WANTED: Sneaky kids...apply within

I try to be a good father. I want to make sure that my kids’ needs are met, I want them to be safe, and I want them to make me proud of them. At the same time I don’t want to smother them, mistakes help the learning process and all that. So that said, one thing really bothers me about my boys. They’re not the least bit sneaky.

Example, we have a ton of knick-knacks in our house. Because my wife likes to collect things, there are far too many to be noticed if one should disappear. Yet, if something did happen, say one got broken, I’ll notice this immediately. How can this be, I’ll bet you’re wondering? Easy, it’s still in pieces on the floor! This of course will set off a long investigation of who did it (I’ll track down this Idunnokid one day).

Yesterday was a prime case. The wife went shopping. After she had gone, I noticed we needed some aluminum foil. Not a problem, there’s a grocery store across the street. I make an announcement ‘I’m going to the store, I’ll be right back, finish your homework’. Simple right? Now I’m not stupid, I know that at some point the kids will yield to temptation and start fooling around, I mean it should take me at least 5 minutes, this is plenty of time for mischief.

Ok you must know this; my apartment is on the top floor at the rear of the complex and faces the courtyard, which in turn faces the street. It has two large windows facing that direction, one in the Dining Room one in the Living Room. What this means as far as the story goes is that I am clearly visible for 50 yards before I enter the front door; if you’re paying any attention that is. What it also means is that any loud noises are amplified and projected towards the street.

So I come home approximately 3-5 minutes later. As I’m walking into the courtyard and up the steps, I can hear them clearly having a ball in the living room. There are loud thumps and giggling and of course voices, so I know what’s happening even before opening the door. I can also see them clearly through the aforementioned front window. I open the door an am not at all surprised to see them chasing each other around the apartment, what did surprise me was the stunned look on their faces. You’d have thought I’d materialized out of thin air. :rolleyes: Much lecturing ensued; followed by extra chores.

Now am I being unreasonable? Is it too much to expect them to put an effort into not getting caught if they’re going to break the rules?