One would hope that in growing up, we grow wiser. You know, in that "shame on you if you fool me once, shame on me if you fool me twice" kind of way.
When my sister Lauren was about three, she got a hold of a permanent marker and signed every surface in sight with the rudimentary, dyslexic signature of "Lpn". When faced with the evidence of a defaced desk or chair, she would immediately shift all blame to Ian. This was, of course, ridiculous--Ian was 6 months old. So Lauren was sent to her room with washable markers and ream of paper to do her penance.
Now fast forward 12 years to a teenage Lauren and literate Ian.
Today I was coming downstairs to set the table for lunch when I saw Lauren spill Quik all over the counter, write something in the resulting goop, and run upstairs as if nothing had happened. When I saw the letters "I A N" written on the counter, I'm ashamed to admit that my first thought was: "Genius."
Then everyone came down to eat. My mom noticed the mess on the counter and scolded Ian. Ian came over and with the look of an injured innocent protested that he hadn't done anything. He looked so pitiful, that I finally gave in and told Lauren to clean up her mess. Ian loudly complained that he “ALWAYS gets blamed for things and he NEVER does anything EVER” before sitting in his chair and putting his head down in his arms. His outburst left us all feeling sufficiently chastened.
For about 2.5 seconds.
Until my dad sat on the homemade whoopee cushion Ian had put on his chair.