I remember way back when we needed to place Michael in daycare for a month when my mom hurt her knee. Michael was about two and a half at that time. That was when he got his first ear infection. About a week or so after his first ear infection, the daycare director called me to let me know that I needed to take Michael to the doctor. She was certain that he had an ear infection. Absolutely positive about it. I'm pretty sure she would have bet money on it.
Of course, he didn't have an ear infection. He had figured out how to get her attention, and he very convincingly played the roll that would get him that attention.
I seem to remember being a bit smug about how my 2.5 year old had tricked a daycare director.
A few weeks ago, Michael's daycare teacher asked me if he was switching back to the Tuesday/Thursday schedule. When I inquired why she thought this, she explained that Michael had told her that he was, and that he was very convincing about it.
I wasn't as smug about this one. I figured that he must be pretty convincing if he can pull that off with a woman who has been working with young children for several decades. But still, who beleives a 4.5 year old?
When I got home yesterday, I noticed that Michael had stamps on the back of each hand so I asked him where they came from. He told me the woman at the toy store gave them to him.
What? I checked the time and realized there was no way that Andy could have taken him to the toy store after picking him up. So I asked a few more questions. Michael gave me a very convincing story about a toy store. I asked him if it was a game they played, or if someone had come into the school to explain their job. Michael insisted that his teacher took his class to the toy store.
I'll be honest, I started to wonder if I somehow missed an event on Michael's calendar, and that they had actually gone to a toy store. I was about to get up and call the daycare center when I stopped and asked myself if I really thought they would take the kids out of the school without permission slips and requests for chaperons and all that other hoopla that goes along with class trips.
No, they would not. There was no way, no matter how convincing Michael was, that they went to a toy store. To confirm this, I decided to ask a few more questions. Turns out, the entire school went on the trip. One group went with Michael's teacher and the other group went by themselves. Michael was in the group without a teacher. Oh, and to get there, they all rode on bikes. Michael's was pink and brown.
So, I still have no idea why he had stamps on the back of his hands, but I am pretty impressed with how detailed Michael's imagination is. I'm also going to be a lot less likely to judge other people for falling for Michael's stories, since even I have trouble figuring out what is real and what is pretend.
I also will not forget about this skill either. I suspect that it may pop back up in his teenage years when it won't be used as innocently as it is right now.