Takes One To Know One
Nothing teaches responsibility like being a homeowner. And there's nothing a kid needs more than a lesson in responsibility.
Any other day, Todd might have just let it go. But today, he was determined to prove himself to Sharon. And the fastest way to do that? By teaching Dakody a quick lesson.
Todd knew that Sharon had been watching after his son, her grandson, for the past few weeks. He was thankful, because now he didn't have to worry as much about what Teresa might be doing. But he also didn't want his son growing up… well, like him. So when Dakody pretended to rob Sharon of a handful of cookies, Todd let his son flee into the KidKraft Outdoor Playhouse. And then, he walked right out to the playhouse and knocked on the large door.
"Dad!" Dakody yelled happily. But Todd held out a stern hand.
"Judge Dad," Todd corrected. "The accused may be seated."
"Accused of what?" Dakody cried.
"Accused of, on or about this day, stealing cookies from your grandmother. How do you plead?"
"Not guilty!" Dakody huffed. "And anyway, she was making them for me, so it wasn't stealing."
"A clever defense," said Judge Todd. "But can you prove it?"
For the next hour, Todd made Dakody explain everything that had happened in that kitchen. Where Sharon had been standing, where Dakody had been standing, where the stove was, where the fridge was, the list of ingredients, even the design of the weather-resistant wood in the KidKraft Outdoor Playhouse. Then, for the hour after that, Judge Todd heard his own arguments about why Dakody was in the wrong. This included graphs drawn in the dirt (Dakody leaned out the big playhouse window to see what his father was drawing) and an emotional summary appealing to Todd's own compassion. The third hour began with a recapping of the evidence for purposes of deliberation, until finally Dakody yelled out "Dad! This is so boring! I don't want to keep playing this game!"
Todd patted Dakody on the shoulder. "Son, I'm so proud you learned that at such a young age. I didn't learn this lesson until I was sixteen. The truth is, the justice system is the most boring thing in the world, and do you know why?"
Dakody shook his head. Todd smiled.
"It's because it's easier to just ask someone. Your grandmother would have given you those cookies, right? And then you could have spent three hours playing here in your KidKraft Outdoor Playhouse instead of listening to me talk about those stupid boring graphs. Even if I find you not guilty, you've still wasted the whole day. And for what? Because you couldn't take five seconds to say 'May I please have a cookie, Granny Sharon?'"
Dakody thought about what his father was saying. Then he nodded.
"Should I go apologize?"
Judge Todd looking very seriously at his son. "Dakody, I sentence you to apologize to your Granny, and six hours of hanging out with your father, three hours of which count as time served. The other three must involve your dad's old Super Nintendo if we can find it in Granny's attic."
Dakody hugged his dad as tight as he could, then ran inside to tell Sharon he was sorry. Todd closed the KidKraft Outdoor Playhouse's big door and followed his son. Maybe all those court dates finally paid off.