Lets not get bogged down in legalese here.
We've all watched enough crime programmes on the telly, to know what we're talking about. If you do something really, really bad, I can do away with you. I would have justification. So very simple.
Once I have cleaned my bifocals, I in command of the true nature of the crime. Only yesterday we discussed the meaning of 'signature' and the legal implications thereto. I was careful to explain the mystifying difference between signing your name and your signature. I remembered that I had been baffled by this distinction as a child myself. Now I find that her signature is everywhere and not just on paper. It's on a wide variety of furniture and domestic appliances. I find it on clothing, clothing that isn't even necessarily hers. I am incensed. I am fully justified.
I hunt her down. There shall be no mercy, although the possibility of Mr. Muscle to the rescue hasn't been ruled out.
“And what exactly do you have to say for yourself?” I demand with my breast puffed up like a rooster, or possibly a recently plucked chicken.
“Huh?” Don't you give me that picture of innocence face, I am in no mood.
“Why have you scribbled your name over everything?”
“You name, your signature! Look it's everywhere.” She follows my finger.
“Oh that's not me.”
“What do you mean, 'it's not me'? It's your name!”
“Yes, I know that.”
“Why did you do it?”
“But I didn't.”
“There's no point in denying it. It's going to take ages to clean up and you are going to help me.”
“But it wasn't me! It was him!” She points at the smallest member of the family, him with the grin. I march over to address him, if not mail him without a ‘return to sender’ sticker. He plays with the pen, twiddles it like a majorette.
“I be write,” he giggles.
“I can see that! Did you write her name?”
“Because she was beed dah annoying.”
I'll give him annoying!
Still, at least it wasn’t the top side of the table I suppose!
Moral – when you carefully explain a distinction and definition to one child, be aware that other people may have a different and distinctive predisposition.