Thursday, January 14, 2016

No Christmas and no toys

My precocious 4-year-old granddaughter and I were shopping at the store for Rolos to go in the Family Home Evening cookies.
We had the candy and I remembered promising her I would get her new batteries for her little iPod-like toy.
I had even opened up the back and written down what number of battery we would need.
So we crossed over from the main cashier stations to the electronics department. The nice man herded us to the back to the watch battery area.
That's when I noticed Mia had a pink bubble gum tape dispenser in her hand.
"Oh, no!, I told her, "We're not buying that today. You have to go put that back."
She didn't fight me on it but headed out toward the bank of cashier stations.
I tried to keep an eye on her so she wouldn't get lost and in a few minutes she came back, sort of.
She was heading the wrong way when I caught her eye.
"Here, Mia! I'm here," I said and she happily joined up with me.
It wasn't until we got home that she produced the bubble gum from her pocket and started to busily unwrap it.
She does love a treat.
"Mia," I said, "We didn't pay for that. We have to take it back!"
She smiled and shook her head.
Her mother was mildly alarmed.
She knelt down and looked Mia in the eye. "Mia, you can't take things from the store without paying for them. This is wrong."
Mia nodded without understanding and kept chewing, not really recognizing what she'd done.
Later on, I went by the store and found another bubble gum tape and paid $1.29 for it, explaining the crime.
The employees were not shocked. In fact, they said it happens about twice a day.
Later on, Mia told me her mother took her to the store again and made her confess and pay for the gum in pennies, nickels and dimes.
Mia said she was happy now that she wouldn't be arrested.
She didn't want to go to prison, she said, looking at me with her big blue eyes.
"In prison, there's no Christmas and no toys!" she solemnly told me. "I wouldn't like it there!"

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