My wife gave our daughter a sticker she found while we were at the mall just as we got into our car to go home. Always delighted with such gifts, our daughter was very content to play with this for awhile.
But it was not long into our trip home when troubles arose. The announcement of “Sticker gone!” was what started it all.
“Gone? Well, what happened to it?” asked my wife.
“Stacey took it!”
“Stacey??” My wife and I looked at each other in surprise. Stacey was our best friends’ kid. “But she’s not in the car!”
“Um... pretend Stacey took it!”
“Oh, that’s horrible!” I said. “Do you think Stacey will give it back?”
“Mmm-hmm!” our daughter agreed, with considerable enthusiasm.
“Did she give it back now?” I asked. I could tell nothing’s changed.
“Well, where is it?” I like asking the tough questions.
And I think it was at that point where the conversation kind of got derailed. But the story isn’t over yet.
The next day that our daughter had to get into the car, she discovered something in her car seat. We didn’t notice it before because it was quite dark when we got home. It was the sticker that Stacey took.
“Hey,” said my daughter, “Sticker back! Stacey brought sticker back, mommy!”
Good for Stacey. The pretend one.
 Names changed to protect the guilty.