Definitely not awesome.

Earlier this week, the eight year old kid who lives next door took a rock from our garden and carved a long scratch on the hood of Mike’s trunk. We wouldn’t have known about this had another neighbor of ours not watched the whole incident. The kid left just as Mike was walking back to his car to pick up Nathan from daycare. When Mike returned, our neighbor approached him, holding the rock the boy used to scratched the car.

Mike asked if he knew who it was and he explained that it was a boy in a yellow shirt.

Just then, the yellow shirted boy appeared with his brother, both of them walking their bikes down the sidewalk.

“That’s the kid!” Our neighbor yelled out. “That’s the kid who did it!”

The boy dropped his bike and fled to his house. Mike and our neighbor followed, knocked on the door. The parents answered and Mike explained what happened, that their son had scratched the car. As as sure as that little shit did it, he cowered and denied any wrongdoing.

Thankfully, our neighbor was there, rock in hand, and confirmed that what Mike said was true. Mike showed the parents what he had done and they shrugged out an apology and offered to pay for it.

Mike’s not going to make them pay for it because there were other–albeit smaller–scratches on the car and had this been a fresh paint job, he would have given them an estimate.

And tonight, the kid’s out on the street again, riding his bike as if nothing had ever happened and Mike and I discuss what we would do with Nathan had he committed the same crime which would probably be cleaning the car with a toothbrush, but one of those finger toothbrushes you use on a baby.

What would you have done?

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  1. Oh, I was just bitching and moaning about lack of discipline with one of my nephews, who severely bit my youngest on the face this weekend, but I had to reMOVE the post, just in case I am not as anonymous as I used to be. I reMOVED it – you can email me at if you want details. But I think a good beating about the head with a sock full of nickels would be good. Actually, if Mike isn’t going to have them pay for it, in which case I would have the kid doing chores to earn money to pay for it, I would make my kid knock on your door, apologize and offer to do some work around your house (wash the car, pull weeds, etc.) to “pay” for it in sweat labor.

  2. Swistle says:

    Died. I would have DIED.

    I have two kids that approximate age, and I think they’re too young for grounding so they’d be out on the street again too. But there would be serious repercussions. It would take many Talks with Paul, but off the top of my head I’m thinking they’d start by washing the car in question every Saturday for x months (with a poor parent’s assistance to make sure the child didn’t do a crap job), and DEFINITELY they would write a letter of apology, and then there would be many Lectures on the topic, and allowance would be re-routed to do something nice for the neighbors (at $1/week, they’d never be able to pay for the scratch, but they could at least do something symbolic that would be painful for THEM). And then I would cower and wring my hands every time I saw the car-owners, and probably start acting idiotically and bringing over brownies every other day and then standing there awkwardly saying AGAIN how sorry we were.

  3. Swistle says:

    Oh, maybe THIS: they could save their allowance to pay for a book of car-wash tickets. Around here, it’s $20 for 4 washes. That would give a better wash job than what the child would have done, and also the money would be very painfully saved.

    Well, but if the owners didn’t really WANT car washes, maybe that’s no good. And nearly half a year of saving might be overkill, considering how stupid children are.

    Maybe I could stick with DYING. Then I wouldn’t have to deal with it at all.

  4. I definitely would take away privileges (no visiting the grandparents, no riding bike outside, whatever the child cares most about). And I like Swistle’s suggestion of car wash coupons, bought out of allowance.

  5. mrs. blogoway says:

    Oh it’s so hard to know what to do in cases like this. It sounds like this boy just has too much freedom and time alone. Atleast the parents offered to pay… Mike sounds so nice.

  6. Angella says:

    That WOULD NOT FLY in our house.

    My kids say sorry, AND MEAN IT. They also clean up their messes and learn the consequences of their actions.

    If I am not going to raise them to be great people, who will?

  7. I would do something similar to Swistle. They would pay back the victim in some way, with their time or money. Because when you wrong someone you own up to it, an apology isn’t enough when you destroy property, in my opinion.

  8. There would definitely be repercussions for those actions. I think washing the car would be one step. That’s really nice of your husband not to make them pay for the damage actually.

  9. Oh God. We might end up on the 6 o’clock news. My husband builds high end custom cars for a living. From the minute they are born my kids are trained not to touch any car for any reason. If that were our kid, my husband would’ve fixed the car himself, then the kid would loose all privledeges for how ever many days. Although I would have to hold my husband back from killing the kid.

  10. Grounded for a minimum 2 weeks. If the kid was old enough, doing odd chores to earn enough money to pay off the damage, or a set amount of community service.

  11. Butrfly Garden says:

    When Nick was in Kindergarten and they lived in they ghetto apartments, he and another boy busted out a neighbor’s car window. Mike found out because the POLICE came to the door. I’m pretty sure he got a whooping for that.

    Nowadays, I would offer his slavery up after apologizing profusely. Most people wouldn’t accept a slave child, though, so after I offered that, I’d make him work his ASS off. The best punishment in the world, IMO, is pulling weeds. The job is never really done so you can make it last as long as you want.

    I can guarantee he wouldn’t have been out riding his bike that night, though, because he would have been down sobbing in his room over his grounding.

    Was this the same kid that vandalized your house?

  12. Depends on the age of my kid at the time … but I’d probably ask what their suggestion would be for something nice they could do to repay you. And I’d definitely ask them to apologize.

  13. What a little sh*t. My brother-in-law had his brand new Denali written on with a SHARPIE in their own driveway. The little girl got zero punishment and there was no offer of help by her lovely parents. UGH!

    My kids would be joining yours in the toothbrush-cleaning session, maybe I’d even make then use their tongues.

  14. thecandyqueen says:

    I’d blame the parents. He probably doesn’t get enough attention from his lazy parents who probably shouldn’t have had kids in the first place.

  15. skiplovey says:

    I was going to say that I’d have made him pay for it but then I saw Swistle’s comment and I’ll just piggy back on that. Definitely some sort of retribution needs to be made or else the kid won’t understand why it’s wrong.

    Also was thinking of pint sized bitch slap but that’s probably against some new fangled law.

  16. She Likes Purple says:

    I found your site through Jonniker. I don’t have kids yet, but I’d probably make my kid do chores for the couple whose car he “rocked” (instead of “keyed”) until he had worked off the debt.

    I can’t believe they SHRUGGED.

  17. plumeria*girl says:

    Regardless of age, I think the child who did the wrong-doing should’ve got some serious scolding from his parents and in the process of dicipline, have the child understand why they were going to be grounded (from watching TV, playing with their friends, going to the movies, etc).

    I also think that Mike should’ve still got a new trunk door replaced, with or without the little scratches on the hood. HELLO! That kid CARVED on the car like it was a peice of paper!!!

    You know if that happened here on Saipan that would’ve been major drama in the hood. LOL!!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Pint-sized bitch slap or a sock full of nickels… As Mona’s “other half and the one with the scratched car,” believe me I’ve considered both. When I was 12 I stole a roll of quarters from a gas station and my old man beat the crap out of me and grounded me for the entire month of August. My little next-dor neighbor will get none of that I assure you. He’ll be boosting cars by the time he’s 16. Hopefully not mine!

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