finders keepers

by ck on March 25, 2013

I think we need to have a little chat. A refresher, if you will. First, I want you to understand that I know how you feel about the whole “finders keepers” concept. You happen upon something that doesn’t belong to you, you claim it (guilt-free), and then benefit from it. It’s genius, I agree.

And I know the thrill you’re experiencing. I’ll never forget the time I found a crumpled fiver at a Roller Skating Rink birthday party. It was glorious. Slush Puppies and Nerds never tasted as good as they did the day everyone watched me consume them after cake. I’ve found a wide variety of other things too, so I’m with you. I get it.

But there’s a difference between discovering an item that was lost or discarded, and what you’ve just experienced.

To clarify, you followed me into the kitchen and observed me dump the contents of my purse onto the counter. Then, you watched me sort and declutter until I left the room to get your sister up from her nap. At which point you poked through my things until you found the dollar in your hand, which you’re now insisting is yours to keep.

That is not a discovery, that is premeditated theft.

No? You don’t agree? Let’s break it down.

When you’re walking through the park and find a quarter by the tree? FINDERS KEEPERS (Though you might want to consider how many dogs enjoy that tree.)

That stuffed animal at CVS? Yes, I know it was on the wrong shelf, but it still belongs to the store. If you try to take it home, it’s THEFT.

That pile of glitter on the ground by the picnic bench? FINDERS KEEPERS. (But trash. I don’t believe for a minute you’ll make a “craft” out of it.)

That Barbie bike you saw your friend prop up against the tree? THEFT for thinking it. GRAND THEFT for taking it.

That gumball in the metal compartment of the gumball machine? Gross, but FINDERS KEEPERS.

And one last thing, the correct response when I ask you to return my money is NOT: “This isn’t actually your money. Daddy is the one who works. It’s his money.”

Yes, Daddy works and I stay home with you. Yes, this money did technically come from his paycheck. You need to understand, however, that this dollar is but a mere token for which I am compensated. If I were given a paycheck for my duties, our family would go broke. Your allowance? We wouldn’t even have enough left to thank you for feeding the dog.

And just so you know, by YOUR definition of Finders Keepers, every last one of your items belongs to me. You room? Clothes? Toys? I’m letting you borrow them, but I found them first, so they’re mine. Food? Snacks? Candy? You can keep them, but again, mine.

Your upcoming birthday party? that’s right, you’re catching onNow, put my dollar back on the counter and we’ll pretend this conversation never happened. Which, judging by the way you’re eyeing your sister’s lollipop on the table, you already have.





Futureblackmail February 15, 2010 at 10:20 am

HA! Premeditated theft… that!

TheKitchenWitch February 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

I love this post! You are so damn clever, ck. And I adore ONE. That girl is nobody’s fool. Give that little grifter a kiss from Auntie TKW. But check your pockets afterwards.

tlc February 15, 2010 at 10:23 am

This had me LOL for sure, Too funny. Btw, even if it really is daddy’s money… it’s still not hers :)

“Though you might want to consider how many dogs enjoy that tree.” Disgustingly true, Love it!

Rachel February 15, 2010 at 10:28 am

Good one!

And also good to know that it’s not just MY kids who try and pull this kind of stuff…

Jessica February 15, 2010 at 10:36 am

“Saturating my life with you…” I love it. The day Addie tells me it’s daddy’s money is going to be one UGLY day.

~Laura February 15, 2010 at 10:38 am

Love, love the way you wrote this! She is smart as a tack that little one. Got to give it to her for trying. Although the Daddy’s money comment would have been a knife to my heart. It’s so easy for them to cut us where it hurts isn’t it?

Jen February 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

oh she is a crafty one isn’t she? Smart as a whip.

Southern Belle Mama February 15, 2010 at 11:09 am

Gotta love her logic and ingenuity though!! My son also thinks in Finders Keepers mode; a toy at the store without a pricetag?? Well, some other kid must have left it there so finders keepers.

Becky February 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

This completely could have been taken from our life playing out over here. Lol!

The Curious Cat February 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Sneaky little tike! Love her logic and then yours! Hilarious! xxx

The Mother February 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm

That whole possessive thing is really hard for kids to grasp. It’s right up there with personal space.

Jane February 15, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Such a clever, well-crafted post. But I’m beginning to see where ONE gets it!

ymK February 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm

premeditated theft is brilliant! And cannot agree more with the dollar being ‘but a mere token for which I am compensated for saturating my life with you.’
Loved it.

Kimberly Hosey (Arizona Writer) February 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Ha; my son tried to pull that too. Great post.

