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Mommy's Little Shoplifter

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Motherhood: It's full of many new experiences ... but little did I know that shoplifting would be one of them.

toddler at grocery store

Christina Montoya Fiedler: We've all been there: We're out with our toddlers, and suddenly they decide to have a meltdown. Not your everyday meltdown, but the kind that causes wide-eyed stares and gasps. My child chose the busiest day in our local supermarket to have the mother of all meltdowns.

We flew through our list, and at checkout, I scrambled to place our items quickly onto the conveyer belt and get the hell out of this godforsaken place called Ralphs. Maybe through the corner of my eyes, I saw my son playing with a pack of something he pulled off the shelf. Whatever. He stopped screaming, I stopped getting glared at and we were moving, on our way out to the Promised Land ... er, the parking lot and home. Couldn't hurt, right? WRONG.

I paid my bill, shoved the receipt in my pocket and we were off. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! The sound was us setting the security alarms off as we exited the premises. I had no idea why, and kept going -- and would have made it if it weren't for the burly security guard who chased us down.

"Ma'am, may I see your bag and receipt?" he asked.

"Sure," I replied. "I can guarantee you'll find nothing."

Only he did find something: eight packages of Duracell batteries, costing a whopping $8.99 each. My little man had pulled a five-finger discount while I wasn't looking. (Or, judging by the number of items, a ten-finger discount). Whoa! I didn't know whether to be horrified ... or impressed at my son's stealth.

The security guard looked at us. "Ma'am," he said, "batteries are expensive, and kid toys take a lot of batteries. Is there a reason why you have so many here that are unpaid for? I'm going to have to call the manager."

Seriously? Did we look dangerous? To my rescue came our checker -- the dear lady who we checked out with nearly every time we came, but only because she gave us a balloon and endless patience. She acted as our character witness and let the security guard know that if any kid was to do this, it would be mine. I quickly agreed with her. (Only later did I question what she actually meant.)

On the ride home, I contemplated what had happened, and smiled. This could only happen to us.

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jilly March 19, 2010, 6:18 AM

Funny! I recall many times after shopping unloading the cart or getting the little ones out of the stroller, I would find a little goodie hidden away! I even took it step further…I was shopping and using the basket of the stroller as a cart…I forgot what all I had put in and had to go back into the store!

Anonymous March 19, 2010, 8:45 AM

HA HA you got busted.

Pamala March 19, 2010, 3:37 PM

My daughter shop lifted a pair of shorts from Gymboree. She was so good at it that I had no idea until she pulled them out as I was getting her out of the car when we got home!

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