Friday, May 20, 2005

The Truth about Allium

A couple of days ago while playing outside, we noticed how lovely the allium are getting on. (For those of you unfamiliar with this plant, it looks like a giant chive in blossom, about four feet tall with purple pom-pom type flowers the size of a fist.) First the Artist went over to sniff them, and then I and little Prettiness, and while we were admiring the new fish pond arrangement, the Stuntman came over with a purple fist-sized pom-pom flower proudly in hand. When asked, he said he didn't do it...he said it was already broken....hmmm. Well we (Oma and I ) were a little suspicious, but wanted to believe him, so we thought it must have happened accidentally.

A little while later, while preparing the children's lunch, Oma informed me that there was not just one snapped allium, but two....she suggested I get to the bottom of this. And so I had a private little chat with my very physical second born son. I said, "I know you broke the flower."
"How do you know?" he asked.
"I just know..." I replied, "why did you pick it?"
"It was pretty and I wanted to have it, " he said looking very serious with his deep brown eyes.
"It is pretty, but it isn't yours, so it is wrong to take it. Those flowers are special to Oma, and if you ever want to pick her flowers, you need to ask her first. " Then I added, "Oma said two were broken, did you pick two of them?"
He nodded looking rather worried.
"Okay, I am glad you told the truth this time. It is very important you tell the truth. It was wrong to take something that wasn't yours, and it is very wrong to lie about it." Then I proceeded to explain how important it is to be truthful and sent him out to confess his crime and apologize to Oma.

I am not sure how well the four year old conscience and mind process the whole concept of truth and lies...but that isn't really the point. What matters is that he learns the difference and that he needs to choose the truth, or else there will be unpleasant consequences. In this case his unpleasant consequences were confessing and apologizing to Oma. Of course if this kind of incident repeats, the consequence will have to be even more unpleasant, so that he is guided to make better choices.