Saturday, May 9, 2009

Emma the pincher

This is my sweet 7 year old daughter. She just finished some watermelon so her face is a bit messy, but I needed a mug shot for this post. Yep, my Emma has sticky fingers. In more ways than one.



We were sorting out her room yesterday so we could decide what we were taking with us and what we would be taking to the women's shelter when what did I find, but her booty drawer-her loot-her treasure box-misbegotten goods! Apparently she had been stealing at the grocery market over the last couple months! I was stunned. MY LITTLE ANGEL STEALING! We don't steal. We earn our money fair and square. Well, I made her pack everything up and yesterday we stood in line at the customer service desk behind the people trying to buy Listerine and cigarettes. (you have to buy the mouth wash at the customer service counter because it has alcohol in it. I think that is hilarious-who in their right mind would imbibe on Listerine as an alcoholic beverage? Especially when the wine is so nice here? OK I am diverging - back to the topic) It was our turn and Emma dumped out her little bag of 4 heart shaped fairy tins with a ring and bracelet in each and told the assistant manager that she stole them and she was now returning them and we needed to know the price so she could work off her crime around the house.



There was a standstill at the desk. Apparently either kids don't steal here or parents don't drag their kids back in with the loot. It became a parade around Woolies as we were looking for a sample product and employees were assisting with punishment suggestions. In the end we returned the stolen goods and Emma will be working off $30 worth of work around the house. She also had to write a letter to the store manager apologizing for her crime.



I stole some little toy farm animals when I was about 4 from a friend at the swimming pool. My mom found me playing with them in my room after dinner and she made me march down the road and return them. I was so embarrassed and ashamed of my greed. I have not stolen since. I hope this impressed on my daughter that it is not acceptable to steal.


What do we want as parents for our children? I want mine to be healthy, happy, spiritual and productive members of society. Pretty simple really. They are all 3 as smart as they can be so we have been blessed with that, but I want them to respect themselves and others as well. Time will tell, I guess.



Emma said she was happy we finally got rid of them because she knew she couldn't wear the pretty jewels because I would see them and I would know that they didn't belong to her. Very true...but I ended up finding them anyway. Moms just know everything.



Happy Mother's Day ladies! I hope none of your darlings have sticky fingers!

17 comments:

Wendy said...

Dear campfollower

As a mum you've done the right thing. But I do think you should take her picture down. Save it for another day when you tell us a happy story about the wonderful things she is doing.

lesthook said...

Ah! My 32 year old daughter did the same thing at that age! And I did pretty much the same as you. Now she is a nurse in a prison,LOL, and when she wants anything works extra shifts. She has turned into a really fine,honest,nice woman. You're doing good Mom!

the Campfollower said...

Well the picture has to saty up until my mom sees it. Gotta get some grandma time in. We are a hemisphere away so grandparents don't get the see the kids too often. Thanks for the advice anyway.

Claudia said...

Tia,
That little face is just too irresistible! I have a hard time disciplining my 8 year olds because they just look so sweet an innocent (most of the time anyway!) I had a little boy who pilfered some candy and trinkets from my treasure chest...I found a little stash in his desk! So I called his Mom, thinking that she would help me discpline him. Nope. Her response was "Oh, ok." No other reply or repsonse or solution. I really admire how you handled the situation. I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day!

One Little Thread said...

Oh dear, I have had a giggle. Mine did the same thing at about 4yo. We were in a wool shop and she took 2 balls of wool. Don't know what she thought she was going to do with it, as she sure couldn't knit! I did exactly what you did and made her fess up to the manager. The manager was a lovely woman who said something like, "that's ok dear". I said it was NOT ok and asked if she'd like to call the police? It gave Miss 4 enough of a fright then to realise the seriousness. LOL
At about 6 or 7yo I then found the stash of small sugar packets in her bedside draw. She used to take these every week when we had a coffee after dancing class. Technically not really stealing, as we were given them with our coffee and didn't use them. Kids....don't you just love them.
Keep up the great work!
Alison

the Campfollower said...

I do like accountability and responsibility. LOL!

Claudia, I bet you get to see all manner of stuff with your 2nd graders ;o)

One little thread, Very funny about the sugar packets - my grandma kept a stash of "sweetnlow" up till the day she died. Dear woman. I sure miss her spunk. Not only would she steal it, she would ask us to put things in our bags as well. I guess Emma comes by the sticky fingers naturally. LOL

2ndAvenueStudio-Rachel said...

