Part 1: Suspicion
Leaving Rite-Aid today I notice some not-before-there chocolate on my four year old's chin.  Despite my immediate thought that this was really more of a hassle than it was worth, the teachable moment in me took her back inside to apologize to the clerk and point out what candy she'd opened so we could buy it.  When I asked her to show me where she got it she said with a dead straight face: "We had chocolate cupcakes this morning at Bible study."

Part 2: The Lesson
Thinking the embarrassment of apologizing would be enough, I had not considered that the girl would contrive such an artful and instantaneous lie.  I was in such awe of her creativity that I couldn't even get angry.  Without the anger to fuel my creativity, it actually takes effort on my part to come up with a punishment worthy enough to drive home the lesson.  In this case, I knew I needed to down-play the stealing (because it is wrong to take things that are not ours without asking) and emphasize the lie (which Mommy and Daddy always know when you are lying so there is no point in attempting).  On a positive note, the partially eaten DARK CHOCOLATE SNICKERS was an instant 100% rebate, so it was technically free.  And mommy ate the rest in the car on the way home, just to rub in the lesson.

Part 3: Anticipation
Larceny and perjury all in the same day.  Her lawyer-Daddy will be so proud.

Part 4: Things Said On the Drive Home
“I think a time out in my room would be just fine.”
“I don’t need a spanking on my bottom.  Just spank me on the hand.”  *Holds out hand.*
“No mommy, I do not like spankings.  Spankings hurt so so so so bad.”
“Well, Mommy, I had to eat the candy because I am so hungry for lunch and you didn’t feed me.”
“Well, I didn’t ask for the candy because you always say no.”

Part 5: The Take-Away Message
"No, I'm not going to tell Daddy.  When he comes home I'm going to say I had a good day at Bible Study and that is all."

*From "The UnderToad":

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Apr. 5, 2011 at 12:56 AM

frustratedI feel your pain!

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