Am I a bad mom for not curbing my initial reaction to my middle child's first criminal action?
"What was my initial reaction?" You ask? (You really are becoming nosy lately. We need to discuss this further)
My initial reaction to my 8 year old thwarting the system at the Pinewood Derby was to laugh. In front of him. And then shake my finger with my husband (who was also guffawing in his own right) at him.
It wasn't until Evan began to slyly grin over his brilliantly evil scheme that the visions of his future life in organized crime flashed too brightly for me to ignore.
So I did what any GOOD mom would do: I sent Patrick* to the snack counter with him to apologize for washing off the permanent marker mark that was supposed to signify which scout had already received a piece of free pizza and pop.
I observed them from my hiding spot behind Justin's curly mop atop the gymnasium's bleachers. When Evan glumly scuffed his foot by the cash counter and Patrick paid for the food that had now been TOUCHED and could therefore not be given back, I felt a wee bit sorry for him.
When he strolled back to our seats, pizza and pop in hand I will admit this right now: I was struggling. Struggling to not grin at the audacity of such a child and at the likeness to his own Mom and Dad at that age.** I persevered and crossed my arms and frowned with all 37 muscles.
He straddled the bench in front of me and commenced with popping that soda's top.
I finally found my "Good Mom" hat.
"No way, kiddo. We HAD to buy it but you are not being rewarded for STEALING and then LYING about it. That pop and pizza? It's now Justin's."
His face fell as we handed the coveted food over to his big brother (who then leaned over and whispered, "I'm totally not hungry!" to which I hissed, "PreTEND!"). Tears gathered in Evan's big chocolate eyes and he moped away to a corner of the bleachers.
And Pat and I?
We finally let the giggles of astonishment burst free.
I leaned into him and whispered "If he's going to break the rules, you'd think he'd be smart enough to HIDE the evidence! Amateur!"
Because we're strong parents like that.
* Hey, I KNOW those ladies. Pat doesn't.
**From the combined stories of our childhoods and our own trickery and pranks, I am amazed that we made it into adulthood without a criminal mark between us.
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