The gum smacking stopped and she was suddenly my little Emma again. "But there are always stories, mama. I want stories. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT."

"Lying isn't an accident. Go, please. I'll be up in a minute to tuck you in."

She cried all the way up the stairs and all through the disrobing and rerobing and tooth brushing and hair combing. Bawling like it was all over and nothing would ever be the same. Meanwhile a clench-jawed me was mopping up the floor. I put Ferris out on his leash at one point to find that Emma's piddle had started on the lower back deck and continued up the stairs to the upper deck into the landing of the back door and onto Steve's flipflops (which I had put on to tie up Ferris). GAH. PEE SUCKS. I HATE PEE. That was my mantra as I mopped. 

I knew it was funny. At least I knew it would be, at some point. JUST NOT FUCKING NOW.

I climbed into bed with her and held her while she continued to sob and settled into the post-trauma hiccups. I assured her that I loved her and always would, but that she needed to know how serious it is to break trust. We talked about her favourite parts of today and I made her laugh and scrunch up her tear-stained face. I kissed her on the head and told her that telling the truth is sometimes hard, but it's always important.

I came downstairs to consult my Parenting Manual to confirm that I had mostly fucked up, as usual, but got a few points for effort.

Wow. Thank god we don't have carpet downstairs.

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Comments {32}

Aurora In The Skye

(no subject)

from: auroraintheskye
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
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Your.... parenting manual? I'm curious what your book has to say on the matter. We've been having the same problem with lies. Again and again. My daughter is six and a half. I've tried explaining to her the importance of truth and equated lying to other things that she understands and accepts as wrong. I've told her that I won't be as mad if she accepts responsibility for her actions and tells me the truth about making a mistake... whether accidental or not... that we can talk about it. But, that lying always makes it a mistake much much worse and will always make mama very upset. But..... still it continues.

So, wise mama with the parenting guide... any advice on handling this problem? I've lost my cool on this issue with her repeatedly and don't quite know what else, if anything I can do. I'm tired of ranting and raving or trying to quietly explain that lying is a big "no no." I'm starting to feel like nothing I say has any impact, regardless of whether or not there are "consequences." Gah!!!

BTW, it sounds like you handled the matter with your daughter far better than I have lately. So, give yourself some credit on the matter! :)

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shannon

(no subject)

from: shannonmariah
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
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My parenting manual was tongue-in-cheeky. You know, the one we WISH we all had? Sigh.

Honestly, I have no clue. Consistency is my best guess right now. Continue to dole out the consequences and have the heart-to-hearts until eventually they sink in. Beyond that, clenching your fists and mopping with furry and clenching your jaw might help, too. It didn't help me AT ALL, but we're not all built the same, amirite?

Sounds like you're doing a good job, too. Thanks for the props, yo.

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Bliss

(no subject)

from: deliriumgrrl
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
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OH! You mean the Manual that we should have popped out instead of a placenta, right? And they say that humans evolve...

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agdjenn

(no subject)

from: agdjenn
date: Aug. 15th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
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The pediatrician at the hospital actually gave us a manual. After reading part of it I decided he wouldn't be our pediatrician.

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(Deleted comment)

shannon

(no subject)

from: shannonmariah
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
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Oh man. You're already triple my "awesomeness." That was hard tonight. I really wanted to shake her and say, "WHAT THE FUCK, EMMA. GOD." I raised my voice (which always makes me feel awful), but I mostly held it together.

This is a big circus over here, and we're calling it, "Raising Emma." Wow.

I think you're doing a pretty fantastic job, yourself, my friend. Keep on keepin' on. I appreciate your support and kind words. xo

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cristy24

(no subject)

from: cristy24
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC)
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God that sounds just like my life! Is your daughter 4 too?

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hadthlastdance

(no subject)

from: hadthelastdance
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 04:18 am (UTC)
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Me too! And my daughter is 4 as well.

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cristy24

(no subject)

from: cristy24
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
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Duh 6! I really read that lol.

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Dawn

(no subject)

from: stephaniesmom
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
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When my daughter lies (she'll be 6 on Friday), I tell her in a very sad voice that she's hurt my feelings, and that I'm very sorry that she felt that she couldn't trust me (I'm the Queen of the Guilt Trip, helps being Jewish). I tell her that she gets in much more trouble for the lie itself, than she would for what she lied about. Most of the time, the kid lies about something that's not even worth a punishment!

I then explain, again, that when she lies, she shows us that we can't trust her. This usually leads to a lot of tears, and apologies.

Then, I try to catch her telling the truth, which she usually struggles to do, for a while, and the more she does it, the more praise she gets...

