The difference is that today, his dad was home to see it. It's not such a big difference to him, but it does give me some credence with daddio.
Today, the boys were going to run errands with their dad. 2of3 was out skateboarding and dad told him he had 10 minutes. 10 minutes came and went and when dad and 1of3 went out to find 2of3, well, he was no where. They looked in all the carports, they checked all the hiding spots. No kid. Dad got that look in his eye, the oh shit maybe we should call the cops look. We checked our carport and the skateboard was back, but the bike was gone. And that's when I had him.
The kid 3 doors down is 14 and my boys adore him. He takes them (with my permission) on bikes rides outside of our little neighborhood. They love it. Mr. 14 is soon to start babysitting for us; he's a really good boy and unbelievably nice to my kids. Anyway, missing 2of3 + missing bike = excursion with Mr. 14. And just like that, I found him. Across the big street, in the neighborhood over there, out of earshot, having a grand old time.
This has happened too many times. I do not ever want to be the parent who is used to the idea of not knowing where her kids are. Part of me says that I know he's going to do this and that maybe I should just work around it. You know, plop a cell phone in his pocket or something when he goes out to play. (I have actually done that a few times, withmy cell phone, and it does have its advantages). And then the other part of me says that I have this one little tiny rule for him, this don't leave the neighborhood without asking me rule, and there is no reason on Earth he can't follow it.
I have tried everything. I grounded his ass for a week solid, I have taken away allowance, tv, the precious Wii. I have reasoned with him. We had the stranger danger talk. I have cried. I have hollered. None of it is sinking in.
It appears to me I have only a few options:
- Buy the kid a god damn cell phone
- Ground him until he's 17
- Give him a screwdriver and make him take the bike apart, piece by piece, and hand it to the trash collector in a bag on Tuesday
- Spank his butt.
Ok, I'm not buying him a cell phone. I'm just not. He's SEVEN, for Christ's sake, and dad's saving up for 3of3's pony.
Grounding him sounds great, on the surface, but he will make sure my life is a living hell until I throw him outside by the collar of his shirt. And the last thing I want is a little 7 year old inside glued to a damn tv all day.
Taking the bike apart would be devilishly fun, but it's his dinky old bike and he's got the world's best bike in Denver which will be here shortly. Wasted effort is all that would be.
Spanking his butt is what I'm down to. The problem is that I don't want to spank his butt. I don't believe in spankings. Sure, they've both had them before, but I hate hate hate them. I think they should only be used in emergency situations, like skinning the neighbors cat or playing doctor with the girl all the boys have kissed. But what else can I do? Nothing, nothing is getting through to him. Something has to sink in or he's going to disappear for good one of these days and I will die a thousand horrible deaths because I was too chicken shit to spank my kid.
He's going to be home in an hour or so; I have until then to decide. Sometimes I hate being the parent.