Sunday, April 12, 2009

And so it begins...

As the mother of two daughters, a mother who was (admittedly) guilty of putting her parents through a lot of stress (to put it in such a way that preserves a little of my integrity) between the ages of 12 and 20, I am not looking forward to my own daughters' entrance into their teenage years.  Heck.  I'm not even looking forward to their entrance into their tweens.  Or even 3rd grade.    

This weekend, an innocent trip to shop for Easter basket stuffings (in stealth mode, since Fire Daddy was working and it was just me and the girls) was corrupted.  My darling Big Girl made her first attempt at...shoplifting.  

It pains me to even say that.  I am still in shock and depressed over the entire event.

It all went down like this.  

We had just enjoyed a lovely hour at the park amidst groves of Easter shoppers and families leisuring in the beautiful sunshiny, breezy spring air.  The green grass made an excellent stage on which my little ballerinas danced as smooth music seeped from Bose speakers concealed in the landscaping.  Childhood innocence oozed from their pores.  

A mama duck kindly allowed us to gaze adoringly at her nine little babies swimming in the man-made brook.  Dozens of koi swam lazily as parents reminded their little ones not to get too close to the edge.  Turtles basked on their nature-made Adirondacks.  They took turns enjoying the time-honored front position on the jaguar statue before sweetly hugging and kissing it good-bye.

Once the time came to begin our journey back to the car, I decided to make one last side trip into Claire's to check out the glittery, girly odds-n-ends.  The Easter bunny is trying to diet this year; he tried to avoid the candy aisles.  My girls were in heaven!  Every little trinket, necklace, zippered-pack of lip gloss, piece of fake hair, and pair of sunglasses was inspected carefully.  While they were engrossed in their own exploration of the store, Mommy forged an alliance with the sales girl and set up Operation Stuff the Bunny Basket.  

As I meandered with my girls, oooohing and aaaahing at all their gorgeous findings, carefully prying the makeup and breakables from the Littlest Princess's eager fingers, I occasionally stashed a few basket-worthy items in the designated holding place near the register, where it would await covert payment at a later time.  

There was a moment when a particular cutsie key chain seemed to take Big Girl's fancy.  I paid it the appropriate amount of attention and gently reminded her that we were only looking, no buying.  She seemed disappointed, but dutifully returned it to the display.

Or so I thought.

After settling the tab with my accomplice at the register, I crammed the tell-tale Claire's bag into my Bath & Body Works shopping bag as low as possible, I began to round up my little darlings for our departure.  Little did I know that separating the twin poodles in their purple carrying purse from Little Girl would NOT be the hard part.  

We were headed towards the exit.  As I glanced over my shoulder to be sure Big Girl was with me, I noticed how curiously she was holding her hand in her shorts pocket.  I also could not miss the guilty look on her face.  

"What's in your pocket?"  

She froze.  Eyes quickly averted all contact with mine; aimed, instead, for the floor.  I could see her tiny fingers clinch inside her khaki pocket.  

Crap.  Now what?

Holding Little Girl and my own bag of goods that, ironically, I too was sneaking - though COMPLETELY LEGALLY, I knelt to talk to my girl.  

"Baby, what do you have in your pocket.  I need to know.  I won't get mad, just show me."

I can actually interject here and tell you I kept my word and I never got mad.  Even today, I'm not mad.  I do, however, completely understand the meaning of "disappointment".

After she regained control of her limbs (apparently she experienced a mild, yet temporary, case of paralysis), her hand revealed a slightly used pencil-top eraser.  

"Well, baby, that's just an eraser from home.  That's nothing to hide."

Uh-oh.  She's still not looking at me.  There's more.

"What else is in your pocket?  Show me."

At this time, she reluctantly produced that oh-so cutsie key chain that she had pointed out earlier.'re wondering what I did?  

I still don't know if it was right or wrong, but I calmly and patiently told her it was wrong, we cannot do that, returned the item to its place in the store and left.  

Once we arrived at the car, THE TALK commenced.  

As I left it with her, this was her ONCE IN A LIFETIME FREEBIE.  We discussed it.  She knows it was wrong.  I tried to scare her with the police stuff.  It's over.  I'm expecting that she will NEVER EVER try it again, right?

...Oh, and I immediately texted Fire Daddy.  Who, in turn, immediately phoned me back - frantic I think that someone was arrested.  (His first words were, "Who caught her?  Them or you?")

Fire Daddy talked to her more today about The Incident....without me around.  TO HIM she admitted to knowing it was wrong before doing it.  TO HIM she admitted to wanting it really badly.  TO HIM she admitted that "Mommy said we weren't going to get it." 

And, so, the ending changes.  Now, there's a new angle to this crime.  Now, there are different consequences.

So, we're in the midst of our first RESTRICTION.  (She said something about being "grounded" if there was ever a next time.  When we explained that being grounded, for someone her age, meant NOTHING because, "You don't go anywhere."  She replied, "Yes, I do!  I go to school!"  HA!  I'm not fallin' for THAT one, Little Missy!)

As my mother said, I'm sure she won't become a hardened criminal anytime soon...or even in the distant future.  However, right now, this is a very hard thing for me to swallow.  

Now, I'm REALLY not looking forward to their teenage years...and my own payback.  

Welcome to parenthood, Jenny.  Ain't life grand?


  1. Does the Easter Bunny leave egg-shaped coal in baskets??? I think I smell a patent here...

    Also: Correct me if I'm wrong, but YOU want to contribute to this Around the World in 80 Clicks project...
    Like me...

  2. Wow, I got a pit in my stomach for you as I was reading that post, Jenny. I hope you were able to have a happy Easter despite The Incident. {hugs}


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