“You can’t do that, Sage!” Thalia insisted, as Sage pulled the DVDs from the cases (again) and strew them across the floor. “If you do, daddy will be mad…and he will hit you.”
“What?” I asked. “What did you say?”
Then more tentatively: “Daddy will be mad. He will hit you?”
“Now why do you think Daddy would hit you? Daddy’s never hit you. He loves you. We don’t hit people we love.”
“But sometimes they do. Sometimes daddies hit if they’re mad.”
I sat her down and asked her where she learned this.
“James,” she said, referring to a boy in her class. “James told me that he had to run because his daddy will hit him if he does something bad. So he runs. He runs away.”
I fumbled for words. I said something about daddies loving their kids and kids loving their dads and what James said may or may not be true because people generally don’t hit each other.
“But if their daddies are bad, they do. James’s daddy is a bad daddy.”
To be fair, Thalia is in that imaginative stage where she she attributes her own thoughts and needs and ideas to other kids. Like telling me that Sage “wants me to eat a cookie” or that Sage “says I have to watch Caillou,” which, frankly, I know isn’t true because Caillou sucks beyond belief and my children would never ever like anything that sucks. Also it freaks me out because it makes me think of David Berkowitz revealing that a dog named Sam told him to kill a bunch of teens making out in their cars. In other words, Thalia is either a very imaginative child or she’s on her way to being a serial killer.
Of course if the story were true, it would explain why James (not his real name of course) has hit Thalia in the face twice this week.
I don’t know what’s true and what’s not, but the whole thing has given me a very uneasy feeling. I don’t even know how to proceed from here except to sit tight, hope that’s the end of it and wish that kids were all just perfect and never hit or made up stories and certainly never insisted on watching Caillou.