Saturday, March 19, 2011

Today's A Day When Being A Parent Sucks

Did I captivate you with the title to this post?  I'll give you one guess what (or rather who) this is about.

This little love.  This sweet, innocent, smart little girl.  Who is also very headstrong and sassy and too smart for her own good.

The latest?  Lying. 

I'm fairly certain that the genesis of her lies occurs in her overactive imagination.  She invents stories, fabricates things down to the minute detail, and begins telling those around her elaborate tales. 

Sometimes they are non-sensical - they are so far fetched that they completely make no sense.  For example, she went out for a treat dinner and dessert with one of her favorite teachers from school a week ago.  She wove an intricate tale of a mythological jump rope school that she attends - down to the detail of what the building looked like where she attended said school - down to the detail of the type of jump ropes they use - down to the detail of what the teacher looks like - and completely fooled the teacher.

When I picked her up that night - Ms. Craft asked me 'say, I didn't know kids went to jump rope school?' obviously thinking I was some sort of insane parent who would send their child to a school to learn how to jump rope.

We straightened that one out immediately.

So that's just an example of the kind of stories Anna tells.  I honestly think it starts with an idea - and before she can catch herself - it comes out of her mouth - and eventually she has to keep lying horrible lies to keep the story straight.

We've been working on this.  Like I said, she's incredibly bright.  Borderline genius.  Which also means borderline crazy.

But when the lies start to impact others, then we really have a problem.

Take yesterday, for example.  To make a ridiculously long story short, she lied her way out of school - with a supposed ear infection.  Nevermind that the child has functioning tubes in her ears.  Nevermind that she'd been to the pediatrician on Monday with the same 'ear ache' and told by her doctor that she was just fine.

She convinced the nurse she was ill.

I was called out of work to collect her. 

I knew, I KNEW it was all a lie.  But what can I say when the nurse and the principal of the school are there telling me how Anna had been lying down in the nurse's room, whimpering about said ear, pulling on it, and saying how awful she felt.


I gave her every opportunity to tell the truth.  I told her if I took her to the doctor and he looked in her ear and said she was fine - that so help me, she'd be in a heap of trouble.  She'd be spending the weekend in her room.  No TV.  No books.  No going to James' soccer game.  No going to the annual St. Patricks Day parade - a highlight for the Party.

To her credit, she stuck to her story.  She insisted her ear hurt.  She insisted she couldn't hear well out of it.


It wasn't until moments before the doctor came into the examining room that her story started to change.  It started with her telling me 'I'm just so nervous.  I don't know why I'm so nervous.'

I responded "um... because you're about to get caught in a big fat lie?"

Then "will I have a chance to earn going to the parade back?"

I responded "No. You had every opportunity to tell the truth.  It's too late now.  Now you face the punishment."

Then she burst into tears - telling me it was all a story.  Tried to tell me she never said her ear hurt - but that it itched (she did indeed have contact dermatitis from sticking her fingers in her ear with something on them - causing it to turn red and have bumps on the exterior.)  I said "so sorry.  That is NOT what the nurse told me when she called.  Are you trying to tell me the NURSE was lying?"

So the doctor came in.  I said "Anna?  I think you have something to tell Dr. Ted."

She fessed up.

Dr. Ted was very stern with her.  Told her she'd wasted not only my time, but his, and taken time away from another patient who might need to see him who is truly sick.  He further explained that if she did stuff like this again, he might have to treat her by giving her a shot or putting her in the hospital - because he didn't know what the symptoms were.

She shrank into her chair.

He then went on to say since she'd said she was sick - she needed to spend the rest of the day in her room.  No TV.  No going outside.  Nothing.

She shrank further.

I called the school.  Told them the tale Anna had woven.  Reminded them this wasn't the first time she's pulled this stunt.  Told them that unless my child was barfing, bleeding, or running a super high fever - don't call me.  She's faking.

So we came home.  A day completely wasted.  And she stayed in her room.  I brought her a snack.  She was released to come down to dinner and have her bath.  Then stuck in her room again.

She's still in there now.  Sleeping, I presume.

I'm not sure what today will bring. 

I'm still furious.  I'm missing James' very first soccer game ever.  Deonne took him (along with Jack) because he's one of the assistant coaches and has to be there.  He's taking the boys to the parade following the game.

And I'm home.  Stuck here.  With Anna.

I suppose I should release some of the punishment.  Let her out of her room.  Get some fresh air outside (it's supposed to be in the mid-80's here today.) 

Maybe.  Maybe not.  As I said, I'm still pretty furious.  She might be safer sequestered to her room.

So as the title to this states - today's a day when being a parent sucks.

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