Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The most endearing quality of all children is innocence. In fact, it is the precise reason that they are at all tolerable. We don't mind when they vomit on us, or draw on the walls, or poop on the carpet because they just don't know any better. But innocence is fleeting. Soon they grow up, and when they learn to understand the rules, they figure out how to bend, break, or otherwise manipulate them.

Yesterday, Ella was sick and could not go to day school. She was absolutely pitiful, until I allowed her to play "Elmo Alphabet" on the computer. I couldn't help but marvel at how well this not quite three year old could use a mouse. Her computer skills are quite sharp at such an early age. It was really fun to watch.

After a couple of hours, however, I decided she had spent enough time in front of the monitor. So I offered to read to her. "Ella?" I called out. "What baby?" she replied. "Let's read a book." Then it happened. She lied. "No. I don't like it," she said flatly. This is patently untrue. It's as if the Pope claimed to be Methodist. Nobody would believe him. Anyway, I let her stay on the computer, mostly because her will is much stronger than mine.

Another hour passed and I declared it lunchtime. I asked Ella if she would like a grilled cheese sandwich. "No. I don't like it." I offered chips. "I don't like it." Then strawberries. "I don't like it." These are perhaps some of the biggest whoppers ever told, and I had a hard time swallowing them. I forcefully removed her from the computer and we ate lunch. Funny, but she ate all of the things that she didn't like. And then we read books which she didn't seem to mind, either. Perhaps its time to introduce the little fibber to the story of Pinocchio.


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