Eli thinks everything I say is wrong and must be tested. So yesterday I was on the floor, ironing out the fabric I'm using for Paul's baptism pants. I explicitly told Eli not to touch the iron, that it was hot and would burn him. Remember that he is five years old in one month and completely able to understand everything I told him. I got up and left the room, leaving the iron sitting up next to the fabric, and when I came back the iron was down (luckily it has a safety shutoff). I picked it up, waited for it to re-heat, and began moving the fabric.
Eli walked in, looking very sad and upset, and immediately began harassing me about why I owned an iron. "You shouldn't have bought that thing! What do you need it for? Why do they even exist? Why don't you get rid of it!" I noticed he was cradling his left hand, put that all together with the iron being moved, and asked "Did you touch the iron? Did it burn you?"
With tears in his eyes, he denied it all. A little later I was making him a snack and noticed again how sad he looked and how he was cradling his left hand. I said "Show me your hand," but of course he wouldn't. I finally got him to open it, and of course there's a small burn near the top of his palm. I got him an ice pack and then began interrogating him. Eli has a huge problem with confessing his wrongdoings, so I usually try pretty hard to get it out of him.
"How did you hurt your hand?"
"I was playing outside and I fell and hurt it."
"No you didn't. That's a burn, not a scrape."
"I was playing outside and the sun got so hot it burned my hand."
"No, it didn't. The sun would have burned your whole body, too. Did you touch my iron and get burned?"
"Noooooooooooooo! I don't remember!"
At this point he melted down, crawled into my lap and sobbed. We went and laid down on my bed together until he calmed down.
D was finally able to elicit a very petulant confession much later in the evening. I am going to milk this incident for all I can in terms of reminding him that many times I am correct in what I tell him and that he can potentially get hurt if he disobeys my instructions. This is why he is never taken to the Grand Canyon - can you imagine? "Eli, don't go near that cliff."