Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This is so bad...

Yesterday was warm, we had the back door open. My son went to it and stuck his head out.

"Oh, no. This is so bad," he said. "I still hear the bus sound."

Curious, I walked to the door and stuck my head out. "Do you hear it?" he asked me.

"You mean that whoop-whoop-whoop?"

"Yes," he said.

"That's the alarm on the neighbor's house" I told him. He had gone over a few minutes before to play with his friend, but came back and said nobody was home. "When you went over to see if Jalen could play did you open the door?" I asked.

He nodded. "It was an accident. I was knocking and it came open a little bit and I closed it."

"Never open the door to someone's house if they aren't home. You can ring and knock but never open the door," I said as I walked to the mud room to put my shoes on. He followed me, tears starting to well up in his eyes.

"I am in so much trouble. I'm going to get arrested," he said, putting on his shoes.

"No, I think I can explain what happened to the police and they won't arrest you."

"Are you sure?" he sounded doubtful.

"I hope so," I said. He shuddered. I laughed and tussled his hair. "Come one, you'll be fine."

We walked through the garage, and when we got to the driveway I saw the Sheriff's car parked across the street. It was empty. We crossed our yard to the next-door neighbor's house. They were coming down the street in their car and waved to us, and they pulled into the driveway just as we walked onto it...and just as a Deputy Sheriff came out from their garage, holstering his firearm.

Tears were rolling down my son's cheeks as the Deputy walked over and my neighbor got out of her car.

"I can explain this," I said to both of them. "My son came over to see if the kids could play, and he opened the door by accident."

"Do you live nearby?" the Deputy asked.

"Right next door," I said, pointing to my house.

The Deputy had has pad and pencil ready. "What's your name?" he asked my son, who replied with a very feeble "Max."

"What's your last name, Max?" he asked. Max was crying, looking down at the ground. "Max, look at me," the Deputy said. Max looked up. "You're not in any trouble, okay?" Max nodded.

"Tell him your last name," I said.

It took a couple tries before he said it clearly. "Max, you want to be a police officer, this is just part of their job. They have to ask questions and write down what happened. You're not going to get arrested," I said. He had stopped crying but was still upset. I let him go in the backyard with his friend (who had just gotten home with his mother and younger brother).

Max went into our garage to get his soccer ball. My wife was in there, about to leave for a friend's house for the evening. She spotted the cruiser parked on the street.

"Oh Max, look! A police car. Did you get to talk to them?" she asked. Max nodded quietly and got his soccer ball. That's odd, she thought. He's usually really excited to see a police car. She had been upstairs getting ready and knew nothing the situation.

My wife was looking for me to tell me she was leaving, and she heard me laughing with our neighbor and came over, and we explained what happened. The Deputy went to his car and wrote up an incident report and gave it to my neighbor. No harm done. They get three false alarms per year before they get charged for them. Max's emotional scars healed quickly, and I think he learned an important lesson about forced entry. Plus our neighbors learned an important lesson about making sure the doors are all locked.

They also know that the money invested in the security system was well-spent.


Sharon said...

oh no- i hope this isn't the beginning!!!haha!!!
Poor Max, he must have been terrified?!

Rick Daley said...

There was stark terror and genuine remorse. I think he learned a valuable lesson, it was both cute and heartbreaking to see him in such a panic.

Laurel said...

That is adorable! Poor Max.

That would play out so differently at our house. My own felonious son would be delighted that he had within his grasp both the power to make a REALLY LOUD NOISE and make a policeman come to the neighborhood. I would have to finagle a private talk with the officer to impress upon him how a lecture about breaking and entering, including a scared straight "we might have to go downtown" talk, would be not only acceptable but advisable.

Davin Malasarn said...

I'm glad Max recovered quickly! Why did he call it a bus sound?

L. T. Host said...

How funny; poor guy!!!

Teri said...

What a heart-warming story. You must have a great relationship with you son. He is so lucky to have a father like you. Smiles all around.

Rick Daley said...

Davin- I think the whoop-whoop of the alarm reminded him of a sound buses make when they go into reverse.

Teri- Thanks, parenting is hard work, and my wife and I both put forth the best effort we can. Fortunately, I am not obligated to blog about our mistakes!

Laurel- My other son will have a greater appreciation for the fun, mischievous side of a situation like this in a few more years. He's the one we need to watch out for.

LT- Congrats on your paragraph for Nathan's contest! It reminded me of the beginning of THE JERK: I was born a poor black child...

Bane of Anubis said...

There goes the life of train robberies and bank hold-ups I'd envisioned for the Daley brood.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Poor kiddo! I wonder if that's one of the things he'll remember when he's old and gray? First run-in with the cops. :)

Anita said...

Poor little guy! Sounds like you handled it perfectly, though.

The neighbor across the street from us is always having their alarm go off accidentally and nobody can figure out why. Even though it goes off regularly, the neighbor freaks each time.

Of course, I freaked out after setting mine off accidentally...not enough to pull a gun out or anything, but I didn't realize I was responsible for the alarm until after the police officers had checked the entire house. It was a slow night, though, so they were pretty cool about it.

I love when you share family stories!

Rich said...

Poor Max! He takes everything so seriously. This may be one of those memories lasting for life time!

My nerves tingle every time I see lights blinking behind me. Even when they pass by it takes a few minutes to be at ease again.

I hope you are saving these escapades so you can give them to the boys later!

Wish I would have kept a few of your adventures!

Crimey said...

Oh, poor Max. Lesson learned. Perhaps, he'll have stories to share on the playground.

Donna Hole said...

That was way cool.

I liked the end: lesson learned for both the kid and the neighbor.

I am frequently the last one in the building - or the only one on a Saturday - at work and though I've turned the alarm on/off successfully for the last two years, I'm nervous every time I'll set it off.

Your son's seem to have great adventures for you to put in your childrens stories. One day when they're older, in their teens and looking for a few extra bucks, they'll probably remind you of this fact; and ask for back royalties.


Rick Daley said...

If I have royalties to use as cornerstone in the negotiations I'll be happy (regardless of whether I give them away or not!)

Phillipia said...

Awww, poor Max.

Great post...thanks for sharing.