how ben understands petty crime

Friday night, Henrik called in late, the unmistakable sound of resignation in his voice. He had missed my call earlier in the day as a result of leaving his phone in the car, and now he went to the parking garage to find one less window and one less phone.

The race was on to get the police, get information from the garage attendants, and change any and all passwords on any and all accounts. Oh, and since it was a 4 month old blackberry without insurance, to bite the bullet and buy another phone.

I looked across the table at the little monkey, who was trying very hard to eat spaghetti with a fork and not succumb to either fingers or the driving beats of the Whole Foods Market sound system. How do I explain this one?

It ends up that Ben has both a strong sense of sympathy and righteous indignation. We spent some time understanding what happened to Daddy’s car and phone, and making sure that Daddy was ok, not hurt, and that was the most important thing. But we also talked a little bit about how this was not an accident, and sometimes people take things that are not theirs, which is not ok. (We also talked about how it was important for us to help Daddy when he got home, since he would probably be sad and a little grouchy.)

So, as we drove home, Ben went over the details, asked questions, and made confessions.

“Somebody broke Daddy’s window and took his phone? Somebody broke Daddy’s window and took his phone! Oh no, that’s not good. Maybe I should call the policeman.”

“Poor Daddy.”

“It wasn’t me, mommy. I didn’t do it. But I hope it wasn’t ‘friend a’ or ‘friend b’.”

“I am not very happy with the people who broke Daddy’s window and took his phone. I am very grouchy and mad with them!”

When I explained that it was normal to feel angry, but it wouldn’t fix the problem, he literally rattled this one off :

“Mommy, I have a plan. What if I go and find the phone and fix the window. I can do it. Does that sound like a good idea?”

He’s talking a lot about the phone, and today after nap, actually told a story of a dream he had where someone took Mommy’s phone and her little boy (him)! I held him tight, and tried to reassure him that as long as we’re together, no one will take him.

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Filed under children, damage, explaining hard things, mothering, mothers, parenting, theft

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