I am an idiot.
I took my youngest son (he’s six) to the library way back when and let him check out some books. And videos. I personally hate it when the kids want to check out videos, because I want them to browse in the book section and fall in googly-eyed love with books, not get all blank-eyed while they stare at the videos. Anyway, I let him get four videos and five books.
They were due the day after school was out. I thought that would be perfect. I’d take the kids to the library–while we sang “doe-a-deer-a-female-deer. . . ” and held hands and skipped–and they would check out books for summertime fun. Only, my husband used the car that day and we didn’t get to the library.
Everything was overdue, but somehow (I blame my husband), I have not had a chance to take the kids to the library. Now it’s July. Watching a daycare baby really cramps my style. I literally cannot go anywhere with all five kids because my car cannot accommodate them all–and even if it could, do I really want to take five kids to the library?
My husband mentioned a time or two that the books were overdue. Yeah, yeah, whatever. A nickel per book fine, who cares? Then. Well, then I realized with a start that the fine for videos is $1.00. A day. Oh good grief. We had four videos ten days late.
That is why I’m an idiot. And the kids didn’t even watch one of them.
But, here is proof that I’m raising a great, amazing kid.
The other night, the doorbell rang at about 6:00 p.m. It was the neighbor boy, a just-finished-third-grader, who greeted my “hello” with an outburst that sounded something like this: “. . . and he gave me a game, but the case was empty and I gave him two games and it’s not fairrrrrrr!” My youngest son came rushing in and claimed that he had no idea that the game case was empty and that it wasn’t his fault and that his brother said he couldn’t trade that game. By that point, we were standing in front of the Nintendo GameCube, where the brother was actually playing the game in question. He was not about to loan it to the neighbor kid, as my youngest son had promised.
Neighbor kid was crying and carrying on.
It seems that my youngest son and neighbor kid had agreed on a trade. Neighbor kid loaned him two games and he was to loan one in return. Only, when he attempted to loan the game, his older brother vetoed the plan and the youngest boy, thinking quickly and deviously, gave neighbor kid an empty case, which he discovered upon his arrival at home.
Finally, the boys agreed to give neighbor kid a substitute game. He left, but shouted, “I’ll never trust you again!”
Much later in the evening, my youngest son came to me and said, “Mom, I want to give the neighbors something to make up for trying to gyp them out.” I gave him permission. When it was all said and done, he’d picked out two of his own Gameboy games, two stuffed Neopet toys and a little stack of Yu-gi-oh cards. He dictated a note to me that apologized for “gypping” them. The next day, we walked down to their house and he handed over a little gold gift bag with these items.
My sweet boy still has a soft heart and when he hurts someone, he feels the sting. I hope he stays this way for a long, long time. He’s a great kid, despite me.