Funny thing about twins, when it comes to getting in trouble. You see, to a point they will protect each other – I am sure there are secrets they both have and constantly threaten each other with – “I’ll tell Mum & Dad about (insert scandalous incident)”. Basically they both have each other over a barrel, so it’s a bit of a Mexican standoff.
But as we recently discovered, if one should implicate the other, then it’s game on. All downside for the men-children, all upside for the parents! Some of you would recall my earlier post about the boys being caught driving their father’s car unlicensed (read about it here). As it turned out, in denying driving the car in the first instance, and then being outed by the neighbour who told us who she saw behind the wheel, one of the boys accidentally dobbed in his twin, so they were both caught doing the wrong thing.
As you may recall, we quickly moved to find suitably serious punishment. One of our sons had an invite to a party down the coast – he had been looking forward to it for some weeks. So you can imagine what his punishment was can’t you? Yep, no party. He wasn’t surprised we picked that, but did carry on and plead with his father to be allowed to go (guess who’s the softy?), but we held our ground. As we said, it’s gonna hurt.
His brother meanwhile lay in wait for his punishment. Luckily for him the Big Day Out concert had just been and gone, so he avoided missing that. But we told him we would wait for a suitable event that he desperately wanted to go to and he would be told he was grounded for the night (oh, we are SO awful aren’t we?).
A recent conversation with the latter man-child lead to an interesting revelation. He could see we fully intended to carry out the punishment, to square up the ledger so to speak, in due course. Like an animal with his back against the wall, he then went into survival mode. And the following conversation ensued:
Man-Child (MC): “You know you didn’t punish (Man-Child I)?”
Mother of a Man-Child (MOMC): “Yes we did, he didn’t go to the party at (insert up market coastal destination naturally).”
MC: “You know he went to the party don’t you?”
MOMC: “No, he didn’t. He wasn’t allowed. How would he get there and stay overnight?”
MC: “They had a bus. I’ve seen the pictures on Facebook!”
MOMC: “What! You better be sure of this. Can you prove it?”
MC: “Yep. Remember the Hawaiian shirt. That’s what he wore.”
Slowly but surely the pieces of the puzzle then fell into place. Man-Child II did indeed show me the Facebook photos of his brother having a great time on the bus. And I did recall the strange Hawaiian shirt that appeared in the wash, and which I had asked about at the time. I also remembered specifically asking Man-Child I if the party had been and gone (just to rub it in, knowing he missed it). And yes, he told me some of them had stayed afterwards, but some had been on a bus to and from the party (at this point we didn’t know HE had been on it too).
So then we waited for Man-Child II to come home, and to drop the bomb shell on him. “Sprung bad” as they say. He was quite frankly arrogant about it, and then of course turned on his brother with the usual vitriol he reserves for him (it’s quite horrid actually). As Man-Child II told me, “I have nothing to lose Mum, you know all the stuff I’ve done, so there are no more secrets he can dob me in for now.”
So that leaves us with two men-children that are still both to be punished for their earlier misdemeanour. We are saving it up, because when we least expect it the most wonderful occasion will present itself and we will pounce.
In the meantime, I am quietly pleased that the truth has revealed itself in this way – who would have thought we could rely on them so often to dob themselves in. It’s brilliant!
My twin sister got me (actually us) in trouble once (big, big trouble). It’s a scandal too horrid to write about here, but suffice to say I won’t forget it for a long, long time, nor the punishment that we received for it. I did however quickly forgive her stupidity at getting us caught. Shit happens as they say.
For the most part the small punishments handed out by parents over their lifetime rarely stay in the minds of their children (although at the time they cause so much grief). But we continue to play our role, and they continue to play theirs. Ah, the joys of parenting!!!
I wrote about the driving escapades here: Joy-Riding Men-Children: Not Happy!