Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Look Like a Thief

2 days ago I stopped by Michaels Arts & Crafts to pick up some art supplies for some at home fun for Kai.  Kai was so well behaved that, when he came up to me with a purple ball and asked if he could have that, I figured I could spare the $1 on the desired toy.


That afternoon, my friend Jackie and her 2 boys (Kai - yes, we had 2 Kai's at the house and though it made for some confusion among the kiddo's, the scenarios were quite amusing at times - and Dustin) joined us for a play date.  Just like moms do at play dates, Jackie and I chatted and chatted, occasionally pausing to tell the kids to "play nice and share".  Our conversation planted the seed for another project that I wanted to try out, so yesterday, guess where we went...Michaels! 

On our way out, Kai wanted to bring his blankies, but after some convincing from my part, he decided it was acceptable to leave them on the sofa.  BUT...he had to bring his new purple ball.  Fine by me.

Once at Michaels, Kai hops out of the car, I put Ryder in the carrier on my chest, get my bag and lock the car.  There is so much to think about when running a simple errand such as getting some poster board and some stickers.  Ugh.  I enter the store and as I turn around and see Kai walk through the sliding doors, following me, my heart stops.  In his hand?  The purple ball I had gotten at this very store the day before.  Nope, didn't have the receipt anymore, threw it out at home.  Here I am with a toddler holding a ball, which to any employee looks like he just pulled it off the shelf, therefore making it theft if he walked out the door without me paying for it.

Option 1: he holds the ball, we look like we're shoplifting and I explain that we (truthfully) bought the ball yesterday.
Option 2: I find a way to take the ball from him, put it in my bag, I look like I'm shoplifting, while dealing with a toddler who will without any doubt throw an absolute fit.

Either way: I am going to look like I'm shoplifting and am stealing this darn ball, worth a whopping $1!

I picked option 2, but for the next 10 minutes my mind races faster than I can keep up with it.  "How the hell was I was going to do this?"  And then...there is the sticker aisle.  And a spare, empty shopping basket.  Kai wants to pull things off the shelf and fill the basket. 
"Hallelujah!  Thank you My Love for accommodating my evil plan"!  "Yes, go ahead and fill up the basket!  While you're at it, put your ball in it as well, it frees up both hands to hold the basket."  

[Ball goes in basket.  Step 1 completed!]
Me: "Honey, that basket is getting pretty heavy, give it to me, I'll carry it."
[Kai hands over basket.  Yeah!  Step 2 completed]
As Kai turns around I quickly grab the ball, stuff it in my bag and start putting other things back onto the shelf until only the desired sticker sheets remain. 
[Woohoo, mission completed!  Now, let's hope no one saw me, including my own son.]
[I give the basket back to Kai.]
Kai: "Mommy!!  Mommy!!  Kai's ball!  Kai's purple ball!!"
Mommy's heart breaks and all tricks to divert and distract are being pulled out of the bag of tricks, until that bag is as empty as it can be.  The crappy thing is that I totally forgot to bring a cereal bar.  Note to self: never ever leave without the proper amount of snacks as bribes negotiating material!

As we manage to make it to the check-out line without Kai actually throwing a fit, I realize we're pretty safe, unless the ball falls out of my bag at the check out stand or something.  It doesn't and we make it to the car.  As Kai plops down in his seat I pull the ball out of my bag and show him.  His face lights up and he and his purple $1 ball are inseparable for the rest of the ride home.

I seriously hope that no one saw me, because despite not shoplifting at all, it certainly must have looked like I did.  Sigh...and all that for a $1 ball.  No, actually, all that for a happy toddler.



Hello! I'm Kate. said...

THIS HAPPENS TO ME ALL THE TIME! We grocery shop at walmart & everything comes from there-his snacks, his sippy cups, his toys that I distract him with while I shop-and I always forget to grab something different as I leave home.

Scares the pee out of me because my dad is a lawyer and he has represented people who have been falsely arrested who are now suing the store that did it to them over stupid stuff like this!

Good trick though! And it's so worth it for a happy toddler!

Sofia said...

that is funny!! I had a similar occasion - my son was sitting in the cart and 'helping out', anyways, when i got to the car, i realized somehow we didn't pay for one paint, he was holding onto it. So, we marched back in and paid for it while explaining the employee how we almost shoplifted a paint :)
Joys of shopping with toddlers!! :)

Emily said...

Haha! Too funny. As someone who used to work in Loss Prevention, I will tell you this. Either make it very clear upon entering the store that he has a ball (Ie holding it out for all the cameras to see) Or better yet, just go up to the cashier on your way in, and show them the ball. That way you're covered and no crazy plots to get the ball away from Kai!!

PS Hope you get some sleep soon. Tell Ryder parties are for day time!!

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