I Don’t Know Where He Gets It From

After work last Thursday, I came home to a pint-sized welcome committee.  Little Guy had been waiting for me and had a lot to tell me about his day at school.  He had studied the sounds that the letters “S” and “H” make when put together.  He had examples: Ship, Shamrock, and Shirt.  He and his friends had eaten apples for a snack and his friend Reggie* had been taken to the hospital via ambulance.

“WHAT?” I ask in shock.  “What happened?”

“He jumped on a Lego and cut his foot real bad," he frowns sadly.

“Oh no,” I respond, giving my sweetie a big hug.

“The ambulance took him to the hospital to make him better,” he says in a somber tone.

I'm worried about this little boy, but also very glad it wasn't my child who was hurt, and then suddenly it dawns on me that this may be just a big story.  I do have a creative child after all, and maybe he’s making this up.  I yell into the other room where I can hear Hubby playing with Baby Boy, “Did the teacher say anything about an ambulance coming today?”

“Nope,” is his yelled response.  Hmmm.  I am looking at my little boy, and he is all innocence and rosy cheeks and sincerity as he gives me more details.  I think the teacher might have mentioned something like this, but then her day might have been so crazy that she forgot.

“Are you using your imagination?” I ask, squatting down at his level and looking him in the eye.

“No,” he says simply.

“Why didn’t your teacher take him to the hospital herself?”

“Because she couldn’t leave us all alone!” he’s shocked that I’d even suggest it.  “We’re too little!”

This is actually quite reasonable.  Little Guy goes to an in-home daycare/pre-school, and he’s right.  The teacher wouldn’t be able to leave the other kids alone.  Besides, I don’t know how one woman could take seven little boys to the emergency room without going stark raving mad.  I’d call for an ambulance too.  I begin to wonder if maybe he’s telling the truth after all.  The pieces add up – at least mostly.  I decide to ask him some more questions and see if I can catch him in a fib.

“How many emergency people came in the ambulance?”

“Two.”  There is no hesitation.  He doesn’t even blink.

“Were they men or women?” I ask.

“Both,” is his quick reply.  “There was one man and one woman.  They took Reggie in the back of their ambulance to make him better.”

“Did Roddie* go too?”  Roddie is Reggie’s little brother and usually the two would come and go together.

Little Guy looks at me strangely and shakes his head.  “Of course not,” he says.  “Roddie didn’t get hurt.  Only Reggie did.”

I ponder his answers.  It all seems logical to me.  If Reggie truly had been hurt badly enough to go to the hospital, this is probably how it would have went.  Is my three year old clever enough to make this up?  I am honestly not sure.

“Was Reggie’s foot bleeding a lot?”

“Oh yes it was!” he says, scrunching up his little nose in distaste.  “Teacher said he wasn’t being very careful, but that we’d better be careful so we don’t get our feet cut up like Reggie did.”

This sounds like something a teacher would warn kids about.  I’m almost convinced.

“Did Reggie come back to school at all?” 

“Nope.”  His Dad came to pick up Roddie, but Reggie was still at the hospital.” 

Not once during this discussion has he changed his story or waffled on any details.  He relays it all to me as if he’s telling me about any other part of his day, and I realize he is telling the truth.  I am so proud of him.  What a wonderful little boy.  He witnessed something that some children might find traumatic (seeing a friend carted away in an ambulance), and he’s handling it wonderfully. 

I drop the subject as there are still fifty other things he needs to tell me about his day.  We continue on with a wonderful evening and I forget about the whole thing.

Friday morning comes and as I pull into the driveway at Little Guy’s school, a small boy goes running past our car toward the door.  I recognize the small running boy, “Hey look, It’s Reggie.”  I say.  There is no response from the back seat, and then it hits me.  This boy was just yesterday being taken to the hospital because his foot was hurt very badly, but here he is this morning running as if nothing happened. 

Quite the recovery, I think to myself.

I’m helping him out of his car seat when I say, “I thought you said Reggie hurt his foot?”

He grins at me then – all teeth and eye sparkles and personality.  “Maybe I used my imagination a little bit,” he says holding up two fingers as if measuring an inch in the air. 

I’d been had!  He was so cute though, that I decided I'd wait till after school to have a little talk about telling stories vs. telling stories and pretending they are true.  I gave my clever little fella a big hug and we said goodbye before I continued on to work. 

Later, I called my parents to tell them all about what had happened, and strangely they said it reminded them of someone they once knew.  For the life of me, I can’t remember who they said it was that this story reminded them of… but in my defense – while we were talking on the phone, I stepped on a Lego and cut my foot.  By the time the ambulance had arrived, that whole phone conversation had completely slipped my mind….

*Not his real name

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure they said it reminded them of your brother, couldn't have been you:)



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