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Life is not about getting to the destination, life is what happens to you on the way there. 

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The drama of the missing $25

I mentioned briefly that Peanut had found a good home. Right? I asked for a nominal fee ($25) to help ensure that the family that was taking him was willing in invest in him and care for him. (Free dogs are sometimes fodder for pit fights/cock fights/lab experiments/abuse - I won't encourage that by offering a dog for free) He went to a new home and they called him Tiberius. It's a huge name for a teeny dog but his brother was called Aries so I guess it runs in the family.

Anyhow - After he went home, I had the $25 in my hand when I went inside and I put it on the dining room table and forgot about it. Later when I went to look for it - it was gone. I ransacked that table, the floor, checked and doublechecked my pockets and my purse in case I put it somewhere and had forgotten that I did it. Nothing.

Now - money has been known to disappear before in this house - sometimes directly out of my purse. The culprit that time was firstborn so after quizzing the girls about it and recieving vehement denials I called Firstborn at school. I knew that once he took it there and spent it - that's it. I wanted to catch the money before that happened to it.

Firstborn was very upset with me to say the least - he swore up and down he didn't take it. So - the girls and Firstborn all denied it. I knew I didn't do anything to it, DH didn't touch it and yet the money was nowhere to be found. SOMEbody was lying.... but who?

I looked the girls in the eyes - Middlechild was able to meet my gaze just as levelly as I laid it on her and tell me flat out that she did not take the money. She's a good liar, but not that good, and I saw no guilt in her face. I was pretty sure she was innocent, but not 100% because when that girl wants to lie - she really can.

I grounded everyone for the day and informed them all that if the day was up and I still didn't have the money - then all bets were off for punishment. If I got an admittance of guilt and the money returned the punishment would be considerably lighter if it happened that day.

All day went by - no money. No confessions. Firstborn called me when he got home and quizzed me on where the money might possibly be. I explained where I put it, when and when I last saw it. He told me he would look for it for me. With that I was pretty sure it wasn't him either.

I was pretty sure who the guilty party was when I picked the girls up from their first violin lesson. But how to extract a confession and locate the money?

On the way home I again re-emphasized the grounding - that everyone was grounded until I got a confession and that I needed the money back that day. If I found out later who it was - and I WOULD find out, oh yes! You can hide from Mommy for a little while, but not forever. Never forever. ....if I found out who did it after that day the punishment would be dire. Middlechild has heard all this before when she was the guilty one, and did not get the hunted look in her eye - but youngest did. Hmmm - I've got her now.

I let the kids stew on it for the rest of the trip home and when we got into the house - Firstborn told me that he couldn't find the money - he looked everywhere. Middlechild complained loudly about not being able to watch her movie that she had planned on (and that Youngest also wanted to see). I explained to all three of them that until the money was returned nobody could watch TV or use the computer or go outside. They all had to stay inside and clean their rooms.

While I was discussing the finer points of the grounding with the two eldest, (yes you can use a computer for homework, no your homework does not involve a game, not even a spelling game, do I look stupid? Don't answer that, smart alek.) youngest disappeared into her bedroom. I noticed her leave but said nothing. Shortly after that she says to me that perhaps we should look on the floor.

The floor?
Yeah, like the floor by the bedrooms
By the bedrooms?
Yes, maybe it's on the floor in Firstborn's room.....
Did you see it there?
Yes! Yes she did
Let's go look

And there was the money. neatly folded and laying in the middle of Firstborn's room. I knew that he would not have ransacked the house if it was that simple. He would have just fessed up or he would have had the money hidden better - Firstborn isn't that dumb. I asked her why she put it there. She got that sick feeling in her stomach - I could tell because her face changed. She denied everything. After consistent quizzing she resorted to the I don't knows. Finally - she confessed.

It was a first offense for Youngest and we had a nice chat aobut finders-keepers and how that may be what some people do but it's not how this family works and it's not very nice to boot. We agreed that telling the truth made her feel a lot better and that maybe if she finds something next time she will turn it in so the original owner can be located.

So - lies, threats, denials, grounding and psychological games.... Sheesh - being a parent sure is complicated.

(PSST! DH - this is working fast for me again - THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! You are the awesomest husband ever!)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Karry... I am so proud of the parenting that you do. You are raising a wonderful family... I miss you allso much. We had a great time in Maine. A week is too short. Took lots of pictures. Roy is building a deck on the side of the house. Grandpa is in a nursing home for rehab and hope he can get to come home soon. We have people come in and stay with Grandma because she can't be alone. Frustrating on all of us. Wish they were a few years younger. They doubled our assesment on our home and that will make our taxes go higher. I may think about selling it... who knows. Will write more later. Love MOM

9/07/2006 11:12:00 AM  

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