The word that Flora says more than any other word is “pretend”.

“Pretend I’m a dog, and my name is Sparkles.”
“Pretend I’m a guarder dog that turns into a chihuahua. Only I’m not a yappy chihuahua.”
“Pretend you told me to roll over.”
“Pretend I’m a dog that also turns into a kitty, and a hippo, and a horse, and a tiger, and a little girl.”
“Pretend I’m a dog and I can talk.”

Pretend. Flora spends almost all of her evenings pretending, usually pretending to be a dog, as you can see. The relentlessness of her pretending can be a touch wearing (it’s hard to get a dog to eat with utensils and/or take a bath), but it’s adorable, too. It’s what she is supposed to be doing. Imagining. Making up a new worlds. Last night, the girls pretended to be dogs trapped in a castle (their closet).

I got most of the laundry put away.

Kate pretends with Flora usually. Sometimes she’s a cat; sometimes she’s also a dog (“My name is Nipples.” Go ahead, explain to her that’s inappropriate. After you stop giggling). Kate engages in imaginative play, too, with dolls, feeding and rocking them to sleep, singing lullabies. (Flora never did the doll thing.)

Kate also lies. Flat-out, no hesitation, no shame: lies.

She lies about the usual things: poop in her diaper, hitting her sister. She lies about who spilled the milk or dumped the toys out. “That was For-wa,” she’ll say. Flora will gasp in indignation and flip out. Flora, I suspect, with her drama-queen tendencies, will never be a good liar.

It’s not the fact of her lying, it’s the way Kate does it. Unapologetic, straight-faced. She’ll look me right in the eye — and lie.

We were over at Bella and Tadone’s for dinner (I haven’t cooked in my kitchen in nearly two weeks). After cleaning up, we got our shoes on to go across the yard to our house. Flora headed out the door, and I headed to the living room to say good-bye to Tadone. Kate came with me.

Walking into the living room, I noticed a box of magnetic letters had been emptied onto the floor. I wanted to clean that up before we left. I said, “Oh, who dumped out the letters?”

Kate: “That was For-wa.”
Me: “Will you please help me clean them up? Flora’s already outside.”
Tadone: “It wasn’t Flora. It was Kate. I watched her do it.”

To her credit, Kate walked right over and put all the letters away by herself — she insisted on doing it by herself. To her detriment, though, she didn’t apologize for telling me Flora was responsible for the mess.

I am not sure what to make of this behavior, if anything. Kids fib all the time. Even Flora fibs; she usually says, “I’m just kidding” to excuse it.

But Kate out-and-out lies. No apology, no blinking.

I’m trying not to make a big deal of it to her. I don’t know that she knows she doing it, per se — who the hell knows what goes on in their little heads.

Any experience with this, anyone? Suggestions? Is this something I should address now, or do I have some time?

And I thought the teenage years were going to be hard.