I am trying so, so hard to raise these boys right. And mostly I think I’m doing okay. And then they pull some bullshit that makes me question my parenting abilities, as well as my sanity.
Thursday evening, I was cleaning out Chase’s lunchbox after dinner. I found seventy five cents in there. That morning I had put $1.75 in quarters on the kitchen counter to put in my change jar. I thought it had come from there, and making a mental note to talk to Chase about swipping change, I threw it in the change jar and went about my evening.
Friday evening, the same thing. This time only fifty five cents though. And Chase’s monkey ice pack was missing. The day before, he had told me he gave a little girl part of his lunch and I thought he was being a good Samaritan. I asked him about his ice pack and he said he also gave that to the little girl. Change in his lunchbox, and missing items. . . Was he hustling? Was he selling stuff out of his lunchbox? What in the actual fuck, he’s in kindergarten! He pleaded ignorance about the money, saying it just appeared, and he gave the monkey to the girl because she liked it. Something smelled fishy.
Fast forward to tonight, when I was relating the story to Matt’s grandma.
He overheard me telling her about the mysterious change, and came out of his room, denying my suspicions.
And the truth came out. And it was much worse than I suspected.
I pack Chase’s lunch every day, and I provide a variety of food to appease his picky palate. I pack healthy and unhealthy. Fruit snacks and pudding cups and fruit and chips and crackers and just whatever he seems in the mood for. Apparently that wasn’t good enough. Apparently my son has been hitting his buddy up for snack money for the snack cart. As if that isn’t bad enough. . .
“So, where does the change come from, Chase?” Grandma asked him.
“Sometimes the snack lady says I don’t have enough. Like I can’t buy fruit snacks with two pennies so I give it back to [my friend] if she says that. But sometimes she gives me money when I get a snack.”
“So you don’t give the money back to your friend? You keep the change?”
“Its not his money. The snack lady gives it to me!”
Oy vey. Grandma covers her face to hide her laughter, I’m just staring in disbelief.
“Your friend may be getting in trouble for not bringing his mommy change, Chase. You need to stop taking money from your friend. . .”
“I’m not taking it. He gives it to me.”
“Do you ask him for it?”
Oh, for fucks sake.
Folks, this is why I swear. This is why I swear, and smoke cigarettes, and question my sanity.
And it gets better.
“Anyway, Chase. Your friend may be getting into trouble at home for not bringing home change.”
“Noooo. He gets the money from his piggy bank.”
Son of a bitch. My kids got a crime ring going here in Kindergarten!
But wait! There’s more!
“Chase, how long have you been borrowing money from your friend? Since the first day?”
“I didn’t ask him the first day. But the second day? Yes.”
Fuck me running. I owe some family a fuck ton of money.
This isn’t the first time my kids have wowed me with their criminal ingenuity. Last year Matt was caught blackmailing a girl for money. He found out she liked him and two or three other boys and told her if she didn’t pay him, he’d tell them. They’re usually so good. A little sarcastic, kinda mouthy, but good. And then they’re like hmmm. Mom’s getting comfortable. Let’s fuck up her world just a little bit, get her good and embarrassed. Just to keep her on her toes.
So now I have to call the school, get this family’s phone number, and call and explain that I am the parent of the lunch time snack lord.
Someone pour me a drink. I think I need it.