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̶p̶̶r̶̶i̶̶n̶̶c̶̶i̶̶p̶̶e̶̶s̶̶s̶̶a̶    ❀la regina❀

(no subject)

from: sakuya_baby
date: Oct. 7th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
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*Son of Jewish mother*

Those guilt trips suck! They stick in your head so that when you go to do anything as an adult you stop and go "You know this injured my mother so badly she thought she had a heart attack"

thats so mean!!!! I thought I would NEVER use Jewish guilt for ANYTHING...

and then I became a parent. "Oh yeah? Well why don't you call grandma and tell HER what you said too!" has become a too often addition to my lecture/disciplinary procedures lol

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Dawn

(no subject)

from: stephaniesmom
date: Oct. 8th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
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Ah, my daughter's also an Aspie. She really doesn't get it, so the reinforcement helps. Logical patterns, and all that. Actions have consequences, blah, blah. She's gotten crafty. She'll tell me one thing, turn literally, immediately around and do the exact opposite, in plain view. It's fun to watch.

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Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen

(no subject)

from: missingkeys
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
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Gawd. Six year old girls and wee, huh? *strangles my own*

Mine just made a new friend. Or, rather, I made friends with the mother one of of the kids in another year 1 class (but not my daughter's class). Started because my kid was invited to the other kid's birthday, went on from there.

We start having play dates, and progress to a sleep over, where it is revealed that the other girl doesn't have to climb out of her bunk bed when it's cold at night: she gets to wear pull ups with princesses on them and if she wets herself that's a-ok! Which is fine by me--people can parent how they want and not all kids toilet train at the same time, blah blah blah--but then my kid decides it's cool to start wetting the bed.

After the first night I figured it was an accident and went with the, "It's okay, accidents happen--yes, I know your body didn't wake you up," and cuddles because she was craftily feigning hysteria for my sympathy. After the second night I'm like, "Um, dude, wtf?" *pet pet* and all that, but wtf? After the third night, "HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK what is with all of this pee? YOU ARE TOILET TRAINED AND HAVE BEEN FOR SOME TIME! It's raining! If you keep this up we'll run out of bedding and mattresses and you'll have to sleep on the floor!"

And honest to god the child has wet nearly every fucking night since the sleep over. I now have a freaking star chart. For peeing. Because some other kid wet the bed and my daughter decided it was a good idea.

*implodes*

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me_on_crack

(no subject)

from: rhonda_on_crack
date: May. 1st, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
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My daughter started wetting the bed like that and I started making her be the one to clean it all up. She is in a bunk bed and she pulls all the sheets off and takes them to the laundry and puts them in and has to take a bath before she can go back to bed. One time of that and she hasn't wet the bed since. Also, she peed on the carpet b/c she was too busy to go to the bathroom, so I had her get as much as she could up with paper towels and sprayed the carpet cleaner on the rug and let her be the one to scrub it away...haven't had that problem since either.

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Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen

(no subject)

from: missingkeys
date: May. 1st, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
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I haven't though of bathing before she may go to bed, but I did have her get all her sheets off. Does yours suffer from six year-old sloth as well? I swear to you it took about forty minutes to strip the sheets. I thought it was a grand plan, but her father just did it for her the next time and put her in pull ups because it was easier. :/ Not that I don't understand that it's easier, but it took me so long to toilet train her in the first place because we kept doing all the easier things. I can't afford to buy pull ups all the time at my place, though, and I shouldn't have to spend $20/week on nappies for a perfectly healthy six year-old. Grr!

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me_on_crack

(no subject)

from: rhonda_on_crack
date: May. 1st, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
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My 6yo is not lazy b/c she fears her father and b/c we have established chores for her. She has to clean her own room (cleaner than most 6yo's would have to), sort her laundry, sweep the front porch, clean & set the table, and a couple of other little things. We did put a mattress protector on her bed just in case she has an accident, but we also make her go potty before she goes to bed and she's not allowed to have anything to drink after she eats dinner. She was really upset about the no-drinks-after-dinner and I we just told her "well, stop wetting the bed". lol We make her run her own bath water, get her own PJs, etc., so if we make her take a bath after she cleans up the bed, it's still easy b/c she's the one doing all the work. Mean, but she learned from it really quickly.

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Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen

(no subject)

from: missingkeys
date: May. 1st, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
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That's rocking. My six year-old does nowhere near that much. She's responsible for putting out her laundry and putting it away once it's cleaned, cleaning her room (though goodness knows I have to supervise that half the time), setting the table and feeding the dog. She's also expected to dry the cutlery and plastics when I wash the dishes (I really like my plates, heh).

We have a mattress protector for both bunk bed mattresses, but I work further away from home and leave early in the morning so the task of washing soiled sheets generally falls to her father and he's just not a fan.

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me_on_crack

(no subject)

from: rhonda_on_crack
date: May. 2nd, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
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Ah, the whiney, lazy husband..hehhehe Ya, I just don't cook for him when he doesn't do what he's supposed to do.

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Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen

(no subject)

from: missingkeys
date: May. 2nd, 2009 08:05 am (UTC)
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Hee!

Sometimes I fantasise about my ex getting a new girlfriend who's more clued on than me. In my dreams she'll feign a headache every freaking time he wants sex, just as he does every time I want him to pick up a dirty sock.

