Actually, the early lies that children tell are developmentally appropriate - and a sign of high intelligence! Not only did he put it together that 1) if I tell the truth then 2) I'll get in trouble (so his ability to predict consequences is AWESOME - particularly for his age), but he also was able to invent a story to hide the truth (CREATIVITY). The trick is to nip the early lies in the bud, but to praise him (oh yes I said it) for predicting the consequences and to tell him, "Honey, the trick is to predict the consequences ***before*** you do the stupid thing that's going to get you in trouble, and NOT do the stupid thing in the first place!"What do you think?
If you look at it that way, he's halfway (at least) to learning self-control!!
He WILL lie to you, he MUST, so that he learns that it's socially unacceptable, well, at least under certain circumstances - that's a whole 'nother conversation - and that he can't lie, later, to his teachers, bosses, wife, etc....
Hope that helps it hurt less.
Jeez, Claire is obsessed with clothes today. She's on her third outfit. Gotta run. *sigh*