It started a few weeks ago when we were cat sitting for Ms. Shireen while she was out of town at a book convention. Gage came with me to feed Mr. George Weasly, and when we got back in the car he showed me two shiny quarters he had lifted from her place.
He found “two pieces of money”.
Last week he stacked empty laundry baskets against Michael’s dresser and took a pocket knife from the top drawer. I didn’t realize HE HAD A KNIFE until I found it, blade extended, between the sheets of his bed.
Monday night after we had gone to bed, we heard someone shuffling around downstairs. Michael went to investigate the situation and found Gage with eight $1 bills in his hand. He had taken a tall bar stool, climbed up to where I keep my purse, and took the money out of my wallet.
When he gets into any vehicle, he checks all cup holders for coins so that when he gets to a store he can buy a gumball.
We’ve had to start locking the girls bedroom during the day while they’re out of school because he’ll sneak up to their space and search high and low until he finds their candy.
And then there was yesterday’s conversation between Michael and Gage, when Gage was caught red handed hiding in his bedroom munching on candy taken from the girls room:
Michael: Gage where did you get that candy?
Gage: I dunno.
Michael: Gage, where did you get that candy? If you tell me the truth right now, you won’t get punished.
Gage: It was a robot.
Michael: A robot?
Gage: A robot with quiet magic. The robot took the candy and gave it to me. I tried to fight the robot, but the robot ran away. The robot’s name was “Robot Attack”.
Michael: Gage I’m pretty sure you’re lying. You’re going to be punished if you don’t tell the truth.
Gage: Paul did it.
You guys, my kid is a pint sized kleptomaniac . It’s been going on for awhile – and he’s rock solid in his every denial, never fessing up to what we know is the truth.
Last night after “Robot Attack”, we punished Gage and sent him to bed at 6pm – where he proceeded to kick and cry until around 9pm. At nine when we went in to talk to him we asked him again about the candy and if he had anything he would like to tell us. He firmly stuck to his story – throwing poor little baby Paul under the bus.
Paul did not do it. Robot Attack didn’t do it.
Gage just turned four, and he’s old enough to know right from wrong when it comes to stealing. We’ve talked to him, we’ve punished him, and we’ve attempted to instill the fear of God into him.
Nothing is working.
This morning he called this hat his aunt Betsy gave him over Thanksgiving break his “Bank Robber Mask”.
I can’t even.
Clearly it’s time for an intervention. I don’t want to visit The Rage and his scary pirate voice behind bars anytime soon.