I need a road map

Do you ever have those moments where you wonder, "how on earth did I end up here?"

Last night I asked Ella if she'd remembered to wash her hands because I didn't remember hearing the water run. "Yes, I washed them quickly and quietly." "Really?" "Yes." So I used my cracker-jack investigative skills, and saw the sink was dry and so was the towel. "I don't think you washed your hands. The water didn't run." Yeah, busted.

Up until now, we'd really just been working on it from the When a Joke Isn't a Joke It's a Lie standpoint. This was both a blatant lie AND it had a story. Flawlessly given except that I was so positive I hadn't heard the water run. She didn't even crack a smile.

Every once and a while in these parenting moments I have a tiny panic -- what now?? What is the proper response?? I mean, saying you washed your hands when you didn't isn't exactly earth shattering, but it flash it forward a dozen years and it's, "Where were you?" "I was at Susie's house (only no one is named Susie anymore, it's much more complicated)." Really?? Is that where you were??

And this is why I would like to keep her 4 forever, because I want all the lies/omissions/halftruths/mistruths/misrepresentations/fabrications to be about things like handwashing.