The Red-Bearded Perry Mason
Last Monday afternoon my wife brought the kids out to a nearby park to play with some friends. When they returned home, my four year-old daughter was exhausted and agitated at something causing her to act out and misbehave. When my wife put her in a room and closed the door so she could calm down and unwind, my daughter laid on the floor kicking the door and wall until she put a small hole in the drywall.
My wife pointed this hole out to me after dinner when we were all sitting downstairs and I called my daughter over, pointed to the hole, and asked her about it.
"Did you make this hole in the wall?"
"No, I didn't do it"
"How do you think this hole got here?"
"Someone slammed the door and made the hole."
I then had her open and close the door, illustrating the fact that it did not reach over far enough to make a hole in the wall.
"See, it is impossible for the door to have made this hole."
"I didn't do it."
"If you did do it, tell me the truth and I will not be upset with you. I will only be upset if you do not tell the truth."
"I didn't do it, Daddy!"
Seeing that I was getting no where, I had her come over to the hole once again and lay down on the floor. I then matched her heel up to the hole.
"Look, it is a perfect match."
"I didn't do it, Daddy."
"~her brother's name~"
"Did you see him do it?"
"If you didn't see him with your own two eyes you cannot blame him for kicking the wall. There is nothing worse than blaming someone for something you do not know 100%."
"Ok, Daddy. He was upstairs when I kicked the wall."
"So you kicked the wall?"
"No. I didn't do it, Daddy. Bring ~her brother's name~ over and lets put his foot up to the wall. Check him."
I called my two year-old son over and told him to lay down on the floor. I raised up his foot and put it next to the wall; being shorter than his older sister, it didn't even close to the location.
"His foot cannot even reach it. This proves that he didn't do it. If you did it and tell me the truth, Daddy won't be mad. I will be happy that you were honest with me."
"I didn't do it."
"Well, who did?"
"The puniner [computer] did. It jumped off the table and made the hole in the wall."
"I know you did it. Tell me the truth."
"I didn't do it. I didn't do it, Daddy!"
"Ok, if you tell me that you didn't do it, I will believe you because you are telling me the truth. Now, it is time to take a bath. Whoever kicked the wall can be the first one in the bath."
"I did! I kicked the wall, Daddy. I just forgot. I am sorry."