3 year old Anna told so many lies this weekend, we’re starting to become concerned she’s on her way to the Governor’s Mansion or the White House.  She, however, insists she’s headed to a convent, as she claims she plans to be a nun.  I’m pretty sure that’s yet another narrative she’s weaving for our entertainment.  I do think she could be a writer, though. Writers are the biggest liars out there, second only to politicians, of course. 

It started almost immediately, when we picked her up for a sleepover. The overnight stay was somewhat necessary because she wasn’t “getting along” with her nanny.  It seems, as the story goes, there was an altercation between her and the nanny.  When her mother tried to discuss the episode with her, Anna looked her mother straight in the eye and asked,

“Why would she even say that about me?”

Her mother gently responded, 

“Well why do you think she said that about you?

To which Anna unabashedly proclaimed,

“I have absolutely no idea!”

Exasperated, my daughter implored me to have the child over on Saturday night for a sleepover, so she and Daddy could have a much needed evening out, leaving the beleaguered nanny with two easy-going sweet little boys.  No problem, said I. And the entire world could relax knowing this little hellion was in the capable hands of Grandma Laylay, who (by the way) doesn’t lie like that stinkin traitor/nanny.  S’all good.  

We picked her up for the overnight.  She met us at the door with a princess suitcase large enough for a month in Europe.  We hugged the nanny goodbye, who MIGHT have rolled her eyes over the child’s head.   I rolled my eyes right back in mutual solidarity and hugged her and I MIGHT have whispered, “I love you” to a woman I barely know. Why, you ask?  Because I don’t want her to quit.  Why, you ask?  Because I’m first in line to be this woman’s replacement!  It’s no coincidence that Granny rhymes with Nanny. 

Our first stop was our favorite restaurant.  As we pulled in the parking lot I asked if she’d like a sprite to go with her Girl Cheese Sandwich. In an annoyed voice, she retorted,

“I don’t like Sprite!”

In an equally sarcastic voice most grandmothers don’t employ when speaking to their grandchildren I retorted right back, “ You don’t like liquified sugar poured over ice with tiny bubbles?”

I spotted that immediately for the lie that it clearly was.  Grandma Laylay can play this game with the best of them. 

Moments later when I ordered myself a glass of wine, I looked over at the tot and asked in absolute seriousness,

Would you prefer something from the bar instead?

(Side note:  Try this next time you have the misfortune of taking a small child to dinner.  The look on the waitress’s face was everything.  She was probably trying to work out how to card a 3 year old. ‘Twas Priceless!)

Now, this child was a COVID baby.  She never saw the light of day, with the exception of her own backyard for 2/3 of her tiny little life.  Her first restaurant experience was very recent.  And I’ll wager her lame parents have never offered her anything from the bar. We went over all of her choices.  There was one.  We settled on it.  The classic Shirley Temple.  Obviously she does like Sprite.   Presentation is everything.  No judgement here…I’m not interested in anything that’s not properly garnished…houses, outfits, even grandchildren.

On the ride home, she happily chirped about how she “couldn’t wait to get to our house to sleep in her Elsa bed!” More eye rolling.  This time it was me and Paul-Paul.  Nonetheless, he optimistically set up the little cot we optimistically ordered on Amazon.  Tiny little liar climbed in that bed and stayed there for less than 2 minutes before she wedged herself in between us.  

When she arrived home the next morning, her mother asked her if she had a lovely time.  She admitted that she did, but she still had a complaint (oh really? Can’t wait to hear!)

Dey didn’t talk to me…Dey only talked to deyselves

Hmmmm…I barely acknowledge Paul’s existence when Anna’s over.  She’s just simply that demanding. She and I got in the hot tub in the morning and discussed her future career in the convent ad nauseam.   And she absolutely dominated the dinner table conversation the night before, so I’m not quite sure where she’s getting this, but this kid is certainly “living her truth!”  Perhaps it was when Paul opened the back door and asked if I needed a refill on my coffee.  I will admit he can be rude like that sometimes.  

But the most poignant lie she told this weekend was a bit of a whopper…

  When she stays over – a few minutes before her parents are due to pick her up, I dress her and scramble around hastily to pack her things. Then, as is our custom, while we wait, we walk around and look at framed pictures…

…Pictures of all the people who passed before she was born.  People who would have loved the absolute heck out of this scrappy little thing.  How much she’s like her mother, her aunts, me and my mother.  What a kick they would get out of her sassy little self. Lies and all.  I carry her around the house on my hip and I show her.  

We paused at a picture of Jimmy.  Papa Jim.  I said,

“That’s your Papa Jim.  It broke my heart when he died.”

And y’all…in the sweetest little voice you’ve ever heard (NOT the “I DONT LIKE LIQUIFIED SUGAR” voice, but a different one.) A voice so pure said,

Awwwwwwww Grandma Laylay, it broke my heart so much when he died too!  It just broke my heart!”

So, yeah, this child can lie to me, she can even lie ABOUT me.  I’ll take it. ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. And for all the rest of my days.

Honestly, I started having second thoughts about the position of solidarity I took with that lyin’ nanny.