Have you ever laughed at your child's excuse for misbehaving?
by Michele Zipp
When our kids do something "wrong," we give them guidance on how and why, in straightforward terms, to knock it off. Kindly, of course. At least that's my style. Sometimes their not-so-great actions scare us because they may be putting themselves in danger or attempting to eat an entire cookie jar full of chocolate chips right before bedtime. Which is dangerous for other reasons. One 10-year-old boy, however, did something that should terrify us -- he stole his parents' car and even took his 18-month-old little sister along for the ride.
But his reasoning and excuse make me love him -- I even want to give him a high-five. Even though he crashed the car into a snowy ditch. Even though he lied to the police. It was the best lie ever.
The unnamed Norwegian boy lives in Dokka, which is outside of Oslo. The other morning, around 6 a.m., he grabbed his little 18-month-old sister and decided it was time to go to their grandparents' house who live about 37 miles away. The parents were still asleep. The kid drove a good six miles before veering off the road into a ditch. Everyone's okay; no worries there. A snowplow driver saw the car and alerted police. When the cops arrived at the vehicle, the boy told them he was a dwarf and he forgot his driver's license.
Now you see why I cannot be mad at this kid? He's a spitfire! He has spunk! He has ingenuity! He has all the things we want our kids to possess! Skills they need when they are adults.
In the meantime, the parents woke up and panicked. Kids are gone. Car is missing. What in the world! The adventurous boy was not charged as an adult despite trying to pass as one. The parents are said to be paying more attention to where their keys are.
This kid takes initiative to get what he wants. At 10! We should be mad at him, but how can we be because he even crafted a tale to try to get away with it. *Insert high-pitched 10-year-old voice* Yeah, officer. It's okay I'm driving. I just forgot my driver's license. I'm a dwarf, you see? Brilliant. It's like when my kid who is 4 tells a "lie" and says to grandma that mom said it was okay to put on her lipstick and eat another bowl of ice cream at an hour past bedtime. Sort of. Kids get creative -- this 10-year-old sure did.
Sure it was dangerous ... but everything turned out fine and he has an adventure and a story he will tell until he's in his 90s. Hopefully he never loses that spunk -- that will, that drive.
Do you ever not get mad at your kids for something they did "wrong" because it was just too funny or nutty?