To Catch a Thief
I recently discussed a small incident where I found that a lone little $6.95 ducky toy had accidentally fallen into my stroller basket after a brief romp through The Gap. This was after I had just packed my then sleeping 3-month-old son and near-3-year-old daughter back into the car.
I sat there for about 23 seconds (because I'm really good with time and I knew) and drove right home.
What followed was a series of lovely stories about good old fashioned thievery of the parenting kind. A box of laundry detergent, a shirt that wasn't rung up, and a pack of gum.
Seriously, what does gum cost these days? A buck?
We laughed. We giggled. We made light over our "free" things.
But then, THEN it became this whole "You're setting a bad example for your children because you pocketed a $6.95 duck and you're single handedly causing inflation and you don't want to teach your children to steal do you?"
Um. They're 4 months and 3 years old. And PS. I just didn't tell them I didn't pay for it. And really, what kind of awful conversation would that entail with a 3-year-old? Seriously, who wants that kind of pain? Agony? Torture?
"Honey, do you see this bunny here. Mommy took it. That's right. She stole it because she was too lazy to get you both out of the car and stroll you back into the store to give back the duck. So I'm probably going to go to hell for this, but I just wanted you to know that stealing is bad and wrong. Now go back to making pancakes out of playdoh and peeing on the floor."
So maybe I'd talk to my elementary-aged kid who discovered it was not paid for. And bring it back. But are we really feeling awful about a $6.95 duck that no one but the internets knows about? Would it really weigh that heavily on your conscience? It is really why prices are so high (oh I get it, people are stealing gas....)? Really?
C'mon. Let me hear it.