Baby Girl reached another childhood milestone today at the age of 4 1/2. You know the one. It's not one people usually brag about, but adults can usually recall reaching this milestone themselves.
Baby Girl thieved some children's rings (two, to be exact) from a store today. And not just ANY store. It was the United Methodist bookstore called Cokesbury.....a christian store. Yup.
She had been admiring the rings at the back of the store and we looked at them together. Later, when we were in a different area of the store, a worker came over and said, "If it's okay with your mommy and daddy, you may have this ring." It happened to be one of the rings she had been admiring. How nice for Baby Girl!!!
We got home, watched Wizard of Oz, I awoke from my nap, and Baby Girl excitedly showed me her THREE rings! I knew immediately what she had done, but needed to check with Kerrfunk to confirm the situation.
Kerrfunk and I agreed that we needed to discuss this with Baby Girl and return the rings ASAP.
We asked Baby Girl to show us her rings. I asked which one was given to her by the worker and she showed me. Then I asked where she got the other two rings. She said that she took them herself. We explained to her that we were sad about that and needed to return the rings since we didn't pay for them. And she was going to have to return ALL THREE rings. Baby Girl immediately felt the consequences of her actions internally. She became sullen, embarrassed, and ashamed. She didn't want to go back to the store. Kerrfunk points out the power held within those emotions. He says, "If only we could bottle what she's feeling right now." His thinking is that by offering people a preview (of sorts) of those emotions, it might prevent people from committing acts which bring about those emotions.
We went back to the store and found the worker who had interacted with us before. Baby Girl was quiet, so I explained the situation. The worker said she understood and that her own son had done that as a child and again as a grown up (teenager) and he had to visit jail for it. The worker reiterated what we had talked about with Baby Girl....that we don't want her getting into trouble when she's older. The worker also understood the thinking of Baby Girl by telling her that if she had wanted a different color, she could have traded the original ring for a different color.
When out shopping with Baby Girl in the past, I have discussed the importance of always paying for what we want. That we always buy our things, otherwise we could get in trouble. This concept is not foreign to her. But the gray area surrounding the incident can be found when the worker offered the ring to Baby Girl. What I'm not sure of is if Baby Girl had stuck the other two rings in her pocket BEFORE or AFTER the offer of the ring. Hmmmmmm.
I know that I never did this as a kid. NO WAY!!! Kerrfunk said he remembers a couple incidents.
Hopefully this will be the last time for Baby Girl.
And the worker was very gracious. She told Baby Girl that we can come back another time (when Mommy and Daddy are ready) and essentially have a do-over.