That Night

I have blabbed about this to everyone I know in person, but it doesn’t feel “complete” unless I spew all over the internet too. Last week, right before I left for Houston, Declan basically lost his mind. COMPLETELY. LOST. HIS. MIND.

Losing one’s mind at 6 years old involves the following steps:
1. Sneaking out of bed at 10:00pm.
2. Breaking into the desk in my office.
3. Stealing about 15 Sharpies out of the drawer.
4. Taking these Sharpies back to bed.
5. Drawing all over his stuffed animals.
6. Lying about 1-5 to his dad when he was totally busted.

His first answer to the question, “How did these Sharpies get into your bed, after we explicitly had a conversation about this only two days ago?” was the perennial favorite: “I don’t knowwww.”

His second answer was, “My kids did it.” [He has imaginary pupils in his imaginary classroom, of which he is the imaginary teacher.]

Bryan asked him to have his kids come show him how they got the Sharpies out, and when Declan plaintively said his kids couldn’t move because, hello, they were all in his head, Bryan jumped on him like a rabid version of Matlock: “WELL, THEN THEY COULDN’T HAVE MOVED THE SHARPIES, THEN, COULD THEY?”

All the while, Bryan had started removing items from his room as punishment. First came the soiled stuffed animals. Those poor Build-A-Bears. I am sure they REALLY appreciate the addition of nipples and a belly button, but I did not. Of course, I was hiding out in my office live-tweeting the whole event, because there was NO WAY I could be as calm as Bryan. That man is like ice. Unflappable. Declan never stood a chance.

Bryan waited and waited for Declan to admit he was lying. See, lying is one of the biggest no-no’s in our house and we had known Declan was skirting the truth lately – but this was the first real, full-on GOTCHA that we could draw that line in the sand over. Well, again, it was Bryan drawing that line. Since I was sheepishly hiding in my office. So Bryan was making the BIG DEAL and was willing to wait as long as it took, on a school night, for Declan to admit the truth. He never called Declan a liar, just kept saying he wanted to know what happened. And read a book while Declan wailed on the floor. I told you. ICE.

The kid tried various other versions, including the fact that the MUPPETS did it… but finally, over an hour later, he cracked. Wailing, with his head in his hands, he screamed, “Dadaaaa. I just rememberrrred. IIIIIIIIII did it. It was meeeeeeee.”

Thank the LORD. I was tired of sitting with my ear to the door.

The boys hugged, talked about the importance of the truth, how hard it is sometimes to admit the truth after you lie, and decided consequences were for the morning. Consequences that involved a stack of stuff from Declan’s room that was about 5 feet tall.

Because after that, we were ALLLLLLL ready for bed.

This article has 22 comments

  1. Julie Pippert

    Oh and oh and oh. Will your husband come put the fear of Mom and Dad into my kids?

    Because if it took until age 6 before your kid did that? You are better parents than we are (or your child is a better child).

    I can’t sleep at night if at least one catastrophe hasn’t happened.

    Yesterday’s? Older daughter convinced younger to jump in FIVE FOOT DEEP HOLE IN GROUND.

    Talk about losing the mind. It was an epidemic here. I lost my noodles big time.

    Day before’s? Younger daughter decided playroom walls were plain and needed NAIL POLISH FLOWERS ON THEM.

    Husband and I both lost our noodles.

    I like your story best. That’s awesome. Like ice. I need to get me some ice.

  2. Gretchen

    My kids know that they’re in bigger trouble if they lie, than for the actual infraction.

    Kudos to Bryan for staying calm.

  3. Mr Lady

    My least favorite thing I’ve ever said to my kids is, “If you lie, you’re in for it, but if you tell the truth RIGHT NOW, you won’t be in trouble.”

    But it’s worked every time.

    And I still make them clean up. I don’t consider that trouble, I consider that stupidity tax. 🙂

  4. Meghann

    Lol! “Stupidity tax” I’m filing that term away for future use.

    Lindsay has been lying a lot lately. She gets away with it more than I’d like too, because she blames things on her little brother. And the thing is, he DOES get into a lot of crap. So when she says he did it, there’s a 50/50 chance that he did. Times like that make me envy you Aimee, for only having Declan.

    My kids lose their minds from time to time too, even the oldest, who is going to be 9 in April. A few weeks ago I found him throwing FLOUR all over the living room. Yeah, I had a cow. A big one with horns.

  5. Anonymous

    that is INSANE!

