“I did not eat the chocolate!” My five year old insists, brown smudges decorating his face and hands.
“Are you sure?” I question, my eyes pointing at his conscience, trying to pierce his resolve.
His smile is wide; little white baby teeth dirty with his lie.
“I’m totally sure, mom. Totally!” He brings his face of evidence near mine and even though he smells delicious and looks delicious, I push him back a little. I don’t want chocolate on my shirt. It’s only 8am. I try to wait until at least 9am, once I am out of the house and in public to get stained.
His mouth is sticking to his story but his eyes, as always, twinkle with mischief. They speak the truth. He knows I know. If he knew how to wink, he would.
“So, how did you get all that chocolate on your face,” I ask.
“What chocolate, mommy?” He laughs. “There’s no chocolate on my face.”
“What about your hands.” I say. “What’s that?”
He looks down at the brown stains and jumps up and down with uncontrollable glee. “That’s dirt mommy. I’m very dirty.”
“Well that’s true at least.” I nod. “Now go take your dirty hands into the bathroom and wash them.”
He flashes a smile like Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise before he sleeps with Thelma and steals all her money, then skips away.
I know the smile well. His two older brothers share the same gift.
In less than 10 seconds, he’s back. “Look, I washed my hands.” He says and shoves wet little fingers, still smudged with chocolate in front me to drip on my pants.
“Great.” I say, getting up to retrieve a paper towel. “I think you forgot to dry them.”
He stands in front of me waiting, a smile playing on his lips.
“Yes?” I ask, amused.
“I found something.”
Immediately my brow arches. “Really?”
He runs off, his voice trailing behind him, “And I didn’t take it from your bag.”
He returns with a dollar bill.
“Hmm. Where did you get that?” I ask.
“I don’t know,” He sings, “But I didn’t take it from your bag.”
“That’s good because if I check and see it’s missing, I might think you took it and then you’d be in big trouble.”
A furrow crosses his brow.
“I’ll be right back.” He says and runs off again.
I wash the dishes while I wait, and wonder what was in that stolen contraband he ate this morning.
“I’m hungry.” he says when he returns.
“Well, you didn’t have breakfast. Want cereal?”
“I want these!” He produces two chocolates from his Halloween bag.
“Pleaseeee! I’ll have them with pancakes, eggs and cereal, and then I totally won’t have any more snacks today.” He oversells his smile, his eyes glinting with delight. I can only shake my head, enchanted.
Watch out girls.