Saturday, February 2, 2013

He cannot tell a lie

Weirdly, M doesn't know how to lie.

Maybe it's all four-year-olds, like he hasn't reached that developmental milestone.  Or maybe he's just that way by nature.  I wish I could say that he got it from me, but while I always try to be honest about big things, I am sometimes not honest about little things.  He doesn't even exaggerate or bend the truth. 

If I come on to the scene and find L crying, I can ask M what happened and he will tell me the truth.  Even if the truth is, "I hit L in the face with my roller skate, two times."  The closest he comes to avoiding telling the truth is sometimes, when he is truly contrite, he says, "I'm sorry I did that.  I don't really want to talk about that right now."

It's nice, though.  We never have to doubt him.

I remember one time we found a toy dragon in his pocket after we had been visiting friends.  I asked him about it, because I knew it wasn't his, and he told a ridiculous story about how, "Uncle said I could have it and I said no thank you, but he put in my pocket."  I could almost understand a three year old taking a toy because he wanted it, or maybe not even fully understanding what stealing meant.  But I was furious that he made up a lie about it instead of admitting he took it.

We went back to the friends' house to return it, and on the way I gave M a long talk about how when you make a mistake or break a rule when you're a little boy, you have a little boy consequence.  But if you keep making mistakes like that when you grow up, there are grown up consequences that are much worse, and that grown ups who break the law have to go to jail.  When we got back to the house, I marched M up to the door to apologize and return the toy and.... you guessed it.  The other boy's father really had put it in his pocket.  I apologized to my sweet boy over and over, and all he said was, "That's ok.  I don't have to go to the jail, right?"

So yesterday, when M and L came home from a visit to the neighbor's house, the first thing M said was, "Auntie gave L junk food."  It wasn't actually a tattle, per say, because he would have told if he had eaten it, too.  It's just not his way to hide things.  And he didn't just sit back and let him eat it so he could come home and tell, either - good old M spoke up and told her they couldn't have those kinds of treats. When she gave them to L anyway, M went as far as to snatch it from his hands so he wouldn't eat it and get sick. (Maybe not the best of manners, but I have to give M credit for looking out for his brother.)  But she took it back and gave it to him again.  I think L probably knew he shouldn't have eaten it, but what kind of 2 year old has that much resolve?  The most frustrating thing is that when she asked if the boys could come over visit (she's recovering from surgery and must be a little stir crazy), Whim said "Of course, just please don't give them anything to eat."

We watched him closely all evening, and he was fine.  No seizure yesterday and none today.  But, what the heck?  He could be diabetic or have anaphylactic shock reactions or we could have religious reasons for avoiding certain foods.  Or we could just be parents that don't let their kids eat ice cream, chocolate, and jelly candies all in one quick visit?  Whim was angry, and given what he saw the day before, he gave her a piece of his mind .

Clearly we need to work with L to help him know what foods he should not accept when offered.  And it wouldn't hurt for them both to have a lesson in politely but firmly turning down foods they can't eat.  All I know is it feels like I can't trust anyone, but I refuse to return to the helicopter mindset, that I need to keep them in my sight all them time or they won't be safe.  If only everyone was as honest as M...

Update: I spoke too soon.  L had 2 seizures today.   Of course, I can't prove, even to myself that it was the junk food.  He had one the other day when everything was fine, which makes it hard for me to say it was definitely the food.  But even in a bad streak, I can't even remember the last time he had two in one day.   It might have been last Easter.


  1. I believe honesty is the best quality a parent can instill in their children and I think Miles is so honest because he sees that around him. I really think his beautiful personality is your doing.
    From what I've read here, you're a great mom.

  2. I hand it to Miles for saying "no" to the junk food and for trying as best he could to keep Lennon from eating it, too. What a fantastic brother and responsible young man. That is AWESOME.

    As the mom of a peanut allergic son, I find this situation really disturbing. The truth is, even if your only objection to such food was that you just didn't want it because you want the boys to eat healthy, your wishes should be respected. Period. The fact that it's actually more than that and is a health's even worse. I'm sure she meant no harm, but it could have caused harm. UGH.

    I'm with you, I don't helicopter, but if someone proves themselves unworthy of my trust where food is concerned, they don't get it in the future.

    I'm so glad that Lennon did okay. And SO proud of Miles for standing up for himself and telling you what happened, too. For us, "tattling" is telling a grown up something in order to get someone else in trouble. But "reporting" is telling a grown up something they need to know in order to keep someone else safe. This was definitely reporting! Way to go, Miles!!

    1. I like your distinction between tattling and reporting. It's good to have a name for reporting- we're definitely going to start using that. I really am proud of miles though.

  3. Oh my god Robin, that is just terrible! I can't believe she would do that. I read this story to B, and he said "I would be fuck!ing furious!"

    That is so sweet that Miles is such an honest boy. That is so amazing, and a great quality. I always get upset when I see little kids lie (I know, that's silly, they're little) so I love that Miles is so honest. And so sweet to look after his little brother.

    I'm sorry Lennon had seizures. That would be sooo frustrating. You guys are such amazing and caring parents.

    1. I was pretty mad. I know she didn't mean to make Lennon sick, and her intention was good, I guess. But what could she have been thinking, "I know he said not to give them any food, but surely some ice cream, chocolate, and candy won't hurt."? From now on, a simple request won't be enough, I guess. We'll have to give an explanation and tell about the seizures, too.
      We're not embarrassed or ashamed to tell people, but I didn't used to mention it in casual situations like this. I guess we have to now.

    2. Well you shouldn't have had to!! That was totally stupid and rude of her. Ugh. That makes me so mad! And especially once Miles snatched it out of Lennon's hands, you'd think she would realize something was going on.

    3. She must've just thought he was a best, since surely there is no such thing as kids who don't eat junk food.