So, you know how you try to instill good values in your kids?
In our house, the more sophisticated stuff is a bit beyond our grasp at the moment. But we're constantly working away on the basics of civility: be kind, be fair, take turns, share, say please and thank you, tell the truth, be a gracious winner and a good loser.
I'm thinking that the truth-telling aspect of this is not taking so well with Jesse.
He, Seth and I were sitting in their favorite fancy pizza place the other night (Dean's, where the wait staff brings thin-crust pizzas on big silver trays) when Jesse asked,"Do you think the boss here makes a lot of money? I mean, look at all these people!"
Indeed, the joint was packed with Upper West Side families, all chowing down on the yummy pizza and family-sized salads.
"I have no idea, Jess," I replied.
"Well, I'm going to sue this place," he said.
"For what?" I asked.
Jesse: "For throwing pizza at me."
Me: "But no one threw pizza at you."
Jesse, grinning: "I'm going to cover myself with pizza sauce, then call the cops.It's a trick."
Me: "Umm, but it's not true."
Jesse, grinning even more widely: "I know."
Me, trying to decide whether to pinch my child, scold him for thinking dishonestly, or try to explain the depth of the problems associated with frivolous lawsuits: "No one will believe you."
Jesse: "Why not? Would you tell them I was tricking them?"
Me: "I might, if you tried to be so dishonest. And you'd never be able to come to Dean's for pizza again."
Jesse: "No more Dean's? Okay, I'm not suing."