As previously discussed, Ian began his stay with the Nuthouse daycare this week (bumma and bumpa's house.) Katie and I have taken great measure to ensure that Elliott doesn't become aware of this arrangement. And for clarification, declining to provide a child information that might prove upsetting is different than lying. And this information would be upsetting. Elliott considers his grandparents the most valuable of all his possessions. In his mind, he is an only grandchild. He does not acknowledge the existence of the 6 other children whose birthrights entitle them to the same claim.
Each morning this week we've snuggly wrapped Ian in a blanket and placed him in his car seat. Before I could get him out the door, Elliott asked, "where's Baby Ian going?"
"To the babysitter's house," Katie or I would reply, which is the truth, void of unnecessary and potentially harmful details.
We have considered it prudent to protect Ian from the fallout of Elliott's unavoidable discovery that bumma and bumpa have "others." If the first one identified didn't live under the same roof, one of the other 5, maybe it would blunt the resulting trauma. It's possible Elliott would have time to resign himself to sharing and he would appreciate Ian's opportunity to share in the wonderful experiences he's been afforded. For a while this morning, it looked as if I had single handedly turned that dream into a nightmare.
I was busy getting Ian bundled up to go. I was running late; everything was hurried, including my mouth. Ian was finally in his seat looking warm and cute and I couldn't help but ask "are you ready to go to grandma and grandpa's?" I reached as quickly as I could to snag those words out of the air, but Elliott had already grabbed hold of them. He had this look. It was rather quiet and calm, but fuses burn almost unnoticed until they ignite a keg of dynamite at the other end, so I took little comfort. But there was no explosion; only acceptance. I counted my blessings, kissed Elliott goodbye, and carried Ian on his way to bumma and bumpa's - with Elliott's unspoken approval.
After we left and were well on our way, Katie was helping Elliott get dressed. Out of the blue he turned to her and said "Ian not going to babysitter, Ian going to bumma and bumpa's." He carried on with getting dressed and didn't say another word about it. When I heard this story, I felt like a secret service agent who had just taken a bullet for the president. Ian was out of harms way. But mama and daddy, he calmly let us know, as only a two year old can, you guys are liars. That will be a hard wound to heal.
You'll see in the video below that Elliott loves Ian to death, which is probably why he doesn't mind sharing. If he could see the smiles that come out of Ian while he is with bumma and bumpa, he'd be as comforted that he is with them as we are.