Saturday, May 2, 2009

Toddlers & Stealing : Part II

Driving home from the super market a police car merged in front of my car....perfect timing!

"Ethan, Lance, should I get out of the car and tell the cops the stunt you just pulled in the market?"

"No, Mom," half sobbing, half screaming.

"Well, you are going back to the store to apologize and pay the manager, and if she decides to call the cops, you boys might be going to jail tonight. Hope those pieces of gum were worth it. See how one second of poor judgement can cost you your entire life?"

Up until that point I wasn't going to even bring law enforcement into it, but this was too perfect. I wanted to scare them so that they would not forget this moment and would never attempt something so foolish again.

At home, Ethan wrote a note of apology to the store, "I am so sorry for stealing gum from your store. I will never do that again." It took Ethan a good 30 mins. to write it, between the tears and the pleading, "Oh, I can't do this. I don't want to go to jail. I am so good at playing Cribbage now and if I go to jail I cannot play anymore."

That statement made me hysterical. To understand the mind of a 6 year old........he was worried about the games that he would not play in jail.....I guess whatever it takes.

In the meantime, my husband stopped at the store and spoke to the manager prior to bringing the boys in for questioning. He wanted to make sure we were all on the same page.

Kurt picked up the boys, along with $1.61 from their piggy bank. At this point Ethan cried for a good 2 hours straight. Lance still was not sure what to make of it.

I gave them "one last hug" goodbye, in case they were going to go to prison and I would not see them that evening. You are probably thinking that's cruel, but this was serious to me and the more I could drive the point home, the better.

The manager accepted their apology, gave them a receipt for paying and ended it with a warning. "I will let it go this time, but next time I will need to call the cops." The boys stared at her with their now "uni brows" and tears trembling in their eyes.

They came home exhilarated that they were not taking cold showers and hanging out with mean inmates. Home seemed ever so sweet. Mom and Dad seemed ever so wise. And life could start over again.

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