E-baby told her first lie yesterday.
The Backstory: Like many toddlers, e-baby is addicted to her pacifier. I've pretty much limited her use of it to the carseat and bedtime, but even her doctor has noted that she's had a strong need to suck on something since birth, so it's not surprising that the girl will not give it up without a fight. One of her top-ten signs right now is pacifier. This week she was recovering from horrendous diaper rash, with every diaper change being very painful, so it just seemed the humane thing to let her have the pacifier ("chupon" in our house) when she had to have a poopy diaper change yesterday afternoon.
After the aquaphor and a new diaper were applied, I took away the chupon and she criiiiiiied, and signed pacifier and said "pon! pon!" but I told her that she didn't need it right now. We went downstairs.
The Mischief: Less than five minutes later, she went up to SNG and signed change diaper. She's been learning this concept of signing when she needs a new diaper, so he asked her whether she needed to change her diaper and she signed change diaper again, but the look on her face was clearly "I'm up to something!" SNG, always the slave of his brown-eyed-girl, carried her upstairs. She spotted the chupon, picked it up and ran back to the stairway. Her giggling clearly said "Heee! I got you, sucker!"
The Analysis: Learning to lie is an important part of development because it not only requires understanding the difference between "me" and "you" but it also requires understanding that "my knowledge" can be different from "your knowledge." Sounds simple, but it's really pretty complex stuff. She won't really have an idea of other people's perspectives for years to come, but this little "trick" on her part was fascinating. My only disappointment is that it worked: she came downstairs with the chupon. :-)
All of this brings up an interesting question, to which I don't have a good answer. To what extent should I be imposing limitations and when should I just let things go? This was a very important question when we had dogs, and it was SO EASY to answer: if you don't want your dog to do xyz or some variation of xyz when it is an adult dog, then humanely nip the behavior in the bud as soon as you see it. The problem is that my child is not a dog, and I don't really want her to grow up responding to my every command. Also, some of the things I wish she'd give up, like the chupon, will work themselves out in time anyway. No way will her friends let her have a pacifier at her first sleepover. So should I fight it now? Another case in point is mealtime behavior. Lately, e-baby HATES her highchair and would prefer to eat at her small table in a chair. I see this as a natural progression and don't mind indulging her, but so far she sits, eats a few bites, gets up to play, and wants to take her food with her. I don't want her wandering around with a fistful of crackers. If I take up the plate, she misses the rest of the meal. Eventually she'll learn that she has to stay seated if she wants to eat (just like at daycare, where they have the same policy). But the question arises again-- do I really need to fight this battle? Or should I just insist she stay in the highchair longer? Won't there be a thousand other battles to fight that are more important?
Dogs were so easy. But none of my dogs knew sign language.