Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Paolo has been telling stories of late, mainly about events that (didn't) take place at school. As concerned parents, we have to follow up, no matter how small the chance these stories are true. Needless to say, it makes for some awkward conversations. "Sorry to trouble you, Miss Teacher, but I need to ask about something Paolo said last night. He seems to think the classroom flooded, and all the kids floated around on their cots eating ice cream while Barney sang. Is there anything to that?" Here are some of his latest:

1. Paolo's version: Paolo did not participate in S-word Show and Tell yesterday at school because he wasn't listening to Trinity (where do people come up with these names?) and, therefore, wasn't allowed to show his toy snake.

Truth: The class didn't get around to Show and Tell because the teacher brought pictures of S-word objects to show and the kids spent a lot of time outside on the first warm day in months.

2. Paolo's version: Jacob and Anthony were hitting Paolo in the face all day long, and it really hurt, and the teachers gave them time-outs.

Truth: None of the teachers has any idea what he's talking about. And you know I questioned them all.

3. Paolo's version (told to his dad): He had a bad day at school because he didn't get to go outside and didn't play with any of the boys.

Truth: When I picked him up, he was on the playground playing superheroes with Jack.

I guess this is our next parenting challenge that we might as well undertake before the stories become harmful: Teach the child that it's great to have an imagination and to be silly sometimes, but it's important always to tell the truth. Because every time you tell a lie, a puppy dies.

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