Liar, liar, pants on fire, hang them up on telephone wire.
Monkey used to sneak food when she was a toddler. She learned how to open the refrigerator while she was still in her walker, so being fully mobile opened up a whole new avenue of pantry raiding when Scootch was born. Instead of requesting a snack, she just felt it would be easier to liberate the food herself while I was usually otherwise occupied with a feeding or a diaper change. The denial was amusing when she was three and vehemently denied she stole granola bars while the melted chocolate chips were still smeared all over her mouth. Now that she's the ripe old age of seven and a half with an attitude to match, the denial isn't cute anymore.
Its partially my fault, to be honest. We fight over so many things during the course of the day, taking her to task for the daily petty offences is usually one of the battles I choose to just not engage in. I tell her I think she's lying, she denies it, and I just leave it lie, hoping she'll at least acknowledge to herself she is in the wrong. She's not really adept at hiding the evidence, either. Which is something else I fail to point out to her because, truthfully, I don't want her improving on that particular life skill. My tipping point, however, came while Daddy was away for a few days on business. The second time that week she came downstairs dressed for school wearing my good 14K gold jewelry I pretty much flipped my lid. To which she just insisted she "found it" in her jewelry box. No. Way. In. Hades. my jewelry spontaneously traveled space and time into the little box in her bedroom!
When Daddy came home, I was more than happy to hand off the disciplinary reins to him when it came to refereeing a dinner fiasco. Monkey refused to eat her dinner the entire meal, then when everyone else left the table, she came prancing into the living room two minutes later claiming to have finished every last bite. It didn't take much investigating for Daddy to find her entire meal stuffed into the garbage can. That evening's bedtime routine became one long talk about truth and dishonesty. And in some ways I'm so thankful he's here to get through to her. Monkey listens and opens up to Daddy in so many other ways than we communicate with each other. He can get to the root of her behaviors and actions so much quicker than I ever seem to be able to. On the other hand, its positively maddening to deal with a child who is so righteous and fastidious about preaching right and wrong about other's behavior, but never seems to hold herself to the same measure. Especially when I'm the one at home usually stuck holding the ruler. I'm just hoping we're working through this phase, and she has finally learned a valuable lesson.