Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Thief Averted!


I'm always surprised by how little Louis remembers of his younger years.  He's off to stay in Bath today as part of his school's enrichment week.  It's his first visit since he went there at the age of five. We met up with friends and it was one of the first jaunts away in Klaus the Knaus our motorhome.  I recounted something that happened on that trip last night.   To my surprise Louis recalls it vividly. It seems that I put the fear of God up him.

We were back in the van after a day of sightseeing.  I noticed that Louis was playing with some tacky keyrings that weren't entirely unfamiliar.  'What are they?'  I asked.  'They're mine!' he pronounced.  It turned out that were nothing of the sort.   I'd refused to buy them earlier in the day so they'd been shoplifted from the gift shop at the Roman Baths.

Determined not to see my son begin life as a career criminal I took a hard stance.  'You're taking them back and 'fessing up.' I told him.  'What will happen to me?' he asked.  I shook my head.  'I don't know.' I replied with a faux woeful look.  'We'll have to find out tomorrow.'  I was on a roll so I added,  'Maybe they'll send you to prison.'  'But I'm just a child!' Louis remonstrated. 'We'll see if they take that into account but I really don't know.'

The next morning we walked hand in hand to the shop. We heard a police car siren in the distance on the way.    I was still up for keeping the pretence going.  'Maybe they're out looking for you' I told him.  We finally arrived back at the baths.   Louis returned his booty to the man behind the cash desk. 'I'm very sorry.' he said.  'These accidentally fell into my pocket.'  The guy gave him a stern look and sent him packing.  'Thanks for doing that.' he said as  my relieved son sidled out of earshot.

I'm not sure what a parenting expert would think.  All I know is that it seems that scaring the pants out of a small child seems to have had a lasting effect. There's been no further brushes with law breaking ever since.  Maybe my approach worked.  Lou's turned out not to be a bad egg after all.

8 comments:

  1. Ha ha! Years ago I took my 5 yr old daughter and her friend out shopping. We called at a sweet shop on the way home to get some sweets for after dinner. We were nearly home when I noticed that they were munching. I marched them all the way back to the shop to own up and pay for the sweets they'd taken and then we walked home again in stony silence. My now 47 year old daughter tells me she still comes out in a cold sweat at the mere thought of shoplifting.

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    1. Louis nicked sweets from the kitchen once and there were rustling noises in the car. I told him that if he was going to be naughty he was going to have to get much better at covering his tracks. He always gets found out! xx

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  2. I think that you did exactly the right thing. It certainly worked anyway!

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  3. One anxious night for Louis or undermine all your good training....well done you!

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  4. Yep, thumbs up from me. Very fortuitous that the police car drove by at that time.

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  5. I agree with what you did. It taught Louis lots of lessons that day which have stayed with him. Catriona

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  6. My husband stole a chocolate bar at the age of 5. His father marched him back to the newsagents and made him apologise and hand over his ill gotten gains .

    It must have made a strong impression, as he grew up to be a police officer.

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    1. Oh bless! Glad it wasn't taken into account when the force were deciding whether or not to employ him! xx

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