And as my son climbed up on the toilet for his pre-bedtime pee, I noticed his big toe toenails had grown a bit long and were now jagged and chewed.
"Cole," I said as I reached for the nail clipper, "Look at your toenails. Have you been chewing them?"
I looked up into his clear, green eyes and serious face and asked again, "Cole, have you?"
"No, Mommy. I haven't."
I ran my finger along them before reaching down to clip off the ragged parts, "Remember you need to tell the truth, son."
"I AM telling the truth. I didn't chew them!"
"Cole, I can tell when a toenail has been chewed."
Then I pulled out the big guns. I am ashamed to say it aloud, but I do this every so often because a mother only has so many weapons in her arsenal, "Remember, Cole, Santa can hear if you're lying."
He glanced up at the ceiling, "Well....." he thought for a second, "When I said I didn't chew them, Mommy. I meaned that I didn't REMEMBER chewing them TODAY!"
"I meant did you chew them, ever, Cole."
Still examining the ceiling over my left shoulder, "I don't remember chewing them yesterday either, Mommy. Or.... the day before that day. Was that Wednesday? No, I don't think I chewed my toenails on Wednesday."
He looked at me, "Mommy, I didn't chew them on any of the days that I went to school!"
And I suspect that was the truth.