  6. mothergoosemouse

    Had to read that one out loud to Kyle. Our husbands are two peas in a pod (and so are you and me).

    How did you not manage to tell me that story last weekend?

  7. Sizzle

    I think I would have been the one with my ear to the door too. That’s some nerves of steel your husband has.

  8. monstergirlee

    I try really hard to make the truth the most important part when that kind of situation comes up.
    Tough, but worth it.
    Bryan did great, you both did.
    (nipples and a belly button? oh my)

  9. Megan

    what a funny and smart little guy that Declan is.

  10. meg manion silliker

    wow! well played by dad. but i couldn’t help but laugh at the final answer……..i remember now it was me!!! how precious. lying is a no=no in our house but annie is only 3 so we can still hold the cards – but boy oh boy it’s coming i just know it!!

  11. Rachael

    I think I would have been hiding in another room too. I would have flipped out. Sharpies. I love them, but perhaps I should get a safe before my son gets too much older.

  12. carrie

    You know, I am convinced (and I’m sure I’ve read it in a parenting book SOMEWHERE) that this is really normal for kids this age. The testing with the truth – I must have blocked it from my memory with the boys (which is sad because they are only 10 and 12), but Katie (5) is going through a little “fibbing fest” of her own these days.

    Sounds to me like you guys did the right thing, you stood your ground and let him know what the rules are and where the lines are drawn.

    He’ll be okay, and so will you! :0

  13. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

    Good for Bryan.

    I would have completely lost my shit.

  14. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Meg – holy hell, that is FUNNY.

    And Kristy – we were getting scared there for a second he had multiple personality disorder, he was holding out like he’d been trained by some terrorist cell! Turns out he is just as stubborn (well, almost) as his dad.

    And I was a sleepwalker too, so I wouldn’t be surprised, either.

  15. nutmeg

    I know it was a tough night, but could I borrow Dex and the sharpies because I have a few thousand stuffed animals in this house who could really use some nipples?

  16. Kristy - Where's My Damn Answer

    I was thinking you were going to tell us that he’s sleepwalking – my son does that. He has full on conversations with you – eyes fully open and he’s really asleep.

    It trips me the hell out every time.

  17. Jems

    Reminds me of the time Eleanor drew on the wall and blatantly denied it. After trying to prise the truth out of her I opted for ‘discussing’ with her, what the picture was about and if I had known who it was I would tell them what a great picture it was and have them tell me all about what was going on in it. Took about three nanoseconds for her to gratefully accept the praise and start her proud speech with the crimebusting words, ‘well, when I first started drawing it, it was going to be…..’

  18. helltygr

    I had one with my 6 year old that had her in tears when I flat out told her I wasn’t going to listen to her lie to me. Her mouth was blue as she was getting ready for bed. BLUE! Lips, teeth, tongue. I asked her where she got the candy. “What candy?” The candy that turned your teeth blue, silly. “I didn’t have any candy.” I took her to the bathroom and showed her. Don’t lie to a mom, I said as the tears came. It took an eternity (probably 2 minutes) before she sobbingly asked “could the raspberry Icee I had at the movie do that?”
    Bad mom. Yes, we’d just gotten home from a movie, and yes, she had a blue raspberry Icee, and I accused her of lying to her face. Bad bad evil evil mom. But she knows she can’t lie either!

  19. Nat

    Oh god the lying… luckily the boy is relatively well behaved. And it’s not an issue, but we lay this one on thick.

    We do the “whatever you did was bad, but right now we are REALLY upset about the lying. ” Consequence for what you did would have been X (minor) but because you lied consequence was Y (major — usually loss of screens.)

  20. Fi

    Oh yeees, the lying! It’s worse than the actual deed isn’t it. And trying to convince them that they have to tell you even though they’re fully aware that they’re going to get into trouble is soooo hard.

    Miss 8 comes in for a hug after school wafting of my new perfume. No, REEKing of it. “Darling, why are you wearing my new perfume?”
    Incredulous look. “I’m not?”
    Queue the back and forths yes you are no I’m not until she finally admitted it. Arrrrggh!

  21. To Think is to Create

    I don’t know why it’s shocking to me when my oldest son (same age as yours!) lies. They all get there eventually, but it’s like “nooo, not my bayyybeee”.

    What became of the stuffed animals? could they be revived?

  22. ComfortablyCrazy

    My daughter once gave herself “eyelashes” with red sharpie. She looked like Raggedy Ann.

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