I have just got back from a quick trip to the shops where I popped in for just a couple of bits with the girls! For those of you without children, let me set the scene. I have a cumbersome stroller to accommodate Dolly and Bubs, it’s like maneuvering one of those shopping trolleys with the broken wheels. Because I have said stroller, I cannot manage a basket, or a trolley, so daughter number one has to be allowed to roam so I can get the bits and bobs! It was going pretty well to begin with and then she found a cozy pillow in the shape of a frog! (did I mention I hate frogs?) she suddenly seemed to have acquired this guy, but from where? I spotted a bunch of pillows in a large bin and asked her to put Mr Frog in there. Of course she could not.. He would be lonely and must go back to his friends! I’m explaining that he would be fine, when she took off.. In search of his family! I’m suddenly on the back foot. Cumbersome stroller bogged down with Diapers etc and an impossible turn to make since the aisle is now blocked with the bin of pillows. I start shouting her to freeze, get back here, anything in desperation. I drag the stroller around knocking pillows flying and hurtle after her. Screaming her name! When I get to the end of the aisle she casually pops round the corner, no frog in sight and with a big grin says “be calm, no one took me!” I get down to her level and give her The talk, about being lucky and why it’s important to stay with Mum and Dad and we continue to the checkout.
I’m a little fraught but trying to look in control! I manage to get the items on to the belt and ask Dolly to put back the tub of chewing gum she has just casually thrown on top of the other stuff, she does put it back and we pay and then as I look down she’s moved. This time just to the side of me where the store has a display on Littlest pet shop stuff.. Which is one of her new favorites! ” can I have one?” she asks.” Not today” I say,” you got new ones recently and we can’t have something new every time we come out.” She walks away and I’m relieved that it went better than expected. No melt down. I stop just at the threshold of the store to load my bags on to the stroller and ask Dolly if she wants to ride or walk.. She’s quiet, a rarity! She looks odd. “what’s the matter?” I ask. She looks guilty and I suddenly notice her hands are behind her back! I turn her around and she has taken one of the pet shop boxes! I’m shocked, horrified, without words, for a second and then the reality sets in. She stole something! Luckily she is stood just inside the store and we hadn’t crossed the barrier where the delightful alarm bells would be clanging. There is an assistant stood there and I ask Dolly to tell the lady that she is sorry and to give it back! The lady takes it with a big smile and says.. Don’t worry about it! Not the response I expected! So I take Dolly outside for the second talk of the day and try to make a 3yr old understand about having to pay for things and what the police or security might say! It didn’t seem to have any affect. She looked at me blankly. I tried again! Giving more explanation about ownership, the cost of things and stealing. She still looked confused so… In the end I had to use the old favourite.. Just wait until your Father gets home!