Me: Mgazi, did you return your library book yesterday?
Mgazi: Uh huh.
Me: I got a note from your teacher that says you didn’t.
Mgazi: Well, I put it in my backpack and then suddenly it wasn’t there. It went away somewhere.
Me: Mgazi… where is the book?
Mgazi: What book?
Me: Gazi! The library book that you were supposed to return yesterday. Where is it?
Magzi: Well, I put it on the table and then when I looked for it, it was gone. And that made it so it didn’t get back to the library.
Me: Do you know where your book is?
Mgazi: Umm, at the library?
Me: Mommy thinks that maybe you are lying to me. Is that possible?
Mgazi: Uh huh.
Conversations like the one above occur frequently. She’s a talented liar. Her face can produce a look of bafflement so pure it would fool even the expertiest of behavioral scientists. But her real gift is her ability to sniff out the lies of others. Lies to Mgazi are like truffles to a dog or a pig or the Suillia fly (google it, don’t just sit there wondering).
Remember when that concrete wall abruptly (and without warning) hit my husband’s brand new electric verhicle while I was innocently driving it? She accused her father of lying when he said he wasn’t mad and her sister of lying when she said the damage didn’t seem that bad. She was right, of course, on both counts. For some reason she readily accepted my twisted version of events and to this day believes that the wall defied physics and rudely slammed itself into my husband’s car.
Or that time when I accidentally (no lie) stepped on a snail? When I tried to cover up the murder, Mgazi was on me like… well, like the gooey body of a squished snail on the bottom of a sneaker. She caught me lying to Zaffron and had no problem saying so. “Oh no, Zaffy. She is lying to you. Mommy killed a snail.”
And then there was that horrible time when I blogged that Zaffy was a “little shit.” For some inexplicable reason I let Zaffron read the post and, of course, it hurt her feelings terribly. When I tried to backpedal and soften the blow, telling Zaffron that I had not in fact believed that she was a little shit when I wrote that she was a little shit, Mgazi piped up without hesitation. “Oooh, Zaffy, I think Mommy is lying to you.”
And then there was that time… hmmm. Suffice it to say that approximately 10% of my posts on this blog have the tag, “lying just a little bit.”
When Mgazi joined our family at 2 1/2 years old, she knew exactly three words in English. Jesus, hallelujah, and banana. Now, at 5 years old, I hear the word “lying” every single day.
“Ooh, Mommy, I think my Daddy is lying to you.”
“Ooh Daddy, I think Zaffy is lying to you.”
“Ooh Zaffy, I think our Mommy is lying to you… just like yesterday… you know, when she was lying to you.”
I knew she was obsessed with lying on Election Day 2012 when I overheard the following conversation between her and an adult friend of mine.
Mgazi: Yay! Oback Obama is going to win the election!
Friend: How do you know that Barack Obama is going to win the election?
Mgazi: Cuz my mommy voted for him.
Friend: Why did your mommy vote for Barrack Obama?
Mgazi: Because he lies less than Mitt Romney!