Monday, February 08, 2010

I Can't Handle The Truth!!!

The Scene: Highland Park COC, Muscle Shoals Al.
The Time: Approx 8:20 Wednesday Feb 3 2010
The Crime: Pulling of fire alarm
The Accused: Adam Beck

In a lot of ways having a kid is like playing private detective. When they cry you have to uncover why. When they act like a monkey on speed you just gotta see what all the excitement is about. When they are silent something deep down inside of you just knows that all is not right in the world and things are very very wrong close by. Once they start school and are not with you for eight hours of the day, it gets harder to uncover what deeds they have spent their time doing. The trick of course is that it's not always what you say, but how you say it. For example "How was your day?" and "Did you have fun at school today playing with your friends?" would seem to be the same question, but will give you completely different answers. The first will get you a simple "Good" with the second you should end up with something resembling "Mikey hit me in the arm and I cried so the teacher said he might not be able to come back anymore then Taylor pinched Katie during nap time and I laughed and fell out of my cot and we had pizza for lunch"

What really makes this game of cat and mouse even more difficult is that sometimes you look at all the answers in front of you and come up with what appears to be a complete picture. So in the case of this week's crime you react and declare a guilty verdict. The guilty party is abolished to his bedroom without TV for the night. Plus he must hear us yell at him periodically for hours to come. And then there are times when after the sentence has been carried out new evidence comes to light. This new reveal leaves everyone feeling like the system failed them and no amount of ice cream can give them back the time they lost.

Looking back we asked the right questions "Did you pull the fire alarm?" "Yes Mommy" "Did somebody talk you into doing it?" "No Mommy" "Why did you do it?" "I don't know Daddy" "Do you understand what you did is wrong?" "Yes I pulled the fire alarm"

It seemed like an open and shut case until days later when after receiving another round of guilt Adam pleaded his case by saying "I was only trying to find the light Mommy"......and that's when we discovered the one thing we forgot to consider......where everyone was at the time the crime took place. You see it all started with a spotted puppy being thrown inside the church. The puppy got thrown by Adam. As he was attempting to find it in between the pews, they person in charge of turning off the lights that night did his job perfectly leaving 10 kids playing in a dark sanctuary. Adam comes screaming out to me begging me to find his beloved stuffed spotted puppy. I flip the switch, lights come on, puppy is found, lights go out, I exit stage left, and Adam along with several others find themselves in a windowless room in the dark. That's when my scared little boy did what he thought was the right thing to do, he found the first switch his tiny hands could reach and he flipped it. The ensuing panic sent everyone fleeing the dark room and Adam carrying the weight of the blame.

So now that it's all in the open what is a good detective to do? Should we stop fighting crime all together? Of course not. The guilt we will carry is our punishment and one night with no bed time is his reward.

1 comment:

The Father of Five said...

Great story - and a wonderful reminder to all of us to try and keep an open mind when things (presumably bad things) happen at the hands of our children.

Side note: As a 911 Police Fire dispatcher - I can tell you that accidently pulled alarms happen more than you would realize...