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Crime and Punishment

Among the many hats I wear since becoming a mother, the one that is least attractive on me is that of warden.

When there is an infraction among the inmates, I must dutifully dole out punishment.

Such was the case last week when Emme stabbed her sister in the head with the business end of a pencil.

Which was rather surprising, since Emme is the least violent of the trio.  I was witness to the offense, and I do know that it had more to do with carelessness than a desire to be rid of a younger sister.


She stabbed her sister in the head with a pencil.

There was immediate remorse demonstrated by the defendant, while considerably more pain and suffering was exhibited by the victim.

I banished the accused to another room a holding cell while I examined the wound inflicted upon the younger sibling.

There was evidence that a sharp end of a pencil made contact with the victim’s scalp.  Cailey insisted that I take a picture of the injury because she was unable to see the back of her head, and the photograph could then be entered into evidence.

Since I set my camera to “macro” which I’ve been told to do by the resident C.S.I. when taking extreme close-ups, the wound looks more impressive than it actually was.

pencil_stabbingExhibit A:  The back of the victim’s head

When Cailey demanded to see the injury inflicted upon her, she wailed even louder.  And demanded a Barbie bandage through sobs.

In an attempt to sway the judge and jury, I’m guessing.

The time came to sentence the accused.  This particular criminal is generally not affected when something is taken from her.  So, I decided another approach would be more effective.

I determined that she would have to serve time doing community service that would be of benefit to the victim.  She was to make her sister’s bed every day for a week.

Her sister sleeps on the top bunk.  Emme?  Not crazy about heights.  Or bed making.

And Cailey got the chance to add her own signature to the sentence.  Cailey decided that she would like her older sister to spend an hour of quality time playing Barbies with her.  Every day for a week.

Allrightythen.  Let me get this straight.  So you want to spend an hour every day playing with the person that stabbed you in the head with a pencil?


Dutifully, Emme apologized and Cailey forgave her.  And then Emme returned with a smile after making her sister’s top bunk.

Note to self:  remind Cailey to check the sheets carefully before settling in for the night.

I’m hoping my new and improved mode of punishment will aid in the avoidance of a life of crime.  Because as I’ve told my girls many many times, just say no to horizontal stripes.

And dayglow orange?  It’s a color best to be avoided.

Case adjourned.


8 Responses to Crime and Punishment

  • Oh the love of siblings! One minute they hate each other the next they can’t be apart! I hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day!

  • My sister stabbed me in the head with a pencil when I was 7, too.

    The led is still in my forehead.

  • Good job, Warden!

  • Fun way to report what could have been a routine screaming match – good way to handle it too!

  • Too funny! Just the laugh I needed this morning. Glad all turned out well.

    I hope you had a great Mothers Day!

  • I have never used the “do something nice for your sibling” punishment. Will have to set that in motion.

  • We call it slavery, one of the best punishments around our house (especially since they are older.) And one of my favorite forms of punishment is grunt work. Base boards, toilets, cobswebs…of course, when they go long spells without getting in trouble, i’ve got dirty baseboards, toilets and lots of cobwebs.

    I need to pay closer attention, I am sure someone did something they shouldn’t have!!!!

  • When my son who is now 20 was in about 4th grade, he had a very strange (and gross looking) sore on his scalp. I even took him to the doctor who was no help at all figuring out what it was. A few days later at home, I took a closer look at it myself and while poking around it, the tip of a pencil lead popped out – the cause of the gross disgusting sore on his scalp. My son had no idea how it got there and had no memory of ever being stabbed in the head by a pencil. I have no idea how one can be stabbed in the head with a pencil hard enough to break off the tip and have no memory of the event, but I guess that’s a boy for you. (Sorry if I grossed anybody out)