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me_on_crack

(no subject)

from: rhonda_on_crack
date: May. 2nd, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
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hehehheh

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̶p̶̶r̶̶i̶̶n̶̶c̶̶i̶̶p̶̶e̶̶s̶̶s̶̶a̶    ❀la regina❀

(no subject)

from: sakuya_baby
date: Oct. 7th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
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Thats actually a marvellous idea. *Must use*

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like fine china

(no subject)

from: martina_d
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
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Pee is a recurring theme around our house. Just keep telling yourself, that in this one incident, you haven't even seen the tip of the iceburg for when you have boys. They pee on everything. All the time. As in, ruin the floor in the bathroom to the point of having to apply muriatic acid (3 times) in order to remove pee from the grout. ;)

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Sandradee

(no subject)

from: genevra
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 06:22 am (UTC)
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Actually, in my house it's the girl who's the pee problem. My boy aims well and hasn't had a single accident in MONTHS. My girl, however, has to have a timer to remind her to go, and she also sometimes *misses the toilet* - while she's SITTING ON IT! I just don't get it...

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like fine china

(no subject)

from: martina_d
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
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My daughter did that too, in the beginning! Have her lean forward onto her knees. It'll help aim everything down. (Oh, and I once caught my daughter standing up, peeing into the toddler potty, so she could "be like the boys"- and she did it with perfect aim. Unlike her brothers... ) :P

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K²

(no subject)

from: quietasariot
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 05:11 am (UTC)
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My 4 year old has started lying, too. You handled it way more gracefully. lol

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Catie23

(no subject)

from: catie23
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
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I am so grateful to you all for being here to remind me that all of this is normal and happens to all parents, not just me.
Oh and thanks for making me laugh so much I now need to pee.

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Wilde

(no subject)

from: oscariswilde
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
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OMG the lying phase. I thought I'd kill the eldest over that one. I can't even tell you how many times I almost blew up at a teacher because of some well constructed lie before we realized she was lying. What makes it worse is her bio-father is a pathological liar so ever time I caught her in a lie I wondered "oh god will this ever end or will she be just like her SOB sperm donor dad?" Fortunately she did outgrow it but it was a horrible challenge to my parenting skills.

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̶p̶̶r̶̶i̶̶n̶̶c̶̶i̶̶p̶̶e̶̶s̶̶s̶̶a̶    ❀la regina❀

(no subject)

from: sakuya_baby
date: Oct. 7th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
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My daughter's mother is one too, and I was very worried when her lying phase began too, but luckily, with enough guilting from my mother, it made her paranoid about her lies. My mother is the queen of telling when a child is lying, so she would ask her a million questions, repeatedly going "Are you sure you're lying? Can you look me in the eyes? Can you speak loudly and clearly? Are you sure? Who else was there?"

So now when Aya lies, her eyes go wide, she stares you in the face and says loudly "IM NOT LYINNNNNNG BECAUSE KEVIN WAS THERRRRE TOOOO BUTTTT THIIIIIS HAPPPEEEENNNNEEEEDDD" elongating her words and everything. Its made it very easy.

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spikey_kris

(no subject)

from: spikey_kris
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
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This story was hilarious, and I'm totally feeling you on the lying. My kid is 8 and he just started it too, And man, he's good at it.

And I almost freaked out at a teacher becasue of my kid's lie too! He told me he didn't get his milk at lunch because I didn't put a little slip of paper in the baggie with his milk money that said "1 white milk" and that he didn't get him milk moeny back. I was furious and writing up a letter to the principal, then I go to put it in his bookbag and find 3 days worth of milk money sitting there. He also lies to me about wierd situations with his friends, like things he doesn't even need to lie about.

I'm not used to this lying thing because my father made sure that my brother, sister an I NEVER lied. I lied one time and got scared into never doing it again, my dad freaked and gave me an excessive to say the least, punishment. My dad has this look he can give you thats reminiscent of the dad from "The Wonder Years" that would scare the shit out of you. the always told us while giving us this look that the worst things we could ever do were Lie Cheat or Steal, and if he ever causght us doing them, we'd be in big trouble...

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lbswmom

(no subject)

from: lbswmom
date: Apr. 30th, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
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Personally, I think you sound like the beacon of patience and virtue. Honestly, I would have totally not had the patience you had dealing with this situation.

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me_on_crack

(no subject)

from: rhonda_on_crack
date: May. 1st, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
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I would have made her clean up the pee and 4th lie in a few days would have gotten my daughter grounded for 4 days.

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Camille

(no subject)

from: camille_a_lily
date: May. 3rd, 2009 03:59 am (UTC)
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Rock on for not rubbing her face in it like you do a bad puppy. Any tricks for husbands that dont pay attention early in the morning?? Gah!

A co worker of mine had her 3yr old draw poop pictures all over the walls and his bed once. I try to remember that for perspective.

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silk1

This is priceless!

from: silk1
date: Oct. 23rd, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
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We must have the same child...and we sound like very similar moms!!

*LMAO @ pee everywhere*

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