I could not believe my eyes. Carved in the coffee table in child-sized print where the letters C-H-R-I-S-T-Y.
CHRISTY! I screamed at my four year old daughter, You have some explaining to do young lady! Christy bounced down the stairs and into the family room chatting away about her swim class. I pointed to the table.
I didn't do that! she said, almost too quickly.
Christy, who else would write YOUR name? Don't lie to me!
Mom, I don't know! I didn't do it!
Well, do you think I did it? Or Daddy? Or Leigh? Leigh can barely write her own name. Then I began to wonder...
LEIGH! Where are you? Leigh, eleven months younger than Christy came slowly into the room. Leigh, did you scratch Christy's name into the coffee table? For a moment she didn't say anything, just shook her curly locks and stared at the floor. Then her blue eyes flashed and she screamed, No! I did not!
Well, I know one of you did it!
I had an idea.
Who wants to play school? I said. Here's paper and crayons. Write your name at the top of your paper. Now, do you know how to write your sister's name? I was confident Christy could write both, but was equally sure Leigh could only print her own name; that is, until I watched three-year-old Leigh painstakingly print C-H-R-I-S-T-Y in the same halting letters that were carved into the coffee table.
The forensic evidence was in.