18 March 2009

Let the Mischief Begin

Nathan told a lie today.

I was sitting at the computer after work earlier this evening when Nathan walked out of his room carrying his shape-sorting box and brought it to the living room. As he often does, he turned the box upside-down, noisily emptying the colorful plastic shapes onto the tile floor. I looked at Nathan and asked him, "Who made that big mess?" He replied, "Mey-mey [Mabel]." Thinking that perhaps he misunderstood my question, I reworded it. "Who threw all those toys on the floor?" He paused, looking down for a moment, then answered again, this time pointing in the direction where he last saw Mabel, "Mey-mey."

On page 197 of The New First Three Years of Life, author Burton White uses a nearly identical example (a 22-month-old blaming an accidental spill on the cat) to demonstrate the appearance of a child's abstract thinking ability, "the ability to create an idea. It is not just the denial that signals the new stage; it is rather the creation, after due consideration, of the related idea, the scapegoat."

Good luck, Mabel...and good luck to all of us.


Anonymous said...

That is adorable!!!! He already knows who he can blame ~ that's pretty cool!!
Grandmom Michele

Melissa said...

Hehehe good luck indeed :)