Friday, February 25, 2011

Adventures in Parenting

On Tuesday the girl came home with this yellow car:

It's not unusual for the girl to come home with the occasional odd trinket. There's a treasure box in the classroom and the kids are rewarded for good behaviour by getting to choose from it. But that's usually reserved for Friday and the prizes are more along the lines of pencils, stickers, etc. So I said, "Hey, cool car, where did you get it?" To which the girl says, "Oh, so and so gave it to me."

Now, I know the so and so she's referring to and I don't see her as the type to be handing out her toys to her classmates, so I become suspicious. I ask my daughter flat out if she took the car from the classroom. She insists she didn't so I drop the conversation and we continue walking home.

As the week goes on, I keep seeing that little yellow car around the apartment and I just don't like it. It makes me feel bad and guilty like I'm evading the IRS or harboring a fugitive. But I try to not think about it. There's no way my little angel is a thief!

Friday comes around. I pick the girl up from school. She has this in her hands:

WTF!?

As we're walking home I ask her where she got it and she replies, " A different so and so gave it to me." I flip over the car to see the brand is Viking Toys, and that it was made in Sweden. So then I ask, "Oh yeah, where did he get it?"

That little liar looks me right in the eye and says, "Mcdonalds."

ALL THE WAY home I ask her over and over if she might have taken it from the classroom. She swears up and down that the car was given to her. We get home, I place the car on the shelf, right next to the other half of the girl's ill gotten booty, and I call Jay. At this point, even though I have my proof, I'm still clutching to the idea that my daughter isn't a law breaker. Never one to mince words though, Jay says, "Yeah, she's a thief. Those cars need to be returned."

I figured I'd give her one last chance. I place both cars in front of her and I get down to her level and I very seriously say, "On Monday I'm going to go into your class and ask your teacher if these cars are hers. If they are, you are going to be in BIG TROUBLE. But, if you confess now, I won't punish you this time."

She immediately blurts out, "They belong in the classroom. I accidentally took them."

Accidentally? That's an interesting word choice.

So now we're spending the rest of the afternoon discussing stealing. And how even though you may really, really want that rockin' pink jeep, you can't just wrap your sticky fingers around it and take it home.

18 comments:

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Well c'mon she's got some rockin' taste in vehicles!

mandy said...

Your daughter has toys that are made in Sweden at school...Portland!

I bet this happens all the time in Kindergarten and that most of those things that leave the classroom don't make their way back; pretty cool that you turned it into a lesson.

Daphne said...

What a great way to handle it. But really, who wouldn't want a pink Swedish jeep?

Sarah (I can't remember my password!) said...

Mandy is correct in her guess that a LOT of things leave the kindergarten classroom and don't make their way back. I can attest to this because I've been working as a sub for about a year now, and I watch it happen all the time. Some kids, they steal. They know they're stealing, and thy do it anyway. Other kids, they're just picking stuff up and not putting it back in the right place. Or, they play with some particular item SO MUCH during centers time that they somehow become convinced they partly own it, and move it to their desk. And, if the teacher doesn't notice right away, it ends up kind of "becoming" theirs. It's an odd phenomenon. Similarly odd is the feeling MOST teachers have about MOST items, in that they don't have particularly strong bonds with them. If it comes to school and is put into general circulation, it's pretty much assumed it's going to get lost, broken, or stolen at some point in the not-too-distant future. Envirinmental hazard, you know?

Still, I praise your desire to instill reasonable behavior in The Girl. If only more parents would do the same. If only....

red raven said...

Good for you. It drives me nuts when parents can not believe their kids would take something not theirs. It's a good opportunity for a life lesson!
PS I stole some coloured chalk in kindergarten. I really really wanted it. I still feel guilty 31 years later...

Shalet said...

Just know you are not alone!

http://peculiarmomma.blogspot.com/2009/05/im-raising-bunch-of-criminals_05.html

XOXO

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

It's going to get worse before it gets better. Stay tough and don't ever show a weak side. I've lived with three sneaky ones. I'm exhausted from trying to stay one step ahead.

-- You're doing great!

Dysfunctional Mom said...

Andrew used to do this alllll the time. Probably at about that same age. We would have to check his backpack and pockets every day like he was a criminal. lol
He eventually outgrew it (OR became more clever at hiding it).

Lia said...

Ha! Good for you for noticing, the difference and being suspicious. It does happen all the time, though. We had a little boy in second grade just last week who was stealing his mom's jewelry and bringing it to school to give to his crush.

kraftykash said...

Why do I have a feeling that you are going to have your hands full with that cute little girl? Way to handle it Mama. :) We are lucky that are "challenge all the rules" child was born 1st. I feel bad for people who get them as the 2nd child or who get a whole clan of them. LOL

Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

I just get abnormally large, rattly acorns and small flower-shaped erasers in the pockets. I guess I should do a more thorough search?

Maria Rose said...

You need to open a detective agency.

Tammie said...

thanks everyone for all your reassuring comments. its nice to know this is fairly common and that im not raising a scofflaw.

shalet: i remember that post of yours! im so glad you posted the link here because i had forgotten about it.

kashoan: i know! the boy has been a breeze compared to the girl. ive aged SO MUCH in the past six years.

maria rose: all my knowledge comes from episodes of Law and Order. :)

Dani said...

As a kindergarten teacher, I assure you...it happens all the time. By accident, of course.

Everything is "by accident" when they are 5. It's their life line.

I've gotten really good at interrogating. So good, that today I had a girl confess to taking a game piece from the math tub. She said she took it home and would bring it back tomorrow. Turns out it was in the tub the whole time. So I chewed her out for confessing to something she didn't do.

The police department should employ early childhood teachers when they have a tough case to crack.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

I took a piece of chalk from school once...if only we had cool pink jeeps instead. Oh wait, that's not the point. I love how you handled the situation.

I chuckled at her "McDonalds" answer. Sometimes I think it's not as much that kids lie...it's how quickly they come up with lies that worries me.

victoria said...

A friend of mine said her pediatrician told her, "all little ones lie, and at least once a day, you will dislike being a mother."

~*Gumbo Soul*~ said...

We've had this problem once or twice this year with NB in kindergarten. We've also had it the other way around where she goes to school with like say a hair bow, and comes home without it because she traded it to her neighbor for a honeybun at snack time. LOL

Liz said...

We just went through the same thing with my daughter, except she was lifting My Little Ponies...