I’ve stolen more stuff as a Mother than in my short stint of teenage debauchery. Yesterday, Zoe brought home a pamphlet from the grocery store. Upon closer inspection, it was not a pamphlet at all.
“Where did she get this?” I shot at my husband. I pointed to the steaming pumpkin pie cover.
“From the store.” He said. “I figured it was one of those free things they give you.”
In a little box on the cover it said $4.99.
“Umm, babe. This” I pointed at the book, “Is definitely not free.”
“Oh” My husband said, and returned to munching his Honey Nut Cheerios. “Oops.” The cover of the thin recipe book said “Fall Favorites: Baking Pies. ” Zoe sat on the couch flipping through it like Martha Stewart preparing to go on-air. Which was appropriate, considering Martha was a jail-bird.
“We are the worst.” I told my husband.
“This is my favorite!” Zoe pointed to a pumpkin tart with chunky cream-cheese in the middle. It looked like a froofy fall Pinterest project. It also looked delicious.Here is a list of objects, things, paraphernalia, ridiculousness we’ve stolen just in the past year.My toddler shoplifted:
1. A Lonely White Onion:
When you have five diaper bags in hand and a infant car seat rocking precariously in the cart, things slips by. In this case, it was a white onion in green cellophane under the Chicco. We were catapaulting over the concrete, before I realized my mistake. I cheerfully handed the bulb back to the cart-person. He straddled fifty carts and looked confused. There was not a “cart” protocol for this onion.There was a moment where he looked down at the root in hand. Then we stared at one another for a second too long. I realized nothing I said would make sense.
“I stole it.” I told him. “Now I’m giving it back.”
2. Three Packs of Magnet-Backings: Staples, circa 2013. Zoe put several in our bags on the way out. We didn’t find them until I unearthed them on the kitchen floor. “What the heck?” I yelled at Chris. “Did you buy these MAGNETS?” They weren’t even pretty magnets. They were the BACKS of magnets, with sticky-stuff for attaching a save-the-date picture or whatever. Now we have 88 black 2X2 inch square magnets sitting somewhere in a storage room. We could put them in a tile arrangement on our stainless steel fridge—except it isn’t magnetic. Why can’t my daughter steal useful things?
3.Strawberries at Trader Joes
Scene: Two screaming children, one maxed out credit card, one woman pleading with her husband via phone. Two anxious Trader Joe employees in the background. A three-way phone call between the bank, the husband, and the woman. The bank rep. repeats: IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY. Unconvincingly.
The woman yells into her phone: But I have toddlers and you don’t understand! You. Don’t. Understand. *Sob* The husband instructs her to hang up and back away from the scene of crime. A grocery cart full of groceries is quietly taken to the back. The remains of a few munched-on strawberries fall between the metal wires in the Baking Aisle. End of scene: the woman lurches toward the door with two wailing toddlers in tow like a quarterback going for the end zone. Tally: 5 samples of red pasta, 2 toddler sips of sample juice, a sip of Pinot Noir, 6 headless strawberries, paid $0. Overall, a budgetary success.
4. Actually Free Stuff
My daughter steals evangelism materials from the church where she attends Pre-K. You know, “How to Accept Jesus materials?” This is sort-of fine with me. Perusing tracts in her carseat might eventually bring her to Jesus. Who am I to know? She isn’t a Christian yet, so she is the prime audience. Unfortunately, she’s not perfect. She often gets rid of them by tossing them onto my Ford Focus floor. At least she’s getting an early start on her theological training. I’m sure the pastor of Cary Alliance thinks 155 people have come to Christ since that’s about how many pamphlets she’s read. (It would help if these tracts didn’t have NEMO on the cover! I mean people, c’mon? What’s a toddler supposed to do?! It’s like candy!)
End Note: For all of you who might reprimand me re: stealing stuff. If I could find the magnets, I would attempt to return them. I think. I’m not sure. I’m really not the best at this. I wish I was. If Jesus asks, I’ll blame my toddler.
Am I the only one who has klepto toddler? Have you ‘accidentally’ stolen anything from the store before?