Sunday, March 10, 2013

10:31 -- Sticky fingers...

Within the first five minutes of arriving home after school, the contents of Reid's school bag are usually strewn around our house like a board game path.  Sitting cozily on the living room couch Friday in wait, I pre-emptively invited Reid over with the big red tote so we could go through it know, in an organized fashion.

"Do you have any projects?" I asked the two little hands already sifting through stuffed animals, a lunch bag, a Ziploc bag full of spare clothes, and his favorite chamois blanket.  Reid looked up, flashing a mischievous glance, and continued rifling.

Instead of an item involving glue, construction paper, pipe cleaners, and/or googly eyes emerging, before me hung a string of silver Mardi Gras-like beads shining in the late-day sun that streamed through our white wood blinds.  And, behind them, stood a wild-haired toddler now sporting a nervous grin.

"What are these, Reid?  Did you get them at school?" 

"They're beads," he offered; his eyes and smile conflicting.

"Are they yours?" I asked, confident I had cracked the case.

"No."  he replied without skipping a beat.

(That was quick.  And easy.)

"Well, whose are they then?"

"Mrs. Clark's,"  he answered and our deep brown eyes locked.

"Then Mrs. Clark should have them back.  They aren't yours.  And, when you take something that isn't yours it is called 'stealing.'  Jesus says it isn't good to steal.  It makes him sad."

"I'll write Mrs. Clark a note and take her beads back to the dress-up station next time I'm at school." he planned.

"I think that's a great idea," my heart leapt in response to his thoughtful solution.

"Can we put the necklace and note in a plastic bag?"  he asked already moving toward the kitchen drawer containing plastics and foil.

"Sure.  Mrs. Clark and the other boys and girls will be glad to have their beads back."

"They will," he confirmed as the silver necklace disappeared  back into the red tote to be hand-delivered next week.

Hopefully, this case of 'sticky fingers' will be an  isolated occurrance...

Write on,


  1. Oh dear! Parenting is always full of surprises! At least he was honest about it! I'm sure it's an isolated incident- I think that's something all kids do at least once. (I stole my best friend's pink plastic Barbie television when I was about five. Kind of thankful now, because I have used it in writing workshop more than once, and it always evokes great stories from kids). And it sounds like you handled it perfectly- he is going to return it and he has a plan for apologizing. I loved the way you used dialogue- made me feel like I was right there with you!

  2. So beautifully crafted, little asides and explanations beautifully woven in. You gave him the space to own his own solution without making him feel paralyzed from his misstep. Good work on all fronts.

  3. Your descriptions put me right there. I had to laugh as I imagined " a wild-haired toddler now sporting a nervous grin" facing mom. Kids will be kids.

  4. Kids learn so much from moments like this...especially when they're handled in such a sensitive way. Well done Reid and Reid's mama.


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