Tuesday, February 15, 2005

How Can I Get on the People's Court?

Yesterday, YoungestBoy comes home from school with a flushed face. He hurries off, dropping his backpack, barely saying "hello." Not much later, one of his brothers reports to me that YoungestBoy broke our family rules and took some Valuable Items to school. Another boy (let's call him "Liar Liar Pants on Fire" for short) asked if he could show YoungestBoy's Valuable Items to another boy. Liar Liar Pants on Fire told my trusting (gullible?) son that he'd bring back the Valuable Items, plus additional Items. My son thought that sounded like a good deal, so with Liar Liar Pants on Fire's assurance that he'd give YoungestBoy the Items at pick-up time, YoungestBoy handed over the Valuable Items.

("Valuable Items" could be any small item that a boy likes to collect. In this case, I purchased said "Valuable Items" at Christmas time because "Valuable Items" were all my son wanted. These "Items" cost more than any of his other gifts. They cost a lot of money, so not only are they valuable to my son because they are unusual, but they are valuable to me because I paid good money for them.)

Back to the story.

Liar Liar Pants on Fire immediately turns over the Valuable Items to two other boys, "Fence One" and "Fence Two." At pick up time, my son says to Liar Liar Pants on Fire, "Where are my [Valuable Items]?" Liar Liar Pants on Fire says, "Oh, I gave them to [Fence One] and [Fence Two.]" My son says, "Why did you do that?" And Liar Liar Pants on Fire has no good reason.

I called Liar Liar Pants on Fire's mom. She said her darling son would never have just taken my son's Valuable Items. Her son must have thought my son gave him the Valuable Items and since her son knows he is not allowed to have said items, he gave them to someone else.

Well, pardon me for being logical, but what kid in his right mind would knowingly, willingly give his Valuable Items to another kid FOR KEEPS? Where would be the payoff in giving away his most prized possession?

After our conversation, she spoke with her son, who insisted that he thought my son gave him the Valuable Items. He confirmed that he gave the Valuable Items to Fence One and Fence Two. She said she'd talk to those children today and get back to me. She explained that her son is not even allowed to touch the Items in question and does not personally own any of the Items and yet, kids give him Items every day, which he then gives to other kids, because he is obeying his mother's rules not to own the Items.

Today, YoungestBoy comes home from school, teling me that Liar Liar Pants on Fire gave him two Items. Not the Valuable Items, but two lesser Items. Liar Liar Pants on Fire is not even supposed to touch Items, according to his mother. Liar Liar Pants on Fire also reported today that he gave the Valuable Items to another kid, Fence Three, but not Fence One and Fence Two.

At 8:00 p.m., I called Liar Liar Pants on Fire's mother again. I reported that Liar Liar Pants on Fire gave my son two Items today. I informed her I'd be bringing over those two Items so she could confront her son with them (she said, no thanks, you keep them). She said, "He doesn't have any Items. I don't know where he gets the Items." I said, "Well, he's obviously taking them from one kid and giving them to another. These Items my son brought home today belong to another kid who is at home this very moment crying to his mother because his Items were given to someone else today."

Liar Liar Pants on Fire's mother said, "I know he is not stealing the Items." I hastened to assure her that I wasn't accusing him of stealing . . . yet part of my brain is saying, "Hellooooo? Taking from one kid--lying about it--and giving to another kid. If that is not stealing, what is it? Communism? Robin Hood-ism?"

She assured me that both Fence One and Fence Two admitted they had the Valuable Items. She said they agreed to bring the Valuable Items to school tomorrow.

We'll see.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking dark thoughts like, "That's it! I'm going to People's Court! I'm suing this little Liar Liar Pants on Fire for everything he's got!" Or "Just give me a second alone with Liar Liar Pants on Fire and I'll get to the bottom of this, the little lying thief!" And "I am SO writing a note to the principal and copying all the staff!"

Where is justice?

(Oh, and believe me, my son will suffer consequences for taking Valuable Items to school. If he loses Valuable Items for good, that will be his consequence. If they are returned, we will think up something equally devastating. He broke our house rules, he broke school rules and he knew better. None of this would have happened if he'd left Valuable Items at home where they belong. And none of this would have happened if my son had already developed a jaded sense of the world, along with the idea that other people cannot be trusted.)

UPDATE: Two of the three items were returned yesterday. Good thing I didn't slap anyone.


Blogger Stacy said...

It is so frustrating, I know. We used to go through this with Megan and her friends here in the neighborhood all the time. The girls would trade items for other items they thought they wanted more. Later a change of heart or a parent having a fit would result in a flurry of phone calls to retrieve said item. Often there were accusations of "theft." Usually they were made against Megan. We never could get her to stop trading, but this past Christmas a major incident occured that revealed who the real thief has been all along. That was a relief (and I confess, justice in my mind) even though Megan doesn't do much with these girls any more.

2:10 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Ah. I took a valuable item to school once, and it was gone by noon. To a bully of sorts who gave me some useless trinket in return. The lessons of life are hard.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Cuppa said...

And we used to think that it was difficult when they were babies and we had to deal with diapers,midnight feedings and teething upsets. Parenting just gets more and more complicated doesn't it? Hang on, you will get the wisdom and strength you need to handle this, and your son will learn a valuable lesson. Hang in there.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Eyes said...

It's always the parents with the kids who lie who DENY. It drives ya nuts!

I hope you get resolve and I am sorry your boy had to learn a hard lesson about the cruelty of life. It's sad...

9:13 AM  
Blogger Angi said...

Don't you just love parents whose kid never does anything wrong??????? I have a friend like that, her son has to be the most devious kid I have ever met, drives me nuts, and she says my boys are the bad influence. Made me want to just scream....lol. GOod luck getting the stuff back.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

When my daughter was a first grader, some 2nd grade boys told her that to join their 'club' she would have to eat bugs. A LOT of bugs. And, she ate them. I did not know this at the time. It went on for weeks.

There was NO club.

Painful, painful stuff.

But, it has been useful, as when situations would arise when she was in middle school, I could just look at her and say 'isn't this like eating bugs? is it worth it?' and she would know just what I meant.

Now she's a fun one to watch those bug-eating reality show commercials with. She will pipe up with 'that kind's not so bad' or 'oh yuck, those are gross'. (just for your information, she said the honey bee is the grossest of all...sort of fuzzy.)

I wish your youngest boy did not have to experience this. We send our most valuable possessions out into the world, and look what happens to them!

2:08 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

My daughter took a cheap-o pedometer (McDonald's "stepometer" from their Adult Happy Meal) to school, the teacher confiscated it and placed it on her desk. By the end of the day it was missing, never to be seen again.

Though it was a cheap plastic toy, my daughter really liked it and I used that as a lesson to teach her that there are people out there who steal, who lie and who do not behave properly and that she should not take valuables (expensive and/or sentimental) to school.

I thought she learned her lesson but the other day I was stunned she'd taken her personal CD player to school. It didn't get stolen but I forbid her to take that or anything of value to school again.

I suspect Liar Liar Pants On Fire has some emotional issues - it sounds as if he does a lot of barter/trading/manipulating of others.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Jennefer said...

What a great blog - I was laughing until tears trickled down my cheeks. Liar Liar pants on Fire - I love all the pseudonyms you have for the kids. Brilliant.
Anvilcloud... has anyone ever told you you resemble Richard Hack from Survivor in your bio pic? ;-)

9:53 AM  
Blogger QQ said...

Ok...your killing me here...what the hell were the "valuable items"?

I know that wasn't the point of the story...but I need details. Details, woman!

7:42 PM  

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