The Blame Game

So I have a little sister. She’s three. Her name’s Marie. Marie dumped out the entire contents of my mom’s purse on the carpet. I think she wanted a coffee candy. She found money. She couldn’t figure out how to open the wallet, so the bills were safe. Marie can count to twenty (skipping and/or mixing fifteen, sixteen, and nineteen). So she counted some coins over and over again. Loudly.

It didn’t take long for us to notice. My brother came right away and told her off in his I’m-your-big-brother-and-you-have-to-listen-to-me way, stern face, finger wagging and all.

Marie pouted. She’s really, really, adorable so that kind of worked. She also hasn’t outgrown her baby lisp yet and can’t pronounce a ton of sounds so her response came out sounding like: “Uh-oh. Wosie did it.” And then she smiled and continued counting her money.

It was Sunday afternoon and everyone was bored because the Sabbath was God’s day and rules were rules so no electronics. The only other choices were to eat, sleep, do something religious, family-related, or homework. It wasn’t too hard to pick. 

Rose parroted her words and said the two of them weren’t friends anymore. To a toddler, hearing that was the worst-est thing ever. So Marie blamed Dad, who wasn’t even home, to please her.

And then my mom came home after shopping for groceries. The mess was very noticeable in the otherwise-clean room. She asked who made the mess (nicely too, because it wasn’t too hard to guess who was the culprit); Marie pretended to be deaf. 

Mom terrified her with Pinocchio and she still wouldn’t admit to it. Marie began blaming inanimate objects (stuffed bunny, t.v., etc). She was in tears because nobody believed her and then she just started agreeing with whatever we said. She’s only three and really cute and it was educational (she practiced her math skills) so she got two coffee candies as a reward (one for each hand). 

Moral of the story? You can get away with anything as long as you’re a toddler, cute, and doing something educational. …Yeah, that doesn’t apply to a wide range of people. Plus fictional people. I’m putting a Sophocles reference here. 

In the Oedipus Cycle, Oedipus, Jocasta, and Laios are not toddlers, cute (there’s no written evidence that they are), or educating themselves (you learn from your mistakes but Jocasta and Laios both die before they learn; Oedipus kind of). Also, Oedipus’ foster parents aren’t any of the above either. The foster and the true parents avoid the truth because they want to change fate. Oedipus draws a conclusion with what little he knows. He kills his father, sleeps with his mother, and has children with his mother.

And whose fault is this? Oedipus isn’t certain and lashes out. At himself mostly. So he blinds himself. Then Oedipus goes through a woe-is-me phase and that annoys me. He blinded himself. He killed his father. But. If his parents didn’t lie, this wouldn’t have happened. If they raised him right instead of abandoning him, this wouldn’t have happened. If Apollo didn’t prophesize this, no one would’ve tried to avoid it. There are too many what ifs.

My point is that you never really know who’s at fault because there’s usually more than one person involved. There’s always one person who seems more guilty than everyone else, but only point fingers if there’s sure evidence. If not…it’s fine as long as they know you’re not serious.

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