Somewhere along the great journey that is my daughter’s life, she has picked up selective lying—specifically about having gone potty in her pull-ups.  I’m not sure where she learned to lie since her mother and I are very careful not to lie to her; in fact, we often go to great lengths to explain things to her so we won’t lie.  Most of it probably goes over her head, but we feel proud that we’re not denying our daughter the truth.  So imagine my confusing when I smell a ripe odor emanating from her general direction, and I ask “did you go potty?” only to hear a defiant “no.”

I’m concerned (though not surprised) that this is probably a look into the raw stuff of human nature.  (Notice I didn’t say “uncivilized” since the very act of lying is the mark of a “civilized” person, albeit for socially and artificially-constructed reasons).  We’ve read about this phenomenon in books, but it still surprised us since she has had no contact with any ‘pretty little liars’ in a social setting.  Nor do we set such an example.  I guess we’ll just have to settle for learning to read her giveaways so when it comes to something important, we’ll recognize her attempt to circumvent the truth.

There’s also a reason why we call her the “destructor.”  The most recent case occurred this afternoon when I spent 10 minutes or so constructing an intricate structure with her building blocks.  My daughter takes one look at it and immediately sets to razing it to the ground like she’s punishing Carthage after the Third Punic War.  She knocks it over and dismantles each of the sections with a frightening intensity without a care for any of my stylistic innovations in Mega Block architecture.  Then she gives me a knowing look as if to say “see dad? All things are temporary.”  Kind of like those monks in Tibet who spend days or months making intricate sand mandalas only to wipe it away as soon as they finish.  Of course I’m annoyed because 1) a Buddhist monk I am not, and 2) she broke my tower!  Who is this little tyke to show me the properties of impermanence anyway?

Then I look over and see her nigh-unrecognizable baby picture and realize she’s absolutely right.  So I shut my mouth so I can soak in the latest lesson she has to teach her old man.

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