Technically not lying, but not exactly admitting fault either


I observed a spill suspiciously close to a three-year-old's play table. I asked, "How did the floor get wet?"

She replied, "Water."

It's not lying, but it's definitely not telling the whole story. She'll probably grow up to become a lawyer.

Comments (11)
  1. Raphael says:

    Or a mathematician.

  2. Brian_EE says:

    One of our embedded DSP developers brought us back a board once and said "It just quit working". Further observation revealed coffee stains around a bunch of the ICs.

    So maybe that toddler will become a SW developer some day….

  3. lefty says:

    And I have no doubt that she will be a lawyer to fear.

  4. asdf says:

    It's more accurate to say that "water" was a counter to the fake question "how did the floor get wet?". Your question really meant "a kid spilling water on the floor is a culturally approved event that I can punish in response to. Saying the name of the kid initiates the punishment sequence. Say the name of the kid."

    Her response with "water" really meant "I see through your fake question and I'm blocking the punishment sequence from continuing."

  5. At three kids still have no duplicity. Tell her "clean up your mess or no TV."

  6. Simon R says:

    @asdf: So, what you're saying is that, yes, she'll make a *really* good lawyer…

  7. Engywuck says:

    well, near a three-year-old it could be some other liquid, too. So in this case "water" is shorthand for "I spilled some water, no need to change clothes". Some kids don't like to talk too much, and I know grown-ups that would have just grunted and shown you a glass of water.

  8. > And I have no doubt that she will be a lawyer to fear.

    Indeed, most small children are naturally lawyers.

    I remember my pre-verbal almost-two year old, hauled up to his room during some power struggle, plonked in his room, and told by me "do not take one step out of this room!"

    Standing in the doorway, but *just* inside it, he looked me square in the eye, and banged his *hand* down in the hallway outside his room.

    I was agog for a second or two, and then I had to flee before I laughed out loud at the idea that I'd just been bested by a two-year old.  (If I'd laughed in his presence when he was in royal ire, he'd been ticked for hours.  Like most small children, he had a keen sense of dignity.)

  9. Gabe says:

    I'm not sure I'm with Engywuck on this one. Once I saw a puddle on the floor and asked my three-year-old what it was, she said "water". Seeing no obvious source (e.g. spilled cup), I asked where it came from.

    She answered, in her adorable 3-year-old syntax, "It leak out of mine butt."

  10. Ray says:

    My kid did a similar one:

    Wife: "No jumping on the couch."

    5 year old: HMMMM….

    So she takes the cushions off the couch and puts them on the floor and jumps on them there.

    At that point, we let her win – it was no longer unsafe, and she found a loophole.

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