What’s the most outlandish thing that your kids have told you that you thought was a lie, but turned out to be the truth?
answered by Mandi Rennie, Fundraising (2011-present)
My number six child was a bit of a rebel. I had real problems getting him to come home from hanging out with his friends.
Well, I’d had enough, and, when he was 11, I told him that if he was late home tonight, no later than 7:30 p.m., he would be locked out in the cold all night. It was November, and I knew he hated the cold. Also, if he was on time, he’d get special hot chocolate, with cream, fudge chips, flake and sprinkles, as well as pizza from the take-out and a movie, whichever one he wanted (risky, I know, but hey, I needed to make it worth his while!)
7:30 p.m. comes and goes, I lock the door. 8:15 p.m., sheepish knock at the door. There stands my lad, cold and without his jacket.
Okay, what bullsh*t excuse to explain the lateness and missing coat? He saved a man’s life! He tells me he was making his way home, on time, and he saw a guy, mid 20s maybe? wandering around a few blocks from home. Only the guy was naked except for his boxers, and had no shoes on. Son knew this wasn’t right, so he started chatting to him to find out what was wrong. Guy told my lad he wanted to die as the voices were driving him crazy. Son was aware of mental illness as number one has schizophrenia and told the guy so.
He then managed to get a mobile from someone passing, and call the police to voice his concern. Remember, he’s 11. He told me he chatted, kept him off the road, safely, until the cops arrive. Guy then panics, so my lad tells him it’s okay, he will be fine, my lad wouldn’t lie to him, etc., till he gets into the police van and gets taken to hospital. He then gives a statement to the police, before coming home.
I call his bluff, and tell him I’m calling our local control room to check. Okay, he says, can he have a cup of tea to warm up while I do so. Yeah, okay, I said.
I call and ask to speak to someone regarding my pre-teenaged son’s assertions. I explain about the lateness, the threat to lock him out, the cocoa and pizza and about the movie. I also said I was aware he couldn’t give me details, as he was too young to have them all, but that was his story; should he be grounded longer for lying to his mum or was it actually, against all odds, true?
Well, the cop on the phone burst out laughing, before calming himself. Apparently, he HAD saved this guy’s life, just as he’d said, and told the cops to cover him if he got in trouble, and that I needed to spoil this kid for a week. He was so in control of the situation that the police were impressed a kid of his age could hold his own!
I cried, I apologized to the cops, I apologise to my lad, and yes, he got whatever he wanted to eat, drink and watch for a whole week! He may have been a rebel, but he knows what to do when confronted by a man in boxers in November!
Paul, I will never tire of telling people how proud you made me that night. Love you!
Edit!! Wow, 11.5k upvotes!! And it’s only my 5th answer I reckon. Well, mostly I comment, this is my first direct answer!! Much love to you all. I just wanna clarify some points.
1- Number 6 was heading down that slippery slope to youth offending, and felt that he was the boss as he was over six foot tall by 11, so I had to be firm. It doesn’t mean I didn’t love the bones of the boy!
2- He knew I was serious, I’d had him wait outside for me before, and he hated it!! That’s why I knew it was a great consequence. He knew I was serious. He probably also knew I would let him in once he was well and truly cold. That, folks, is called a consequence of HIS actions. He needed to own it.
3- He is a lovely lad, but has had things rough. I think his friend being murdered in front of him, resulting in PTSD has helped him see that I wasn’t trying to stifle his spirit, but keep him safe instead.
4- He hasn’t seen this, but will do next week when I see him!! Lol. He would love that some of you are telling me I’m cruel and also that some of you are proud of what he’s done. He KNOWS I’m proud of him. X
5- Some of us have struggled to keep our little rebels on the straight and narrow. We use any trick we can. Please don’t judge unless you’ve been there.
6- He’s gonna be 18 on September 12th. He was born the day after the twin towers atrocity and feels he has a higher purpose. I’ve no doubt that he has!!
Much love everyone!!