Wednesday March 27th, 2013 marked the first big lie. Told to me, by Miss Caitlin, age five, with corroborators. It really isn't the nature of the lie, just the fact that it's the first big whopper, of what I'm sure are many. Here is the skinny.
I left Caitlin in the care of my grandparents and my aunt Marilyn while my mom, Mac and I took a quick trip to Costco. The trip, including a stop at the ATM took about an hour. Not bad for a Wednesday before Easter. On our way back, we got a call, my aunt Marilyn. She relayed the story to my mom, Caitlin had cut her finger. When my mom asked how, she was told, "I'll let Caitlin tell you that story". All we knew is that Caitlin was upset, there was a lot of blood, and the story on how it happened was pretty sketch.
When we got back to my grandparents house, Marilyn and Papa (my grandpa, Caitlin's great grandpa) were outside on the porch with an inconsolable Caitlin. As soon as she saw me she got upset all over again. The washcloth that was wrapped around her finger had lots of red on it. So I was totally ready to pop her in the car and take a ride to the hospital. Upon further instruction it looked like she had just cut off the top of her finger. But how?
According to Caitlin, she was running, fell, and scrapped her finger on the ground. Kind of like you stub a toe, and believable. The story was totally believable. I mean it looked like a stubbed toe, only it was a finger. So I was buying the story one hundred percent. Until my Aunt Marilyn chuckled and shook her head. For Caitlin's sake everyone stuck to the story for the time being.
We did our best to clean up the finger, her "bird" finger as my grandpa kept calling it. If you know my grandpa, then this is his usual fodder, except that at five, Caitlin has no idea what makes a "bird" finger! Once we cleaned it, I sat with Caitlin and she kept asking me through crying if I was mad. Begging almost for me not to be mad. I told her I wasn't mad that she hurt herself, I just wanted to make sure her finger was ok, and that she was ok. Little did I know, there was a little cloud of guilt surrounding my daughter.
In the kitchen, away from Caitlin, Papa told me that on GG's (my grams, their great grams) watch, Caitlin actually cut the top of her middle finger off with a potato peeler. She had been left alone in the kitchen for just a minute when, upon seeing the blood started screaming. Between the blood and the screaming, my grandma, poor GG, got physically ill. Papa and Marilyn did their best to clean it up and calm my girl. As a side note, my girl is not a calm girl, like ever. Any sign of blood, any scrape, any fall she starts crying immediately whether it warrants it or not. So I'm sure this was full blown, especially since I wasn't there.
When I think about it, I'm kind of glad I wasn't there. Because my first reaction would have been to scream and yell. Out of fear, out of anger, and out of control. I don't like my babies to hurt, and I think this is actually something I can control. I know, I'm still learning some lessons of motherhood.
Anyway, after an hour with a cleaned up and bandaged finger, the truth slowly came out. A teary confession of what really happened. I wasn't mad that she lied, I just wanted to know why. Caitlin told me that she knew if she told me the truth about the potato peeler I was going to be mad at her and GG. She's kind of right... But instead of telling her that, I told her that I wouldn't have been mad, and that in the future I need her to tell me the truth about things like this. I told her that if I know how she got the boo boo, then I will know how to fix it faster and better. I also told her that I'm never really mad at her when she hurts herself, I'm just scared. Because mamas get scared, and they always want to fix boo boos and make them better.
You could tell that made her boo boo feel a little better. Nothing like a clean conscience, right?
As for her corroborators, I'm not mad at them either. They were playing along, some how always knowing that she would tell me the truth. Papa later told me that Caitlin told him, "I can't tell Mommy the truth, she will be so mad!", and he told her, "You tell her whatever you want, and I'll back you up".
Caitlin is a smart girl. Papa is definitely the guy you want to back you up when you lie to your mother.