For instance, the simple question "Whose banana peel is this on the kitchen counter?" can elicit three very different responses.
Child #1: "Not mine."
Child #2: " I don't think I've been in the kitchen since last Thursday."
Child #3: "What are bananas?"
Or the blame is placed on someone else entirely, who isn't even present to defend themselves.
"I think it might be Daddy's."
To which I'll challenge, "Hmmm... well, I doubt Daddy would have flown all the way home from Colorado just to sneak in and eat a banana without at least saying 'hello'".
Sometimes I'll go all King Solomon on them and threaten to do the unthinkable, like take away everyone's iPod for the week, in hopes the real perpetrator comes forward.
Other times I guilt them into confessing by saying, "God knows whose banana peel it is..."
Or I'll just declare an outright banana ban henceforward, citing abused banana eating privileges as the cause.
Really anything could be substituted for the banana in these scenarios.
Who didn't hang their towel up?
Who knocked over the dogs' water bowl?
Who used all the baking soda making this lovely volcano?
It makes my job so much easier when the case is open and shut. As it was today, when I discovered someone drew (no pun intended, although clever nonetheless) on the bookshelf.