I was totally busted by my mom. I stole a carob bar at the Health Food store(blah now youd have to pay me to even touch it) walked outside to eat it... where I was discovered by mom.
She said "where did you get that?"
I was like, "duh, health food store"
She started weeping, crying... she was so mad and marched me in there..
the store owner glared at me and said to me "you made your mother cry, you should be ashamed".
I cried all the way home, at the dinner table, my sister's would tease me and finally my mom had to pretend she didn't remember....
I never stole again... ever.

soggybottomflats said...

Tia
I agree with you on the punishment and not letting these things go. When my baby boy was @4 or 5 he started getting light fingers. Weird stuff, uncut keys from the hardware store, pockets of nails, omg, just weird stuff. Didn't matter if it were mom or dad, he did it. We tried EVERYTHING, returning the goods, and we got the, "oh, it's ok", time outs, etc. and nothing worked. I took him to early Mass one Sunday and as I was saying my Rosary on the kneeler, my darling little boy asked, "Why is Jesus leaking blood and crying", wonderful mommy that I am, told him it was because he stole things. To this day I have not forgiven myself for saying that and really don't know why I did it. But...it worked. My little angel got on his knees and replicated a Christmas card, with the little hands up to his face and tears streaming down. Don't think I didn't feel bad for that one. He has never "done" the bad deed again. Oh, the best part..his daddy is a retired cop and he went on to become a prison guard on death row in Arizona. I guess some kids turn out good, lol, in spite of mommy! Hugs to you Tia, and happy mommies day to you! Elaine from Texas

sylvia said...

I think that your beautiful daughter just made some errors in judgement that are not uncommon at that age - forgive her and love her as she is too cute! I bet she will never forget the lesson learned here and she'll grow up to be all that you want for her. It's easy to be tremendously shocked but later when she is grown, it will be a great story for you and she to tell! (My 60 yr old husband tells a similar tale of when he was about that age and now he doesn't even cheat on his income taxes!)
Sylvia

julie said...

Oh! Tia, we've all been there as parents. You did the right thing. My adult children to this day remember having to do the very same thing when I sprung them. Lollies right at child height at checkouts is just begging to be taken. Gotta love your kids don't you, warts and all. Give her a special hug and kiss tomorrow when she wishes you happy mothers day.

Tif said...

I would have done the same thing :) . I'm sure she has learned her lesson...I think it's normal for them to push limits.

How are you these days? Aren't you off to Kansas soon???

Breezy Bree said...

Oh bless! She has learnt her lesson though, well done you for taking her back. My youngest boy once swiped some shoes in his buggy, problem was they were three sizes too small and pink...lol

Kristin L said...

My favorite part of your story is Emma's realization that she felt so much better after returning the items since she couldn't use them anyway (for fear of you finding her out). I think you handled the situation admirably. I even shared the story with my kids and they agreed: stealing is wrong, returning the items and apologizing is appropriate, and yes, moms WILL always find out in the end. :-)

Bernadette said...

Oh poor Emma! Such a sweet innocent face. Well done on being a great Mum I am sure this story will be brought out at her 21st as these sorts of stories do. Gave me a laugh on Mothers Day!

calamity kim said...

Well- I think that's a great Mother's Day story! I do think Mother's Know Everything! My Mom found a plastic mary poppins head (I had swiped it off an umbrella from a kid in kindergarten) and when I lied and said she gave it to me- my Mom just knew I was a thief and a liar! so she made me turn it in to the teacher and I was so embarrassed! I never stole anything again- I think all kids do it at least once and how parents respond to it is how we learn right from wrong!
I hope you have a Happy Mother's Day tomorrow!
I also just added your blog to my sidebar- I hadn't realized that I had not done that!

LauraJ said...

You handled it so well!

Rafael's Mum said...

can only echo the above, you did well Tia, and I am sure she won't do it again, both because of your reaction, and because she was unhappy about it in the first place but didn't know how to get herself out of it! I think it isjust something kids experience. Bit like saying a 100 times, "do not touch that fire", but once burnt they never do it again and is unfortunately far more effective. luckily most life lessons are not lifethreatening. I do feel for her though having it on the blog...a lot of people now know, and comment ! Lol!

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