The kids on Delmas 91 and I have a good old time together. I cannot leave my house or come home without them knowing, so they are always crowding my door, begging to be allowed to come in to play. If I let them, they would happily live with me 24/7. We do things like...
Puzzles, but only the easy ones. We haven't graduated to puzzles with more than 60 pieces yet.
Artwork, with paint, stickers, glue, glitter, markers, crayons, whatever Kez has on hand and will make her Shoebox very messy!
Fruit parties with all the fruit that my patients give me as "Thank you" gifts
Spring cleaning...which can happen anytime, spring or not, whenever the kids feel like doing something nice for Kez. Sometimes we all clean together for an hour - after which, I kick them out and reclean for another hour.
Hot dog dinners, a real treat for Haitian kids!
Dance parties and DJ sessions, to our favorite songs, 'Replay' and 'Feliz Navidad'!
Creative worlds of our own, built out of broken ceramics and rocks from the rubble pile outside.
Go-cart races in cardboard boxes - races that inevitably end with all of us in a heap on the floor laughing.
In all the hours together, the children have never stolen a thing from my house, though my purse is hanging right on the wall in my room and I always keep a few Haitian dollars loose in my sock drawer. They have never stolen food or toys or anything as far as I know. Until this Saturday.
The kids played with me for about 2 1/2 hours at my house and then I sent them away so I could rest before leaving for youth group. A timid knock on my door revealed 5 year old Herlens: "One of the kids took some Silly Bands, Kez." I checked my drawer of treasures and sure enough, I was short 4 packs of Silly Bands. So I walked up to the tent city and told the kids how disappointed I was. No one would confess, so I put them all on probation. When the culprit comes to me and apologizes, everyone will be allowed back into my house, but until then, no child can come play with me. I have a decent idea of who the guilty party is, confirmed by the fact that over the course of the week, all the children have spent time chatting with me through my gate except for this one. He has practically vanished.
It's just Silly Bands, but I'm much more concerned with the attitude behind it than the actual misbehavior itself. I want these children to understand that there is a right and a wrong, and no matter how small it may seem, a wrong is still wrong. So for now, probation it is. My dilemma, however, is what to do if he never confesses...