03 Jun
Stolen Goods Are Always Bad

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

On the last day of school, my 8-year-old son had a party at our house. Some of his classmates brought over “mementos”–small items that they “borrowed” from the classroom without an intent to return. And then they left them at my house. I have no doubt that these items won’t be missed, but what do I do with them? I don’t want to return them in September since I’m not the one who took them.


Confused Mom

Dear Confused Mom,

First of all, congratulations to your son for having such lovely friends! I hope he gets to spend a lot of quality time with them now before they’re shipped off to Juvie for “borrowing” their neighbor’s car in a few years. Can you say “Future Felons of America?” No? Well, how about “Little Madoff Jrs.?”

Oh, relax—I’m just kidding. At least I am about the Madoff Jrs. line because that kind of elaborate, high-level deception takes a total mastermind to orchestrate, which is precisely why I’m sending my sons to Ponzi Day Camp this summer. Horseback riding, swimming and cheating old people out of their life savings. Now that’s what I call summer fun, y’all!

But enough about my family’s criminal activity, let’s go back to yours. Now, if my working knowledge of Starsky & Hutch is correct, you’re what scumbuckets in the thief industry call “a fence.” Meaning, you’re harboring stolen goods and chances are you’re about to be taken downtown by two hot detectives in a 1976 Gran Torino. But, hey, at least you’ll get to meet that mensch Huggy Bear.

Of course, you could avoid the clink entirely by calling the parents of the little thieves and letting them know that you have these “mementos” and you’re wondering what to do with them. Uh-huh, BUSTED! Looks like it’s boring parental lecture time for the Future Felons!

However, if you don’t want to be known as The Ratfink Mom for the rest of your son’s life, just tell the school you have these items and ask if they want them returned.The kids are only eight, so the school administrators will probably just chalk it up to youthful indiscretion and then you have your ass covered in case the items actually are missed.

Finally, be sure to let your son know that while this may seem like it was a harmless thing to do, taking anything that doesn’t belong to you is always wrong, even if your friends are doing it.

At least that’s what I think Starsky told that PCP dealer right before he tripped on his bell bottoms and fell out the window.

Good luck,

Wendi, TMH

13 Responses to “Stolen Goods Are Always Bad”


Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

Perfect advice. Life on the fence. As the fence. My crime lexicon is so poor.

I’d return it to school in a box with a flippant answer about rogue bands of juvenile thieves at your house.


Comment by Plano Mom.

Oh Wendi The Wise One, you speak as if you may have personal knowledge of 8-year-old males and their hijinks. Excellent advice.


Comment by MommyTime.

First of all, Wendi, you’re a lot gentler than I would have been about this. This writer is presumably a grown-up. How hard is it to call the school now (yes, believe it or not, the building usually has some staff in it for at least a few weeks after the last day, for clean-up, next year prep, etc) and say that some children in your son’s class “borrowed” some things and brought them to your house, and you’d like to return them? Really. Not that hard. And if the school is shuttered, then call in fall. If my kids were those kids, they’d be writing letters of apology to the district office, the principal, and the teacher, is all I’m saying. And if I were that mom, I’d sure as all get out want my son knowing that I was ON TOP OF IT because that would be the only way he would know that he was absolutely not allowed to do the same thing himself.


Comment by Alexandra.

Was just thinking the same thing: that answer came to you pretty quickly, dear advice columnist.

Prettty pritty pritty PRITTY quickly….


Comment by Nancy.

Any day that I get to begin by reading about Starsky, Hutch, and that oh-so-loveable and utterly hip dressing pimp Huggy Bear is bound to be a good one!


Comment by StephanieG.

This really hacks me off. My mom is a teacher, and I’ve witnessed her spending hundreds of dollars out of her own pocket for items for her classroom.

It burns me up to think that 1) kids might steal her stuff and 2) that alleged grownups wouldn’t have the stones to return the stolen items.

Regardless of how trivial the trinkets may seem, there’s a good chance that the teacher paid for them out of his or her own pocket, so return them, and do it NOW.

Your kid’s teacher may be changing schools, or if you live in Texas, losing his or her job after the school year ends. So please return the items quickly.

I’m with MommyTime on this one – your child needs to understand that what went down was WRONG and that stealing anything, no matter how small or trivial, is absolutely unacceptable behavior.

As for the other children, I’d rat them out to their parents faster than you can say Juvenile Detention Center. These parents have the right to know their kids are stealing, and you’re doing an injustice to them and the little theives by not letting the parents know so they can address the problem with their own kids. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the kids are only eight. I get it. But an eight year old is old enough to know better, and the parents have the right to help them learn that lesson.

vodka tonic Reply:

THANK YOU. I am one of those teachers.

Desperate Dietwives Reply:

I absolutely agree with you! 🙂

fourfindinghome Reply:

Wanna place a bet on where these 8 year old thieves learned their habit? I would definitely tell their parents about their crime, but I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of discipline for the delinquents. Usually these things are a learned behavior.
My younger brother stole some decals when he was around 7, and to this day I embarrass him whenever I get the chance by calling him “sticky fingers”. As far as I know he has gone straight ever since. 🙂


Comment by BrittanyandTahn.

You’re freakin’ hilarious, Wendi!


Comment by LogicalLibby.

I wouldn’t have let the little punks in my house with the stuff. But I’m like that.

And I just hope my child uses her Madoffness for good and not evil.


Comment by N and Em's mom.

Am I the only one who can’t figure out what “mementos” could have been stolen and how she knows what was left behind belongs to the school? They are described as small items. Did she mean literally small or cheap as in the 3 boxes of tissues that remained from the stash of 2000 from the beginning of the school year or staplers and three hole punches clearly labelled “property of XXX school district.” Without calling the other parents or talking to the kids, how does she know that the items were stolen? I’m just saying.


Comment by The School Lunchroom: Where Good Manners Come to Die | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] trying to say in my amazingly amusing way is that non-polite table manners are just the first of many, many bad habits, words and behavior that your son is going to learn from his peers. What you need to do as his mother is quash it […]

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