It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The Truth will Out

A wail from the living room.

“What’s wrong, Zach?” More wailing. Now, Zach is perfectly capable of talking, but if he can get copious snuggling by increasing shrieking, that’s what he’ll do. Why talk if it decreases your snuggle time? I kneel in front of him, he makes a lunge for my lap, his wails increasing exponentially.

“No snuggles, Zach. No snuggles until you use your words.” I hold his shoulders, keeping him a foot away from me. “Are you sad, or are you hurt?”

“Yeeeesss! I hurted!” Okay. Those are words. Loud words, but words. I draw him onto my lap.

“Where does it hurt, sweetie?”

He points into the next room where George and Arthur are playing with trucks. “Over dere! It hurted over dere!”

“No, Zach. Not where did you get hurt. Where does it hurt on Zach?”

“Over dere. Ar-ter hurted Zach!”

Ah. Arthur, however, begs to differ. He looks up from his tow truck. “I din’t hurted him!”

I opt to ignore this for the moment. I’m more invested in seeing if I can get Zach to understand the question. I tap him on his sniffling, but otherwise unharmed nose. “Does it hurt on your nose?” I’m aiming for a “no” answer, the first in a series of “no’s”, so as to narrow the field and teach him the meaning of the question.


Hmmm… Evidently, comprehension is not dawning. Any further questions will be pointless, except for my own amusement. Which is one of the perks of the job, after all.

“Does it hurt on your ear?”


“Your elbow? Your knee? Your chin? Your toe?”

“Yeah. Yes. Yes. Yeah.” Apparently, this boy’s entire body is one giant bo-bo. Zach is calm now, enjoying our back and forth, loving the little taps he’s getting on elbow, knee, chin, and toe. Arthur, meantime, secure in the observation that Zach’s accusation has passed unnoted, has drawn near. I continue to play the game.

“Does your eye hurt?” I touch his face gently above his left eye.


“Does your belly-button hurt?” I give it a poke through the bib of his brown courderoy overalls.

Zach giggles, wriggles in my arms. His acute sense of the ridiculous has completely overcome the pain of the long-forgotten bo-bo. His giggles bubble out.

“Yeah! My buddy-budn!”

Arthur, now standing and leaning against my shoulder, huffs indignantly. “He doesn’t gots a bo-bo on his belly-button,” he declares scornfully. “I hit him onna bum!”

January 9, 2006 Posted by | aggression, daycare, random and odd | 11 Comments