A couple of weeks ago Little Man fessed up to a situation where he and Lady Bug had been pulling a fast one over on the parents. I was impressed that my six year old came clean. Big Man had been suspicious about what the kids were up to when he came home from work a few times. Usually, I was making dinner whenever the dynamic duo was up to no good and Daddy came in looking for his I’m-home-from-busting-my-a$$-all-day-to-support-you-people-hug-me! greeting. Now, the children were not selling drugs, committing murder, or any other such nonsense, but because Lady Bug is 8 going on 16, I am not allowed to divulge her personal information on-line without her express written consent or that of her legal counsel. Really. With that in mind, you’ll just have to trust me when I say the crime was punishment-worthy, but nothing too serious.
I would love to take credit for raising such a fine, upstanding young man as Little Man, whose conscience would not allow him to continue with the deceit. However, I’m really not that good of a parent. I was helping him while he was in the shower when he asked me if I keep secrets from Daddy.
ME: Of course, not Buddy. We’re a family. I don’t keep secrets from Daddy, or you, or your sister. Unless it’s a good secret, like what I got you for your birthday, or a surprise trip. Only fun secrets.
LM: Oh, well, I have something to tell you then.
ME: Ok. What is it?
LM: (Confession, which also involved taking his sister down, as they were in cahoots.)
ME: Oh. Well thanks for telling me about this. You know that we’re all going to have to sit down and talk about this before bed. You, me, daddy, your sister. What made you tell me this now? Sounds like this has been going on for a bit.
LM: Well, remember this morning when Lady Bug was reading her Fancy Nancy: Super Sleuth book to me? Remember Nancy’s sister JoJo felt guilty about taking the marble and it made her feel sick, but then she told the truth and it made her feel better? I’ve been thinking about that a lot today.
Thanks, Jane O’Connor. You are an excellent parent. Me, not so much. I can take credit for buying your book, that’s about it. And to be perfectly honest, I had no idea there was such a good message about telling the truth in your book when I picked it up at Target. Well done, Jane, well done.
I know that I’m pretty lucky in lots of ways. But specifically to this scenario, I have at least one child who picked up on the message in the book his sister read to him and did the right thing. I also have an 8 year old who will read 124 pages of anything to her brother after breakfast. And while I’m not too thrilled that the kiddos were teaming up together to hide stuff from mom and dad, they did have each others backs until Little Man’s conscience kicked in. Now that’s the stuff that I hope carries them through life. Somebody’s got to have your back. It might as well be your brother or sister. I can’t say that I remember being that good of a sibling to Lil’ Sis or Baby Bro and vice versa.
As for their punishment? No screen time what-so-ever for three days, plus a weekend with no screen time at home. And guess what? They spent their mornings before we headed off for each day’s activities lounging about, reading. I hope they picked up some more good messages along the way, because apparently I’ve been falling down on the job!