Have I ever mentioned that I have four thieving children? They pretty much rob me blind. This, despite the fact that I have tried my darndest to terrify them into law-abiding citizens with every prison scare tactic I could invent.
When they were toddlers I would tell them that if they climbed out of their car seats and the police caught them we would all go to jail. Once or twice I may have even threatened to take them to the nearest police station so an officer could see their illegal car seat habits and throw them in the clinker.
I also told them a couple of times that throwing snowballs was illegal and people went to prison all the time for breaking that law. “Yes kids, prison is full of snowball throwers!”
When my three older kids took piano lessons back in the U.S., their piano teacher would have them sign a contract at the beginning of the year indicating the number of hours per week they agreed to practice. I would often remind them that a contract is binding by law and if they didn’t practice the agreed to amount of time, their piano teacher could (and would) have them arrested.
Whatever it takes, right moms!?
So with all my prison talk, you would think that I would have four completely law-abiding children. Not so! They are a bunch of dirty, conniving thieves; a den of thieves, in fact.
Proof: Day-before-yesterday I had a wallet full of money. However, yesterday, when I was in a taxi, half-way between the embassy and our church, I opened my wallet only to find that I had virtually no money left in my wallet. STINKING ROTTEN THIEVES!!!
That’s the bad part of this blog post. Now for the good part. Despite the fact that I am raising criminals, there is some hope in the goodness of humanity.
When I realized that I had no bills in my wallet, I opened my change purse and counted $42NT. I looked at the fare-counter-thingy and it was at $80NT. I stammered and hummed-and-hawed for a few seconds and then said to the driver, in broken Mandarin (while holding up my open wallet), “I’m sorry. I have four children.” Since my limited vocabulary prevented me from uttering what I really wanted to say, I hoped that he could infer the “dirty thieving children” part.
To my surprise, he didn’t swear at me or throw me out of the cab. Instead, he kindly said, “No money. It’s okay.” And then he graciously drove me the rest of the way to the church. The total bill came to $100NT (about $3 U.S.). I handed him the measly $42NT and he wished me a good day and drove off.
This act of kindness will go down on my list of countless acts of kindness the people of Taiwan have shown me and my family. But I’m still considering turning my kids over to the authorities.