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Article: Love the Way You Lie

andrea richards

Love the Way You Lie

Lots of people say they are bad liars, but I've never been one. I can tell a bold-faced fib when I have to and no one is any wiser. (I swear it’s a power I use only for good and not for evil.) Apparently, my first daughter inherited this skill. The second one? Not so much. She’s a horrible liar. Granted, she’s only two but at that age her older sister could have sold you the Brooklyn Bridge. Now four, the older one’s propensity for stretching the truth or just acknowledging the parts of it that work for her are as highly developed as any con man with multiple convictions: she can talk her way in and out of all kinds of trouble, and most nights somehow manages to convince even me that double dessert is a good idea.

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But back to the second kid, the bad liar — part of her problem is that she still doesn’t talk much and lying is a sport that relies on wordplay. So with her handful of words, she’s gotta work harder than the rest of us. Plus, she’s not so good at sticking with a story: Ask her a question twice and the truth always emerges. Did you hit your sister? Stone silence. Did you hit your sister? “Yes.” Yes, what she lacks in lying she makes up for in hitting. She is really good at hitting. Her big sister’s game is mental; hers is physical (and we all have the red marks to prove it). What she lacks in verbal expression, she makes up for with bodily cues—stomping her feet, going “boneless,” and, of course, striking out with her tiny little arms in all directions, like a windmill of toddler fury when she’s unhappy. Her sheer physicality knocks the rest of us off guard, both literally and figuratively. We are used to twisting words around here, not twisting our bodies to escape her tiny fists. So I talk to her about her “big feelings,” about what’s going on inside and out that is making her so mad. Sometimes it works and I feel for her, gaining insight into how hard life is before you can adequately express yourself in socially acceptable ways. Other times, it degrades down into her trying to lie her way out of it—Did you hit your sister? A shake of the head “No.” But I’ve got something she can’t yet contort: language. Did you hit your sister with this hand or that one? She always holds up the guilty palm. Catch up on all Andrea’s posts HERE.



Good Baby, Bad Baby featuring our lullaby rendition of Eminem/Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie” arrives June 24, 2014! Listen to snippets here!

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