When the older kids were at school one day this week, I stopped at Kohl's to pick up some gifts for the feast of St. Nick. I almost never shop with my children in tow anymore because I don't have patience for their perfectly-normal-but-annoying-nonetheless behavior, especially in the public arena. Also, their million requests for stuff to clutter up my house taxes me, so I prefer to fly solo.
But I broke my rule in order to accomplish a necessary task and I paid for it.
Admittedly, I stayed entirely too long at the store, which meant four year old Camille occupied herself with the abundant displays of FROZEN merchandise littered throughout the store.
"Elsa, Mom!" she would exclaim, every time we saw yet another display case. "Doesn't she look beautiful! OHHHHHH, I love this necklace! I want it."
"Will you buy me this Frozen sippy cup, Mom? It's so cute."
"Look at Olaf. He's adorbs. Can I have this fleece sweatshirt?"
Her requests for Elsa and Anna paraphernalia permeated our trip, with Edward punctuating the conversation at random intervals with horror movie like screams.
At one point, I looked over and saw Camille struggling to get into a camouflaged purple and black fleece Elsa sweatshirt to no avail because it was a size 2T. When I walked over to help her remove it, she sighed in dismay, "I just wanted to see if it fit!"
While Camille continued to beg me to buy her stuff, I entertained a refrain that went like this:
"Put that back!
"No, I'm not buying anything!"
"Do you have money? If so, you can buy the toy!"
"Maybe for your birthday, but not now."
When she took to holding items--a pair of sunglasses, a Frozen necklace, and the like-- behind her back just in case I wouldn't notice, I knew her time limit for "good" behavior had expired.
I paid for our things and left.
I didn't check her pockets.
When we finally arrived home and I unlocked the front door, she sauntered into the house sporting a new pair of nauseatingly pink and purple Frozen gloves.
"Camille!" I gasped. "Did you take those from the store?"
She turned to look at me, her face a blank slate.
She nodded reluctantly and even
reluctantly removed them from her fat, little piggies.
I commenced with a lecture about stealing: how we don't take what doesn't belong to us and how we use money to pay for things we want. I also told her she was going to have to go back to the store and tell the manager what she had done. She seemed sorry, so I ended my teaching moment and let it go--no pun intended.
A few hours later, I buckled both Camille and Edward back into their car seats to go back to school pick up the older kids. I dont' know why, but something prompted me to check her other pockets and when I did, I pulled out
pairs of Frozen gloves.
In total, the little rascal had taken three pairs of hand warmers, the total price for the winter outwear coming in at a whopping $30!
I buckled her car seat and shook my head in disgust. Upon discovery of the first pair, I was kind but but after learning about the two others...I was plain mad.
"I can't believe you took three pairs of gloves," I said. "That is stealing! We don't steal in this house! You are going to back to the store and you are going to tell the manager what you did!"
I spoke with great force--my words clipped and punctuated-- and it was only when I was sure she was convinced she had the message that "Stealing Is Wrong," that I hopped out of the van. I reared back to slam the doors, ending my rant with,
"Thieves are not allowed to live in my house!"
But right before I closed the doors, I heard her mutter under her breath just loud enough so I could hear her,
"Yeah? Well, you're a moron."