Crash got in the car yesterday after school, toting a sweatshirt that did not belong to him. It was a maroon school-logo sweatshirt, and Crash has a blue one. His siblings were already up in arms about it, having had a prior discussion with him before getting in the car.
I should interject a bit here, and mention that the kids' school does have a defined initiative to catch kids doing the right thing. The Princess is always getting some little tchotchke for 'magic trash', which means she picked up some scrap of paper or something without being asked.
So Crash climbs in the car with this sweatshirt and begins to tell us about how he was being so good that the principal took him to the treasure chest and let him pick something out. He said there was a whole treasure chest of sweatshirts, one with school sweaters, and a 'hair salon' treasure chest filled with hair bows and hats.
Bang and I looked at each other with the same, unspoken thought - Crash thinks the lost and found boxes are treasure chests.
And yet - Crash was crafting a truly believable tale, without prompting. And the school does set periodic deadlines after which they donate the school uniform lost and found pieces back to the parent-teacher organization for re-sale to the student body. It seemed almost plausible that the school could have decided to use unclaimed school sweatshirts as recognition pieces. And Crash was so matter of fact, and his story didn't change when he was asked to repeat it. And the sweatshirt was the correct size, and had no one else's identifying markings in it.
A couple of hours later, we were back at the school for the kindergarten through third grade music program. As we walked through the school lobby, I asked Crash to show me where the treasure chests were. His demeanor changed instantly. He ducked his head and said, "I don't want to show you."
Ahhhhh, the truth is revealed...well, almost. A few steps later found us passing the huge trunks that are used for the lost and found. "Crash, are those the treasure chests?"
He sheepishly nodded.
Now I am stuck trying to figure out how much dishonesty and thievery should be blamed solely on Crash. It goes without saying that the little turd spun quite a yarn to explain how he got the sweatshirt. But, could it be pure coincidence that he managed to lift a shirt of the correct size, that had no one's name in it? These aren't small boxes, they are pool deck boxes, three of them, at least five feet long a piece, and full to the brim.
Having figured out the treasure chest mystery, we settled in to watch the program. At the end, the principal told the kids what a superb job they had done and how proud he was of them. My mom leaned over and whispered, "Uh-oh, sounds like Crash earned another trip to the 'treasure chest'."
Great, my kid is a liar and a thief, but no one in my family can take it serious enough to give him the stern lecture he deserves.