Me: Zee did you put my phone in my coffee?
Me: Do you know who did it?
Z: It was Kai.
Kai: I didn't do it! Zeze is lying!
Z: I didn't do it. Kai is lying!
Me: Zeze, did you see Kai do it?
Z: Yes. ........No, wait. Daddy and Noah did it.
Me: Okay, did you see Daddy and Noah do it?
Z: Yes, I did! (With triumph in his voice and acting as though Mama was going to give a serious time-out to Daddy and Noah)
Me: Zeze that is a lie. Daddy wasn't home and Noah was sleeping. That isn't what really happened and it's not the truth.
Me: You need to tell me the truth all the time.
Z: But, Mama, it's just so hard! (Said with as much passion and conviction as though I had asked him to carry me upstairs.)
Me: (holding back a giggle) It's hard to tell the truth?
Z: Yes! I can't do it. Can you help me?
Me: Sure! When it's hard, you pray to God and ask him to help you tell the truth. Say, "Dear God, please help me tell the truth." Then when you're done you say the truth. Get it?
Z: Yes! (With a confident smile)
Me: How about you try.
Z: Dear God, the truth. Amen!!! ..........Oh Mama, look there's a bug on the window! He's climbing up the window!!!
I knew my point was lost, he said, "The truth." and the conversation was over, his attention span was thoroughly used up and he still might not have any idea what the words 'truth' and 'lie' mean even though he can convincingly shout, "Kai is lying!" with a tone of incredulous outrage.
I still have no idea which one put my phone in the coffee!