Friday, March 15, 2013

The Chocolate Milk Fib

Baby Girl lied to me yesterday.  Okay, it was more like a fib (it seems to harsh to say that a sweet 5 year old is a liar).  

We were having scrambled eggs for breakfast, something Baby Girl detests.  She'll plug her nose and say, "Ewww! They stink!".  But I make her at least eat some eggs, because I don't run a restaurant and like us to all eat what's on the menu for the day.  So she'll put the tiniest bite of egg in her mouth and then CHEW and CHEW and CHEW it until it is completely dead and tasteless in her mouth.  And finally with one painful gulp, she'll swallow it down.  Five minutes later, one bite has gone down.

We were also having chocolate milk that day, which is a rarity at our house mostly because I could easily drink the whole jug of it by myself in one day.  Everyone loves chocolate milk! (Except My Man, but that's a whole blog post in itself of how I can be married to a non-choc-a-holic).  If I know I'm having a meal that my kidlets don't really like, I try to add in something that they do like.  So we had chocolate milk for breakfast too.

Breakfast was almost over.  Baby Girl had already downed her chocolate milk and was working on bite #2 of her eggs when she asked for more chocolate milk.  I told her she had to eat one more bite of eggs before she could have it.  I helped her scoop a nice healthy bite into her mouth and then left to clear dishes.  

Only 30 seconds later, Baby Girl came to me and said, "Mom, I ate it.  Can I have more milk now?" She opened her mouth and showed me its emptiness.

"Hmmm . . . " was my reply.  I had hidden enough lima beans from my parents during my childhood to know something was up.  "Did you spit out the eggs in the garbage?" I asked.

Guilt took over her hopeful face, but she admitted it right away. "Yes," she said woefully.  Baby Girl then led me to her bedroom and showed me the blob of scrambled eggs in her trash can.

What to do now?  Why is parenting always on-the-spot?  She fibbed, but she also admitted it right away.  So it's like she was dishonest and honest all in the same breath.  Part of me wanted to just forget it and give her the milk.  BUT I wanted to make sure she understood how important it is to be trustworthy.  So I decided to talk to her.

I sat her down and told her how it made me sad when she didn't tell me the truth at first.  That when she lies it makes it so I don't believe her about other stuff too.  "Do you want Mommy to believe the things you tell me?"  She nodded and tears filled up her big hazel eyes.  I then explained that she made a good choice when she confessed right away, but it was wrong to lie in the first place.   AND THEN THIS WAS THE HARD PART:  I had to tell her that because she didn't eat her bite of egg like we agreed (and by then the table was cleared) she could NOT have anymore chocolate milk that day.   I had to give her an unpleasant consequence for her choice though so she could learn.  She cried softly and it tugged my heartstrings.  I then hugged her for a long time, told her I loved her, and then promised we could still play dollhouse together as usual.  It was seriously like a Full House episode.  

Does anyone else have this much drama over little things like chocolate milk?!?!


  1. You do such an amazing job at making parental decisions. If only more parents made choices like this, instead if giving in to their child's every whim. However, I have a hard time picturing baby girl as anything, but perfect.

    1. Hahaha! She's good at making us think she is too. I've gotta watch her cuz she can be sneaky little sweetie.

  2. Yes, how do you always know how to do exactly the right thing in the right moment?? That seemed like the perfect response to her. I feel like I will never know what to do in those moments. Luckily I have this blog for suggestions :) I miss your sweet kids!

    1. It's funny how as moms we have to decide what to do right away--"on the spot". This one turned out okay, but oh so many have not. I really wondered if I should have even made her eat the bite in the first place. She was super sad for a lot of the morning. It broke my heart.

  3. I have to tell you that I just had this experience with sweet neighbor girl. I was glad that I had this fresh in my head so that I could respond properly. :)

  4. First, don't stress out about it. You did the right thing by telling her how sad you were that she wasn't truthful...then you gave her a consequence. At this young age the situation was her piece of adversity. You helped her through it and she discovered that she was going to be ok... and it wasn't the end of the world. Never second guess your parenting decisions.

    1. I agree with Lisa S. (though I do think you should sometimes second guess and even retract your parenting decisions if the Spirit tells you to:) When parents don't follow through with consequences we subconsciously negate the still small voice they heard/felt telling them not to choose the wrong. From our consistent non angry, non vengeful consequences children learn a simple yet powerful equation that will help them for the rest of their lives. ignoring a prompting = a negative result When we don't follow through they learn ignoring a prompting= me getting ahead/me getting what I want. Sometimes natural consequences teach best but do you really want your child to have to be hit my a car to learn to obey when you say not to run out into the street? I believe parents adding consequences to the equation is what our Heavenly Father wants us to do. You are an inspiration to us all, Lisa J.! And I am pondering sending my kids to you so that you can raise them and send them back to me when you are done! ---Jessi D.


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