Sometimes kids make the smartest of observations…in the simplest of ways. This evening all three boys were sprawled on their floor on their painting mat. I had given them large one sided paper from an old wall calendar and they were busy drawing and coloring and scribbling all over it. Since the three of them decided to work on a single canvas, it gradually moved off the painting mat and onto the floor. Just a little while earlier, i had asked them to color on the mat as they were using my markers which could potentially stain the floor. When i came to see their art work I saw a lot of bright magenta streaks on the floor. “Who did this?” i asked. ” i just said to NOT color on the floor” “not me!” “not me!” “not me” came three replies almost instantaneously. “Maybe Amu did it?” Sid asked tentatively. “I don’t think so” i replied. These don’t look like strokes he owuld have made. I let the matter rest there and went to the sink to rinse something. “Aai”, called Sid a moment later. “It was me. But it was by mistake …i was coloring the paper but i also colored the floor”. “That’s okay Sid” I said as i started to wipe the floor “Thanks for telling me”. Nish put his pen down and looked very solemnly at Sid. “You know” he sad seriously and with deliberation, “it is better to make a mistake than to tell lies” i was quite surprised at the pearl of wisdom from my 3 1/2 year old. “Did your teacher tell you that at school?” I asked Nish. “No” he said…”i just think so…it’s ok to make a mistake but it’s not ok to lie” Sid nodded in agreement while Amu, oblivious to the deep philosophical discussion, made the most of the lull in the coloring to gather as many felt pens as he could possibly hold in his two tiny hands!