Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Does this make me a "bad mom"?

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.

All alone.

All defeated.

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.


Stacia said...

Just wait till he's washing off the under-21-don't-serve-him-alcohol black mark! =>

CaraBee said...

Pushing limits is what kids do. He saw a way to get some extra pizza and jumped on it. You did the right thing. For the record, *I* totally would have eaten that pizza. That'll show him.

Julie said...

"Crime does not pay." Unless you're the big brother. With that kind of creative thinking I would imagine he'll turn to things like embezzling and wall street schemes. You're a good mom.

Michelle said...

Oh I love it! I don't see my son doing this, but Little Miss? Ab-so-lutely. Good thing she has TWO birthday parties this Saturday during the Pinewood Derby (which I'm *sniff* missing)

Shari said...

They all try it. As long as they don't get away with it (too foten), they won't think it's okay. Laughing at him must have been fun, though.

Debbie said...

I have found with parenting that it's the little things like teaching them to be more sneaky with crimes that the parenting books never cover!

Anonymous said...

You did just the right thing. I would laugh at such signs of cleverness, too. Besides, in retrospect, he probably interprets the laughter as "HAHAHA, I can't believe you thought you would get away with that"

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