27 May 2006

shoplifters anonymous

Around Christmas, Little B saw a snow globe he wanted BAD. I let him hold it while he sat in the buggy and I shopped. Hey, any distraction is a good distraction, right? Just before checking out, I told him he could wind it up once more. Then I promptly forgot. The next time I saw it was in the parking lot on that blustery, busy afternoon, still being watched by his adoring eyes. The three of us made another trip back inside to return it to customer service.

Also, around this time, I told Little B he could buy a maze book (with those funky markers that reveal the lines on the page, you know?) at the bookstore. He got tired of carrying it around and put it in the outside pocket of my diaper bag, quite innocently (no shopping cart to set it in). I discovered this after everyone was buckled and a certain little girl was already cranky. It took us SIX weeks to get that back and paid for. I just couldn’t do it that day. But, I would never remove the cellophane on it until it was ours.

A few weeks ago, I was at the grocery store with both kids, again, Little B in the buggy (you might ask where I had room for the groceries). I was tucking things all around him, and when it came time to check out, he helped me put things up on the conveyer belt. Great kid. While the bag-man was helping me unload the bags at the car, I discovered a bread mix under Little B's leg. Oh, Sigh! At least there was someone to take it back in for me!

More recently, I was checking out at Target and the woman asked if I wanted to buy the item my daughter was playing with—oops. Fast entertainment, what can I say? And, I'd just finished paying.

And then, yesterday, at Old Navy, I let my daughter play with a shirt I wanted to buy while sitting in her stroller. All the way through the check-out line. And all the way down the sidewalk to the other end of the shopping center where I was parked. My husband met up with us after work about this time, and what can I say? I let HIM go back and pay for it.

I cannot even remember the number of times I have had to run back into the store for this very reason since having kids. How many times have things been stuck beneath a diaper bag or purse. Man, oh man. The saddest thing, however, is how often the employees are surprised that we return it! I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in this...embarassment.

And so goes the life of the unintentional shoplifter.

10 May 2006

agonizing weeks

The past few months have been long for our family. Very, very long. Sometimes painful, sometimes exhausting, but long, no matter how we look at it.

Tomorrow, our house will have been on the market for 90 days. One month after that, our contingency contract on the “new" house will end. We are working hard to trust God and know His timing is perfect. We believe we are supposed to try to sell, but the weeks are dragging by and our anxiety is compounded by the need to keep the house immaculate for showings. Not easy with a one and five year old in tow.

The first couple months, we had one offer that was terribly low. Many, many others made us their “second choice” should their first fall through. One major concern was the old roof—it was 23 years old, though not leaking. So, we finally increased our price and added a roof. I’ve been asked more than once if we did that because the old one was leaking! Argh! On the other hand, we don’t get quite as many showings in a week now, since we’ve moved into a new price bracket (not by much, but I guess that’s all it takes!). As was our experience before, we are still everyone’s second choice. There is never any negative feedback (thanks to the new roof) and everyone really likes it, but they choose another house every time. It’s disheartening to say the least.

In the midst of this daily stressor in our lives, Little B had what I will call a “disconcerting” or even “harrowing” experience with his therapist. I will save the details for those I am closest to, but it brought out every inch of my protectiveness for my little boy (and my husband's). Every week since that time has been filled with related issues: meeting with the therapist and her supervisor to share a piece of our mind (we did not “reach an understanding” as she had hoped); withdrawing him from therapy; calling around and interviewing another therapist. While trying to get our insurance to consider the new therapist as in-network, we discovered our policy doesn’t cover occupational therapy after all, so we’re on our own now. Not good as the visits are expensive. (And we’re not asking who pays for the previous five visits they said were covered!)

At the same time, I was finishing a letter of complaint regarding the “situation” which I sent to three places: my insurance, the president of the facility where Little B had been in therapy, and also the State Board of Occupational Therapy. Yeah, it was a big deal. I faxed a copy to my pediatrician for her records. You know things are ugly when a pediatrician supports the letter of complaint, agreeing she would have done the same thing in our shoes.

Since we’d been waiting on insurance decisions before beginning with the new therapist, they are now evaluating his records and the 12 pages of specific questions I had to answer; hopefully we will get things under way once more.

09 May 2006

the good life

“Mommy!” I peer out the sliding glass door to see what need my son has right then.

“I saw a pinecone fall out of that tree, so it’s a pinecone tree!” Slurp. Slurp. I nod, half-grinning.

With excitement and awe lacing his words I hear, “Fresh out of the tree!” His gaze goes back to perusing the backyard, his mouth goes back to his popsicle.

Ah, the joy of childhood.