When I picked my four-year-old son up from preschool on a Friday some time ago, his teacher said, “Yesterday, one of the students hurt Ms. Francine’s finger. When she came in today, it was all black and swollen, so I suggested she go to the hospital to have it X-rayed.”
Ms. Francine is a classroom assistant.
His preschool teacher agreed. I took my son’s hand and we walked out.
“No he didn’t.”
“Yes he did,” my son insisted.
“Wow, that’s awful that Wilhemina broke Ms. Francine’s finger like that.”
(Interestingly, my wife thought that Ms. Francine screaming, “STOP!” was very credible.)
I’m to blame, in part, for how the story got fictionalized: I had asked my son, “Who broke her finger?” rather than something more neutral like, “I heard Ms. Francine’s finger got hurt. Do you know what happened?” So in this case, I led the witness by assuming the finger was broken. My son filled in the rest with fictional biting, squeezing, and shrieking. I never could get him to tell me how much of the non-event he actually witnessed.
Nevertheless, he was correct that Bobby was involved. Under intense questioning, he stuck to his guns. Even with the fictional stuff.