Marylin February 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm

LOL! Sounds like One is a very smart lil cookie… ;)

MaryAnne February 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm

OMG! I LOVE THIS! If I were to quote my favorite line I would be cutting and pasting pretty much all of this. If i had your sense of humor when my kids were young… I would have been a more even tempered mom.

SoccerMom February 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm

How absolutely hysterical. I’ll have to use this one on my son, who is always taking my gum out of my purse.

Amber February 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Haha!! I like these rules!!

Tiffany February 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Daddy’s money….oh boy!!! she’s a gutsy one!!

amothershood February 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Sounds like a conversation at my house. You have to give her credit for the argument she took. Sounds like she might be an attorney one day.

lnfriz February 15, 2010 at 9:56 pm

This is just CLASSIC!! Love it!!!!

Keyona February 16, 2010 at 12:26 am

Holy crap that was hiarious. Hope she got the point, I sure did. Guess I’ll put back the money I FOUND in my husbands pocket….

mrs. b. February 16, 2010 at 1:28 am

HILARIOUS! loved every second of it.

Dawn February 16, 2010 at 2:14 am

Oooh! The “Daddy’s money” would have gotten me!

Bano February 16, 2010 at 2:38 am

Grand Theft Barbie Bike! LOL!

Very funny and clever post. Love it! I’ll have to refer to it in a few years if Baby decides to keep everything she “finds” around the house. It may turn out a little differently since Mr. Clean is in law enforcement. :)

Niki February 16, 2010 at 3:31 am

Very good! I loved it.

“Yes, Daddy works and I stay home with you. Yes, this money did technically come from his paycheck. You need to understand, however, that this dollar is but a mere token for which I am compensated for saturating my life with you. If I were given a paycheck for my duties, our family would go broke. Your allowance? We wouldn’t even have enough left to thank you for feeding the dog.”


WarsawMommy February 16, 2010 at 5:34 am

What a great post! Funny, witty and oh-so-true to kid logic (though that whole ‘It’s DADDY’S money’ thing made me jump about 3 feet in the air… snarky snarky!).

I guess she gets her birthday party, huh? ;)

GoonieMomma February 16, 2010 at 9:44 am

This is where you all chant, “We are raising strong women… we are raising strong women…” And then drop their asses in bed. (just make sure all the stickers have vacated the premises.)

CK- I took my time coming back to you after your hiatus. I think I felt scorned. Neither here nor there. Did I miss a memo about the progress of your project? I still need to get over to TKW/resume stalking her, too. Gotta pick her brain about edamame, which Big Daddy Effd up royally this weekend and we’re still all a-toots!

Here’s to hoping you’ll have a yes-day today…

Gibby February 16, 2010 at 4:17 pm

These kids and their sticky fingers!!!! Mine are the same way.

As for your last point, I once told the girls that technically, ALL of THEIR stuff is legally MINE. They weren’t too happy with that observation. Not a good day in the LISB household that day…

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip February 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Hahahahaha!!! You are hilarious. I remember when I “found” some money in my house growing up. I took it but then felt extraordinarily guilty when I overheard my parents talking about how we were going to get ice cream but the $10 on the counter had just disappeared. I decided it wasn’t finders keepers after all. Luckily my parents didn’t call the police.

suzicate February 16, 2010 at 6:39 pm

I love this post! You are so funny! May as well nip it in the bud and get your point across right now! Great job!

Ink February 16, 2010 at 9:34 pm

“That is not a discovery, that is premeditated theft.”

My new mantra. Thank you! (Tee hee!)

Fie Upon This Quiet Life February 17, 2010 at 1:42 am

Oh man, I would have really gone off the deep end with “daddy’s money.” I probably would have said something like, “Oh, you’re right. I should go get a job and dump you in a daycare for the next ten years so I can have my own money. Now why didn’t I think of that???” See, THAT would have been a bad mommy moment. Still, this post cracked me up. :)

naptimewriting February 17, 2010 at 1:53 am

Fie totally took my comment. I would have *lost* it and told ONE I was going to work starting tomorrow.
You really have to go confiscate everything you ever bought her and tell her you paid it’s yours.
Blerg on devious, clever, and sassy children.
Now print this and put it in the card you give her for her baby shower in 30 years.

Casey February 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Youch, it’s Daddy’s money. Ha. Well then she’d better get a job and pay her own way!

FYI – I just left the grocery store where I ran into one of the nurses from our pedi. And promptly tried to wipe the ash off of her forehead because I’m an effing moron.

faemom February 18, 2010 at 2:47 am

God, I read this yesterday on my phone and just rolled with laughter. She’s turning into quite the smart @ss, isn’t she? Thank God, boys mature slower than girls; I’ll have all my ammunition from you before they get there.

Julia February 24, 2010 at 3:10 am

LOL, love the wit behind this!

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