Sunday, April 14th 2013
Disorder in the Family Court

Before devotional time tonight, a family  meeting was held. This sometimes occurs when I have HAD IT with something or other and it needs to be addressed.

Such was the case.

I sat the boys down, told them to be QUIET until I asked for their input and introduced the subject:

Underwear Thievery

All three boys are OFTEN guilty of underwear thievery. This brother takes that brother’s underwear, fight in the hall. Another brother takes another brother’s underwear, fight in the kitchen. And on. And on. DAILY.  Everyone has plenty of underwear. But everyone wants everyone ELSE’S underwear. I don’t know why. I’ve seen the skid marks. I wouldn’t be so eager to thieve, but HEY, these are boys and I do not pretend to understand.

I’m so over this. DAILY I am called upon to referee who has taken whose underwear, why, and what should be done. (He’s WEARING it and you want it back NOW? No. That’s gross. He got away with it. Statute of limitations. No.)

I pointed out that they were all three often guilty of Underwear Thievery. Two boys pointed at their underwear (which was not in fact their own), in agreement with this assertion. I thanked them that no one ever steals my underwear and I never steal theirs. I try to give credit wherever it is due, and this is minimal but HEY it was true so I thanked them.

Caden-9yr said, “that’s only because yours is made all weird and small in the front and they wouldn’t fit us. We need room there.”

I said nothing.

No one said anything.

It was a long pause. I doubted the truth of this, but knew better than to say it.

Then Ethan-13yr said, “Well. It sounds like you KNOW that for a fact. Have you tried them on?”

And THEN there was disorder in the court with shouted denials and accusations flew left and right about which boys have tried on various pieces of my clothing.

The following was decided:

In the event that the Underwear Thief has in his custody a pair of underwear that is in dispute, but he is NOT yet wearing them, the other members of the family vote on the underwear and the majority rules correct ownership. If the underwear is deemed thieved, it must be returned graciously and with an apology, end of saga. If the underwear is ON the Underwear Thief, the other members of the family vote on the underwear’s rightful owner and if it is deemed thieved, the underwear does not have to be immediately returned, however a 10 push-up penalty is assessed, with an additional 5 kisses to be given to the Mommy and 5 additional kisses must be sweetly offered to the rightful owner of the underwear and if that brother is so affronted by the crime, he can bequeath his 5 kisses to the Mommy who will then gladly accept them. A lack of graciousness or argumentativeness at any time will cause additional penalties to be added.

As an example, we began with the first potential underwear thief and I called Seth-7yr over to me and asked him to turn around so I could check the brand and size of underwear he wore. It was unanimously decided they were not his own. Push-ups and kisses.

Caden-9yr was next and it was debated at length and then determined he was actually the rightful owner of his underwear.

Then Seth-7yr decided to pull off Ethan-13yr’s pajama pants to see exactly what he was hiding – it WAS suspicious after all that he was voluntarily wearing pants and it mighta been in order to conceal an act of  Underwear Thievery. Except he overzealously grabbed and pinched when he lunged for his pajama pants and Ethan-13yr collapsed into a writhing ball of pain on the floor. When he recovered, it was determined that he was in fact wearing his own underpants. Seth-7yr apologized. Not with a straight face. But still.

I’ll let you know how this goes.

I’m optimistic.



4 Comments on “Disorder in the Family Court”

April 15th, 2013
8:01 am

This is hysterical! I thought these kind of arguments would stop when they got older, but recently in broke up a fight that started because someone sat on someone else’s bed naked, “with a bare butt, Mom!” We need bare butt court.

April 15th, 2013
9:04 am

Have you tried getting each one a different color? I have a friend who had 12 kids, and each one had a particular color of socks and underwear, which made life *much* simpler for all of them. I love how you resolve these issues!
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April 15th, 2013
10:45 am

I need to have this court hearing as well, except it would be for Taegan & myself. We both would be guilty of thieving each others’ shirts & dresses, but not pants. Though we can each fit into the other’s, she’s not into high waters & I’m not into tripping over excess material.

Since I’m the mom, I’d get final say, declaring kisses to me no matter who was guilty. I love absolute power!

April 17th, 2013
9:54 am


EXACTLY!! Just a few hours after you wrote that, the eXACT conflict occurred in caden’s room. EXACT. It was surreal. I couldn’t even respond. i just laughed and left and thought of you and how strange that was.


i SHOULD DO THAT. I REALLY should do that.

SHALEEEEEEE!!!!!! Love you.

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