Lily came home from school yesterday with a note in her diary and explaining to me that two boys had punched her in the neck on the bus home from work to school. She'd arrived at school upset but had calmed down with a drink of Milo. Her teacher phoned me and we tried to get the story straight as it seemed a bit different to the two of us.
I considered phoning the bus company but decided against it until I'd got the story straight. Lily at first said she'd been sitting on the middle of the back seat with no-one else on the bus and these two boys got on and came up to her and punched her she said the bus driver didn't see as he was driving. When we asked for more details it all got very confused - how old were they? where did they get on the bus? where did they sit? did they say anything? was the bus moving or not?
Lily does sometimes get confused and its hard not to ask leading questions, but I found myself thinking that when she was involved in an assault at her school in Auckland she'd given a much clearer story. I was just thinking that maybe Paul and I were bombarding her with too many questions and should leave her alone when she says "How about I tell you the truth?"
This story seemed much clearer and more likely - "I was on the bus like usual, with lots of people on it and I saw two men who looked dangerous because they were rolling cigarettes. I thought they looked like the kind of people who would punch me and because my neck hurt already I thought they had punched me in the neck but really they hadn't."
Obviously by the time she got to school her imagination had been working like usual for our drama queen Lily and she believed it had happened. It's worrying though when I consider that the previous assault involved evidential interviews and a court case. Still at least I noticed a difference in the way she told her story.
I think her hearing lack is probably also sending her more and more into an imaginary world - still we now have an appointment for a CT scan of her ears next Wednesday and she has been referred to a hearing aid specialist so hopefully that will come through the system soon.
We also had J trying to think what to say for her school news today - she is probably going to say she had a ride in the front of a police car, as that was quite exciting for her. But if the children ask why she went to the police station I've told her to say "I don't want to tak about it" It's hard to know isn't it how much a child in care should censor their story for people around them.