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Friday, October 22, 2010

Who brought the food?

Last Monday, when Lawrence was sitting with Bow, Bow asked him if he could have an apple. I was out with Sword at the time, so Lawrence went to look for an appropriate apple to give to Bow. Now, I keep apples handy out on the dining table, in big bowls right next to the bananas. And I keep other apples, the ones that are in reserve, in case the first apples run out, in the refrigerator. But it was around three-thirty, and Lawrence knew that we eat dinner at five, and he didn't want to spoil Bow's appetite, but he did want to comply with the request. The apples on the table were big, red apples and big yellow apples. The red apples had come in a large bag, and we were down to the last couple of them. Lawrence felt the apples in the bowl, both yellow and red, were too large for just a snack. So he went looking for smaller apples in the refrigerator. He found an unopened bag full of yellowish/red apples, and he took one and gave it to Bow.

Lawrence told me that he'd taken an apple from the refrigerator to give to Bow before he left that day. It was not a problem. So when I served dinner, I decided to give Bow one of the big red apples. And the next day at lunch, I gave him the last of the big red apples, while I took one of the smaller yellowish/red apples for myself.

Bow threw a fit! He would not finish eating his red apple. I came and looked at it, to make sure it wasn't rotten. It wasn't. It was fine. "Bow, why won't you eat your red apple?" I asked.

He gestured at my tray and then spelled: "Uncle Lawrence gave you those apples to give to me!"

I was shocked. "No, Bow, he didn't. Those are my apples. I bought them at the store with my own money. Lawrence let you have one of them as a snack, but he didn't bring them, and they don't all belong to you!"

It took quite a while to convince him. Because Bow had never seen any of those apples until Lawrence gave him one, he assumed Lawrence had brought them. He thought he knew all my apples and that those were not mine. However, I did convince him, and he did eventually finish eating his big red apple.

It's true that many times people do bring by food just for Bow. Once Rex the welder and his wife brought shiny red apples that had grown on their own trees just for Bow, and only Bow got to eat them. Lawrence does sometimes bring special snacks just for Bow. Tracey brought sweet potatoes he had grown himself just for Bow, and only Bow got to eat them. Bow received a shipment of pears a few times as a present, and we were so anxious to honor Bow's property rights, that when he refused to eat them, we let them rot. But the second time that happened, we decided that if Bow refused to eat the pears when they were overripe, then others could do so, because it is really very wasteful.

As a firm believer in property rights, I have raised Bow to be aware of what is his and to claim it. However, it was really disconcerting to be mistakenly accused by my little boy of stealing what he believed to be his apples!

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