When my Mom moved in with us, she was forced to downsize quite a bit. There were some items that she really loved and did not want them in storage, so she incorporated them into our home decor. One such item was a purple vase, crafted by my nephew in pottery class. The vase sat on a cart at the bottom of our stairs, accompanied by another piece created by my nephew, and a floral arrangement.
Now, before I go any further, allow me to preface this story. A short time before the vase situation took place, we had the mishap of a chewed piece of gum stuck to our deck. I asked the Love Bugs who it belonged to and nobody would own up to it. A few of them even rationalized that maybe it was one of the neighbors who did it, or the UPS or FedEx man. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I let it go. The very next day, however, I found yet another piece of chewed gum stuck to the floor in our van. I said, "We can't blame this on someone outside of our family. Someone needs to fess up!"
Their silence angered me. I know the kids were scared of being in trouble, but as Monkey Toes and I have explained before (many times), lying will always get them into more trouble than simply coming forward with the truth.
No one was talking.
As a result, a gum ban was enforced.
A few days later, I was putting some laundry away, and as I walked past the cart that holds the vase, I noticed it was not in its place. Actually, the vase was no where in sight.
I summoned the Love Bugs.
Me: The purple vase is gone. Where is it?
Honey Bunches: What purple vase?
Me: The one that sits on the cart at the bottom of the stairs. It's gone and I want to know what happened to it.
Blank stares and tight lips.
Me: At this point, I am not angry. I just want to know what happened to the vase. If one of you broke it, that's fine, but I want to know exactly what happened.
Continued staring, although some of the Bugs were beginning to look nervous.
Me: O.K. If no one is going to talk, then I'm going to start assigning chores. Maybe some hard work will get you to tell me the truth. The longer it takes, the more mad I will become. So if you know where the vase is, I advise you to tell me now.
Pumpkin begins to cry.
Me: Do you have something to tell me Pumpkin?
Pumpkin: (Completely balling) I don't even know what a vase is!
The Love Bugs then began an assigned chore list. They were wiping down cupboards, cleaning the refrigerator, washing windows, vacuuming, etc.
Monkey Toes comes home from work.
Monkey: Whoa. What did you kids do now?
Visibly upset, the Love Bugs explain to him that they are all being punished for someone not telling the truth about the missing vase.
Days go by and I still did not know where the vase is, nor can I find any trace of it.
A week or so later, we are hosting a gathering at our home. As I'm sitting at the table with my sister, I begin to explain to her about the vase.
Sissy #2: You the mean the purple one that my son made?
Me: Yes. It has just disappeared.
Sissy's Son - My Nephew: (Sitting in the other room) I took that home with me the last time I was over. I told Monkey Toes I was taking it back. Didn't he tell you?
Monkey: Oh yea, I guess he did tell me. Sorry about that.
Yet another parenting faux paux for the books. I did apologize to the Love Bugs, as did Monkey Toes. This parenting gig is a pretty humbling act.
The gum ban has also been lifted.