Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The truth...as spoken by a 4 year old!

We have had an 'incident' at school recently which went something like this:

Shannon came home from school, on about 3 different occasions, saying that one of her teachers had smacked her at nap time for not going to sleep. (I also discovered that, due to following the example of a friend with a tendancy for bad behaviour, Shannon has hidden in the big tyre to avoid 'capture' at nap time!) When pressed about the subject of being smacked as well as that of hiding she would say brightly "it doesn't matter now" or "we've finished talking about that now" Which, I have to be honest, made me wonder if there was a little more to the story (or perhaps a little less) than was being told!

Nonetheless, I called the school and spoke to the head teacher who said that, unless something had changed drastically and she had not been informed, the accused teacher is the only one with an absolute no smacking policy. Let me just put you all at ease here, smacking is against the law in schools in South Africa, so when I say she is the only one who never smacks, I mean that goes for her own children too. So the likelyhood of her smacking someone else's child is rather remote to say the least! I was told under no circumstances to let Shannon know that I suspected an iota of mis-information from her (afterall we want her to believe that it is always safe to tell Mommy everything) as there was no way she could possibly know truth from fiction in this instance. Shannon is no fibber. She never has been, though she has occasionally led herself to believe something that actually isn't! This is one of those instances. Needless to say, the teacher in question is a little put out by the acusation (even though she is a pre-school teacher and she should know better).

So we have devised a new sleeping plan for Shannon in which she only sleeps twice a week (she no longer really needs a nap every afternoon) and I prompt her every morning as to what is expected of her. Yesterday, when I could get a word in edgeways, I asked Shannon about Nap Time earlier that afternoon:

me: did you have a nap today?
her: yes
me: did you hide from your teacher?
her: no only last week (can I insert here that her concept of time is vertually nil but her use of past tense just means that it happened before now!)
me: did you sleep nicely?
her: I went faaaaaaast asleep! but Kyla beat me!
me: Did Tina smack you?
her: It's not fair, my nose will grow like Minocchio.
me: Why will it do that?
her: It's not fair when I be naughty!
me: Were you naughty today.
her No, I'm a good girl but we've finished talking about that now.

I think that we can safely say that the smacking did not actually take place. I am still left wondering, though, how that little bit of fantasy found it's way into her head and became a reality for her? Something someone said...followed by a dream...??? Who knows.


Kitschen Pink said...

Therein lies the route to madness! I long since gave up trying to fathom the mind of my child! Suffice to say it's very plain when he is truly unhappy and that's when we act. Otherwise it all demonstrates an exceptional storytelling ability - at least that's what I tell his teachers!!
I vividly remember out-gunning my peers in a class discussion when I was 6, by announcing that my father hit me with a hot frying pan. My parents were called into school and i was in very deep trouble (although not of the frying pan magnitude!). I remember being so annoyed that all the grown-ups were getting fussed that I made something up. Surely they made stuff up all the time! t.x

Mom de Plume said...

Ha Ha what a great story! I was often in hot water for the same kind of thing. I am certainly encouraging the imagination... just pleased I know that's what it is!!!

Millennium Housewife said...

It's best not to ponder too hard when considering where they get their stories from, therin lies the root to madness MH