And so the interrogation begins. Him first. Holding his hand over his (completely normal looking) cheek and putting on the puppy dog face, he tells me that "ALL" he was doing was climbing down from his bunk bed when she suddenly threw a right hook. Nevermind that this is logistically impossible.
"And what were YOU doing, Santiago?" I press.
"Nothing, Mom! I was just going to get dressed, like you told me to," he asserts.
Sending him off to get dressed, I call forth the next witness.
She proceeds to tell me that she was over by her closet "JUST" trying to get dressed, he was punching her in the back, and she's being essentially set up.
But this is her M.O. This is what she does. We've see her work before. And she's good at turning the tables. Real good. But this isn't my first time at the rodeo.
So, now the real fun begins. I call them both together and ask them each to take me through it step by step, and the first one who lies, loses.
A couple of "nu-uhs!" and "no, I didn'ts!" later, the full story unfolds. As it always does.
During recess of the previous day, he was picking on her and calling her "pipsqueak." Clearly, he doesn't understand the meaning of the word, as she's easily two inches taller and 5 pounds heavier, but what he does understand is that it bothered her, so he kept at it. Until she cried.
This morning, as he's climbing down from his top bunk, she gloats that she's beat him and is dressed first. He walks straight up to her and yells in her face, "STOP BRAGGING!!!"
And she clocked him.
For me, this was clearly a case of even steven. But as neither name-calling nor hitting is allowed, they were both required to apologize and write 20 lines before breakfast.
Case closed. Cue the Law & Order music. And bring on the weekend!!!