It didn’t take long for Keith Stonehouse to put two and two together.
Without the Chesterfield, Mich., father noticing, the boy had placed about $1,000 worth of Grubhub orders from several local restaurants when he let him use his phone to play a game before bedtime.
“Why did you do this?” Stonehouse, who was the only parent at home at the time, asked his son, who hid under his comforter.
“I don’t know,” Mason replied. “I was hungry.”
All Mason wanted to know when his father was in the middle of reprimanding him was whether the pepperoni pizzas had arrived yet. (The pizzas did not make it. Stonehouse’s bank declined the $439 order and deemed it fraudulent, the 43-year-old father told The Washington Post.)
“I had to keep stepping out of [his] room and calming myself down,” Stonehouse said. “You want to yell at your son, but he’s only 6.”
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Stonehouse and his wife waited until the next morning to have the “real talk” with Mason, Stonehouse said. Both explained that he had essentially stolen from his father and that he’d have to pay for some of the hot dogs, chili cheese fries, jumbo shrimps and ice cream with the $150 he had in his piggy bank, Stonehouse told The Post.
“We showed him one-by-one,” Stonehouse said. “He was a little devastated but he understood.”
The food, fortunately, didn’t go to waste, Stonehouse said. The family invited other relatives to dinner. A neighbor offered to buy all the jumbo shrimp orders. And they are still eating leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Stonehouse said.
Mason, though, has not been allowed to eat any of it. “We didn’t want to glorify this to him,” Stonehouse said. “This is not a funny thing.”
Maybe not for at least a decade. The family has joked about buying the exact order for Mason’s graduation party or wedding after-party, Stonehouse said.
For now, the child is still grappling with the consequences of his actions.
“Do I have to start [my piggy bank] all over again?” Mason recently asked his father.
“Yes, Mason,” Stonehouse answered. “Sometimes in life when you make a mistake you have to start all over.”