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.

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