Monday, July 12, 2010

Plausible Deniability

Little Dog has recently become quite accident prone. Well, he has if you're willing to take him at his word. It seems that he discovered that some things, even painful or messy things, are easily forgiven if they are accidental. A glass of milk spilled on the table, even if it take a while to clean up and ruins things around it, is easily forgiven if it wasn't intentional. A misplaced elbow that causes a bloody nose is not a punishable offense if you really weren't trying to hurt anyone as you danced in the living room. It's like a light went on for him. Now he's using this knowledge to his advantage.

"Mom, Little Dog bit me!" screams Big Dog.
"It was an accident!" says Little Dog, voice dripping with false sincerity.

"Mom, Little Dog threw that at me!"
"It was an accident!"

"Mom, Little Dog tore up my paper airplane!"
"It was an accident!"

We've tried to explain the difference between deliberate and accidental injuries and wrongs and stressed the importance of honesty, but he remains intentionally obtuse on the topic. And the accidents keep coming. I hope this is just a phase, otherwise I guess I should just begin preparing for his career in politics.

Big Dog, on the other hand, is a little more creative about his attempts to elude punishments.
(For this story to make sense, I'm going to have to give him a name. And honestly, I'm just not comfortable putting his real name on the blog given the wealth of other information I post about him here. I owe him at least a tiny bit of internet anonymity at his tender age. Fear not we can still make this work. Big Dog is named after a famous person, a long dead famous person. He knows this and we talk about the person he is named for on a pretty regular basis. In fact, he thinks it is pretty cool to have this name with the history attached. So let's pretend for a moment his name is "Harry" after Harry Houdini. It isn't, but it works for the sake of this story.)

While we were in Colorado, the boys continued their fine tradition of beating the tar out of each other every time they were sitting in the car. To be honest, it extends well beyond the car, but the car is where this particular incident took place.
"Stop it!" says Little Dog, freshly hit by his brother for some unknown reason.
"What happened?" I ask from the front seat, blind to the incidents unfolding in the back seat.
"He hit me!" says Little Dog.
"Who hit you?" ask Big Dog.
"Harry did it."
"Harry? Which Harry?" asks Big Dog, "Do you mean me, or Harry Houdini?" And I honestly think he believed this little stunt might work. That thought was crushed when Mr. Dog and I both started laughing.


geekymummy said...

I read that kids little dogs age often say something was "an accident" because they really really wish that it was, and because they lost control of themselves they really do see it as an accident, not a deliberate act. I usually respond with "You wish that had been an accident, huh?" and get a rueful nod.

followthatdog said...

Maybe, but he usually rebuffs a time out by saying "But it was an accident! You don't get a time out for an accident!"

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