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     What to do with a child that lies perpetually... They should really teach a class on these things! In fact, if lying were an occupation, both of my kids could drop out of school right now and make more money than professional athletes (all of them combined). I suppose I should encourage them down a path of used car salesmen... or politics. OR I could figure out how to change this nasty behavior in them without wanting to knock them into next Tuesday! But so far, I am at a total loss.
     My mother had this great idea (and even supplied the goodies!) for my husband and I to do the Twelve Days Of Christmas with the kids... meaning that we would put a small gift in a holiday bag and hang it on their bedroom door knobs for them to find in the morning. We will do this for the 12 days leading up to when we will leave for Michigan to celebrate Christmas. Today was Day 2 and it included a pair of reindeer antler headbands that I picked up to accompany my mom's gift. Cameron was awake before Taylor this morning and he was so excited to see the antlers! I could hear him pitter-pattering around in the hallway outside of the bathroom while I was getting ready. Moments later, Taylor (in full-on tear mode) walked in with broken antlers. She told me that they were in her bag that way, which I knew that they weren't. Just as I was getting ready to confront her about this, I noticed something.... they were Cameron's brown antlers instead of Taylor's white ones.
     I knew exactly what had happened. I could actually see it play out in my mind... gift bag on the door, super impulsive child, Taylor still sleeping (none the wiser), the ole' switcheroo... So I called Cameron into the bathroom.
     "Cam, the broken antlers that your sister has.... they're yours aren't they."
     "No, they're not! I swear!"
     "Honey, yes they are. I gave you the brown ones and Taylor the white ones."
     "Nah uh! Santa must have switched them!"
     "Nice try, Cam, but you know that those are from me and Dad, not from Santa.... be honest. Did you break them and then switch them with Taylor's?"
     "No! She's lying!!" (Said as defiant tears streaked his cheeks.)
     "No, Cameron, you're the one who's not telling the truth. Did you break them on accident?"
     "She broke mine, I didn't break hers!"
     "At this point, buddy, you're just hurting my feelings... it's time to be honest. Did you snap them while trying to get them out of the bag? Or did the bag shut in the door, you realized they broke, so you gave them to Taylor while she was still sleeping? Because I know both antlers were in one piece moments before you found them."
     "You're a liar! I hate you and this dumb house!" (Storms out of the bathroom.)
     Ah, just another wonderful morning in the Costa home! After giving Taylor the rightful antlers, finishing my make-up, and getting ready to head out to work, I stopped back at Cameron's room. He was hiding under his bed after having broken several of his toys. He screamed that everyone in our house hates him, and that he wants to go to another foster home where they don't lie.
     "Cameron, you can wish that all you want... but the fact is you're here. And in this house, we tell the truth.... always. You can act mad at me, but you're really mad at yourself. You're upset that you broke your new toy, and you're upset that you got caught cheating your sister out of hers.... but I think you're even more upset that you have something inside of your heart that keeps making you lie." Tears...but less defiant ones. "Buddy, you need to spend some time up here thinking about what's going on inside of you. Pray and ask Jesus to help you stop lying, because until you do, you're going to be a very unhappy little boy and you're always going to feel disappointed with yourself. I love you, even when you're being a snot-face." Slight grin, but then remembered he was mad at me.
     "I'm not going to buy you anything at Santa's Workshop today," he said quietly.
     "Cam, it's my money you're using to buy the gifts anyways. But if that's how you want to be, then you have more to pray about than I realized. I'd start right away if I were you." And then I left for work.
     I came home to Cameron holding three presents out to me in a shiny bag... all of which he accidentally spilled the beans about within the first hour of me being home. (So maybe he shouldn't be a politician afterall...) I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this kid (and the other one) are going to lie to me again (probably by the time I'm done writing this post), but I'm hoping and praying that SOMETHING is sinking in? Anything! A small, tiny nugget of conscience is perhaps taking root? Only time will tell. But until then, suggestions on this lying issue are totally welcome!

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