02/06/2011 10:12 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Terrible Twos: Tall Tales

Terrible twos: Tall tales Getty

A while ago I wrote for this column pondering a time when it might occur to Ava she could fib. She'd always been so good at confessing when she'd done wrong, I figured she had just never realised she could try to get out of hot water by being a bit creative with the truth.

Well, I think – suddenly – she's realised.

Ironically enough, it was my poor smashed up glasses that made me aware of Ava's willingness to confess back then, and it was my poor smashed up glasses that made me aware that she's found her 'FIB!' button last week.

When Ava and Ruby had been uncharacteristically silent for more than about a minute and a half, I investigated. I found them quietly and systematically ransacking my handbag, which I had unthinkingly chucked on the sofa when we had arrived back from a fraught outing. I tutted and put everything back – then noticed my glasses case placed carefully to the side. I knew before I even opened it what I'd find. Yup, glasses in three pieces. Again.

I gasped but, before my mouth had begun to form words, came: 'RUBY did it!'

There it was, what I had been waiting for, dreading.

I say dreading because there was no way of me knowing, for sure, the absolute truth. To be fair, she might not have been lying. But her story was a bit elaborate.

'Ruby did it?'

'Yes!' She looked extremely pleased (that I'd bought it probably). 'Ruby did it! Other day, on your bed. And she snap SNAP! And she laugh!'

And then she pulled a dramatically tragic expression: 'And it make me saaaaad.'

Hmm. I felt if this had been true, if her sad face was genuine, she might have actually told me at the time, 'the other day', when it had 'happened'. I hadn't used my glasses for a couple of days though, so I didn't know. Ava was poker faced for a second, and then looked at something very fascinating on her knee.

I asked Ruby if she had broken my glasses and she squeaked and handed me a tampon.

Dead end. I told Ava it was important she led by example by not ransacking my handbag, and that she told always me the truth. But my slightly heavy heart told me I probably had years of this ahead.

It's what's been occurring since that plants the real seed of doubt where Ava is concerned. She's been lying about everything and anything! And in doing this, she has demonstrated that the one about the glasses was a case of beginner's luck. As a novice, she's been giving herself away a bit.

After she called me up to her bedroom at nap time: ' Mummy! I've had a little sleep!'

'No you haven't, Ava, I have been listening to you singing for the last 20 minutes.'


After Dan had given them dinner in the kitchen and she ran through to find me: 'I finished ALL my dinner! Can I have a biscuit?'

'Daddy, did Ava finish all her dinner?'

And from Dan: 'Nope.'


From her room after being asked to go and choose something to wear: 'Mummy I got dressed all by myself!'

And I went to see, delighted. 'But Ava, you're naked.'

'Oh!' and she looked completely shocked and threw her arms in the air. 'Where my clothes go?!'

But the best one, and I hand it to her for creativity, was this: 'I found lolly!'

'You FOUND a lolly?'

I went to the kitchen to see the door to the freezer, swung wide open. 'Ava, did you open the freezer door? You know you're not supposed...'

'No I FOUND it. In garden. A bird, a bird he open it and take lolly for his friend and...'

As with everything, especially when you're two, practice makes perfect. With the inevitability of years of fibs ahead, I'll admit I'm kind of looking forward to the tallest tales.