Because B has memory problems and is emotionally younger than she is chronologically (emotionally she's 6 or 7, but she'll be 12 in 3 months), she has a very limited capacity for being sneaky or lying. I know that these things are viewed as anti-social, but really they are a part of normal development being as they represent an understanding of self-interest and self-preservation. Children lie, usually about small things, to avoid consequences and while it is our job to correct this behaviour, I consider it normal that they do it. I guess that, until you have a child that doesn't hit such milestones, you don't rejoice as I did the one or two times she has actually lied to me or been sneaky. Sure, outwardly I was all proper motherly chastisement, but inside I was thrilled that she actually had the forward thinking ability to lie to avoid getting in trouble. Parenting her is weird like that.
But B usually does not do it, and not because she is morally superior, but simply because she doesn't remember doing something, doesn't remember she isn't supposed to do something, or because, due to anxiety, she feels compelled to tell me what happened.
A while ago, Andrew bought her some great new bath toys and so I replaced her old ones with them. If I had done it when she wasn't looking, I know that she would not have noticed, or not until a very long time had passed. However, she came in while I was doing it and saw the old toys in the bathroom wastebasket and became very upset. It took quite a bit of discussion to get her to understand that there were new better toys and it was okay to let go of the old ones. She was talked into begrudgingly accepting this change, and I thought she would come around, or more likely just forget about it.
Sometime later I was going through her closet when I found a box with a post it stuck on it that said, "Do Not Sneak In Box". It had all the bath toys I had I thrown out in it, including the empty Spongebob Squarepants bubble bath container (in my defense, the box didn't have a lid so I wasn't really sneaking). I doubt that she thought, "I'll come back later and hide these precious things," more likely she just saw them later and took them. But I was impressed that she hid them and even made a note. That is a fair bit of planning on her part.
On Monday I bought some Nutella. Just a little jar, because it was my birthday. I gave her some and then left the jar where she was sitting. She wanted more, but I told her she'd get more later. I left the room for awhile, and when I came back, she was sitting in an awkward way on the couch, with her knees up and a blanket partially concealing her face. Her huge blue eyes were peeking out at me.
"B, what are you doing?"
"Nothing!" she said, and the blanket fell, and I saw that she had a fine coating of Nutella around her mouth and onto her chin.
"Honey, are you sure you're doing nothing?"
"Yes," she hid the jar under the blanket.
"Because Mommy is pretty sure that you're sneaking Nutella. Want to know how I know?"
"Because the jar, that was sitting right there, is missing, and you have a Nutella goatee."
She looked very guilty and dropped the blanket, but I was too amused at her to be angry. I started laughing, and she started laughing, and then she jumped up and shouted, "You should take a picture and send it to everyone we know!"
So I did.
The little monkey ate the whole jar, too.