Nathan told a lie today.
I was sitting at the computer after work earlier this evening when Nathan walked out of his room carrying his shape-sorting box and brought it to the living room. As he often does, he turned the box upside-down, noisily emptying the colorful plastic shapes onto the tile floor. I looked at Nathan and asked him, "Who made that big mess?" He replied, "Mey-mey [Mabel]." Thinking that perhaps he misunderstood my question, I reworded it. "Who threw all those toys on the floor?" He paused, looking down for a moment, then answered again, this time pointing in the direction where he last saw Mabel, "Mey-mey."
On page 197 of The New First Three Years of Life, author Burton White uses a nearly identical example (a 22-month-old blaming an accidental spill on the cat) to demonstrate the appearance of a child's abstract thinking ability, "the ability to create an idea. It is not just the denial that signals the new stage; it is rather the creation, after due consideration, of the related idea, the scapegoat."
Good luck, Mabel...and good luck to all of us.