Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Your game is up

Over the weekend we had a French relative staying with us. I say 'relative' because I'm not sure what she was (other than being a person, obviously). What I mean is that I'm not sure whether she's a niece, a cousin, a second cousin even. My husband's side of the family is so big that it's almost irrelevant, as it is for this post.

What is important though, is that she works for a jeweller who makes big and beautiful rings and had come over to London to supply some of them to a very famous pop star to wear for her next video.

When she arrived at our house, having already deposited the chosen rings in London, she was armed with an array of jewellery which would have made even the fussiest of princesses happy.

As you can imagine, the girls were beside themselves with excitement, dressing up with the rings, trying each one on and posing for photographs heavily laden with jewellery.

Renée, especially, thought that this cousin and her rings were the best things ever. In fact, over the course of the weekend I had more than a few,

"Mummy, I want to be just like Clementine when I'm older."

It was kind of cute.

And when Clementine went back to Paris and left a ring brochure for each of the girls as a present, Renée was in no doubt as to what she wanted to do with it.

"Mummy, can I take it in to 'Show and Tell' please? Mummy, can I? Please?"

I didn't see why not.

"Of course you can darling."

Later that day Renée was met from school by my husband and the first thing he said as he entered the house was this,

"Apparently 'Show and Tell' went really well. Everyone loved the rings and they were looking at the brochure for so long that no one else had time to show anything. Even the teacher loved it."

I felt myself swell with happiness, imagining my little girl, the one that hasn't been that happy at school recently, so proud to show off the ring brochure in front of her friends.

"It was amazing Mummy. The book was passed round to everyone in the class and they all loved the rings."

"Yes, Papa just told me darling. I'm so glad it went well for you."

And that, I thought, was that.

Except it wasn't.

Later that afternoon, as Renée was sitting on the sofa, still turning the pages and looking through the brochure with wide eyes, while her friend Katherine, who had popped over to play, was starting to show signs of boredom, I decided to intervene.

"Darling, don't you think that maybe you've looked at that brochure a bit too much now? Katherine might be bored with it, especially since she's already seen it today at 'Show and Tell'.

Katherine looked at me, puzzled.

"But we didn't have 'Show and Tell' today."

I looked at Renée's crestfallen face as she realised that the game was up.

I was amazed.

Isn't it funny that at 5 years old, she's able to spin such a yarn that even her own Mother believes her. Or is a Mother the first one to believe?

I'm not sure whether to be impressed by her story-telling skills or annoyed that she lied to me.

Crikey, it's only slightly worrying for the future.


  1. haha - just be thankful it wasn't one of the real rings!!!

  2. My 2 yr old already know how to tell fibs, things like she's done her teeth when she hasn't etc I'm amazed at how clever they are even at that young age.

  3. I used to do this sort of lying as a kid, lying through insecurity and expectations. she thought you expected her to do well and she wanted to please you, for some reason wasn't secure enough in herself to admit she got the day wrong or what ever it was that went wrong. At least this is how I read the situation, could easily be wrong.

    If it is this though I think it is something that she needs help with. I wish someone had seen it in me as a kid and helped me, I used to do this sort of thing right up until late teens when I grew some self assurance and self confidence. Outwardly i was confident, nobody would have known, but inside I was frightened of people, of getting laughed at, of not making friends, of saying the wrong thing etc. the idea that someone would laugh at me was the worst, it used to make me say and do stupid things, make up elaborate lies. I feared, seriously feared, not just didn't like, being ridiculed or thought to be stupid.

  4. Aah - it is kind of funny and kind of sad too. It's like an insight into her head that what she would love to happen in school is that she is the centre of attention and her peers are impressed. But yes I am also amazed at how convincing both my boys are - particularly the youngest - at spinning a yarn which is total fabrication but it is almost as if they believe it so much, so want it to have happened, that in their mind it DID happen. Sometimes it is so hard to tell fact from fiction where they are concerned. I'm not even sure a lie detector would be able to catch them out.

  5. Aw bless her. I'm sure I've said this on the bloglet, but we went to parents' evening once to be confronted with this big, huge, beautiful painting of a beach that our oldest had drawn. Underneath, it said 'Our holiday in Portugal'. Apparently he'd been regaling the class with stories of our fabulous holiday, when actually we'd spent the half term at home and never been farther than Watford. Awkwarrrrrrd.... xx

  6. Like Heather said....

    she may be trying to make you happy and proud of her (she may need assurance that you are!) or she may be trying to 'make it real' by telling some one else, to make herself happy.

    my own daughter has done this on occasion, we talked about what she WANTED to have happened and what REALLY happened.

    Sometimes now we still have a story ,...and I'll say "really? or was that how it SHOULD have been?" and usually she tells the truth.

    We also play it like a game, What really happened in school today vs what I would have liked to have happened.

  7. My youngest came home from school in strange clothes and told me a nasty boy had pushed her and her two friends into a big muddy puddle and that they were all really upset and wanted their mummies (pout).
    Turns out she was sliding down a muddy bank onher bottom and loved every minute of it!!

  8. I HATE the lying, but I think it's a necessary phase for them to experiment with it. Still hate it, though.

    My son told me when he was about three that his teacher had taken him out to England on the tram for a school trip (all the way from Belgium, in just a few hours) and he told the story so well I would have believed him if the lie had been plausible.

  9. awwww bless her, i used to make up stories to make myself feel better when i was little. My 4year old can tell the odd fib but its normally about not eating chocolate etc cheeky little thing lol! xxx

  10. What a little monkey....though I don't have much experience in the parenting department yet I'm inclined to think it's best if you have a chat with her about this little white lie to try to determine the root of it. If she knows that you prefer to know and will accept what really happened over what she thinks you want to hear, maybe she'll be discouraged from future fibbing....

  11. My daugher stood up in asembely and told everyone about her collection of stamps. I found out beacuse another mother told me about it. The children were able to talk about their hobbies- except Lily didn't have one so she made one up! I think she choose stamps because we have to go to the post office everyday because of my website. I found it funny but it also made me realise how much she must have picked up about it all whilst waiting!

  12. Crumbs! My Amy tells lies but I know every time when she is; she can't lie to save her life. I guess your little one had a reason to tell you this, and I should imagine it has something to do with the awe she felt when seeing the brochure. Little girls and princesses go together, perhaps your daughter thought of herself as a princess. Whatever it was for, I am sure she will grow out of it.

    Take care, CJ xx

  13. Be impressed with her story making, I am. Their imagination at this age is fantastic, but I do wonder myself why they tell porky pies sometimes.

  14. I know you're supposed to hate this stage as a parent, but I kinda love it. I love their massive imagination and it makes me chuckle.
    If she has the talent to weave this kind of story now, just imagine what lies ahead of her - the next uber British actress maybe ....

  15. I think that's cute. I once told my class I'd been to ascot at the weekend and seen the queen. When my teacher asked my mum if we had a nice time, my mum went along with it. Possibly not the best example for a 5 year old...

  16. awww bless her. Just wait until she's 15 and see what she tells you ;)

  17. I've no idea how I'd react to this since I haven't been through it myself. I agree with some of the comments here though about the good side of having an imagination. I read recently that having a strong imagination is a sign of intelligence.

  18. Some of my daughter's friends (age 6) make up some pretty tall tales. I think it may be a stage they go through... Hopefully.

  19. Oh gosh, yes. That's a hard one.

    I think children sometimes fib not to protect themselves, but to save YOUR feelings - as others have said.