I picked Amelia up, as usual, at the end of the day from preschool. We had the usual conversation in the car. The one where I ask what she did and she says she doesn't know. And I ask what she played and she shrugs. And then I ask what she ate for lunch and she says, "Ham'n'cheese". Same conversation every day.
We got home and thus ensued the chaos of the witching hour. While I was trying to prepare supper, Amelia began protesting about being hungry. I tried to explain calmly that she'd have to wait. She got very upset. She began to demand cookies and marshmallows and apples and gummy vitamins.
"Amelia," I asked, "Have you already had vitamins today?"
"Amelia, are you sure? You must tell the truth. That means telling me what really happened."
"No, I did not have vitamins already today."
"MAAAA-AAAARK," I hollered....
"She did! I gave her some this morning," was his reply.
I looked at my daughter sternly. This lying bit is getting a bit old. I decided to fight the good fight and make a point.
"Amelia, you must tell the truth. Because you lied, you need to have a time-out."
As I attempted to pick her up by her armpits, she went all rag-doll on me and I had to drag her to the bottom step. She began to fuss and scream at me.
"Amelia," I said, "telling the truth is important. It's the right thing to do..." I tried to explain through her protestations, "...but also, Santa's watching. And he can hear when you don't tell the truth."
She paused in her screams for a second, then cried out, "Not ham'n'cheese.... It was rice."