Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Thief! Thief!

The Dictator had her first run in with the law. Yup, that's right. The Law.

The Dictator stole a pair of shoes and a doll from BabyGap.

Nanny Mimi, The Dictator, one of my friends and myself all went to this mall in Scottsdale, Arizona, yesterday. Before we left, I was super-excited about this excursion.

"Shop and drop," I kept telling The Dictator. "That's all we are going to do today. Shop and Drop. Shop and Drop. Are you ready? Can you say, 'Shop and Drop?'"

"Shop and Drop," The Dictator would repeat. "Ready!"

"Good girl," I'd say, patting her on her head. Sometimes, The Dictator is so easy to train. Anyway.

We had stopped in the BabyGap, because there was this straw hat I've become obsessed with. Rather, I've become obsessed with The Dictator wearing this straw hat. Baby Gap had one left, which was on a baby mannequin all the way up above a stack of jeans.

(Why are the baby mannequins so much scarier than adult-size manniquens? And how do you spell mannequin anyway?)

The Dictator was in her stroller, The Baby Gap salesperson was on a ladder, trying to reach the straw hat, and it was pretty much a nightmare. As you could imagine, I wasn't exactly paying attention to The Dictator. I mean, I really wanted that hat for her.

After all that trouble, the hat - sigh - was too big for The Dictator's pint-size head. Frustrated, because I wanted the hat and it didn't fit The Dictator, and also because Nieman Marcus didn't take Visa and I was all ready to shell out big bucks for a Miu Miu white purse, I left Baby Gap in a bit of a huff. My "Shop and Drop" day wasn't going so well.

Halfway across the mall, I looked down only to see that there was a pair of shoes and a monkey doll in The Dictator's hands. Gaa! The Baby Gap tags were still on them. The shoes were about four sizes too small for The Dictator. And she already owns the doll she had stolen.

"Oh my God! You have to take them back," I said to Nanny Mimi, handing the "hot" items to her.





My friend thought we should just forget about it and take off but a) I'm no thief and b) the shoes The Dictator had five-fingered, were way too small. I mean, if you're going to steal something, at least steal them in your own size. Or at least that's what I told The Dictator. Joking.

Nanny Mimi ran back to Baby Gap and gave the shoes and the doll back. I'm grateful no alarm bells went off. Although, it would be kind of funny to call The Fiance and say, "This is my one phone call. The Dictator stole a pair of shoes from Baby Gap. Bail us out!"

I just love how toddlers want something in a store, and so they take it, like they have no worries in the world, like, 'La la la. I like that monkey doll. I'm going to take them. La la la."

Now I'm all paranoid that this experience will be the one I look back on in 14 years and say, "Well, she started out stealing from Baby Gap, and it just went downhill from there."


Blogger Paulo said...

The same thing has happened to me. Of course, my story is of the toy store variety, but same thing.

What I've learned is that being a thief is easiest when you don't know you're stealing.

If only someone would just toss a good pair of dress shoes into my messenger bag the next time I'm in Nieman's...

6:53 PM

Blogger Cindy said...

thats kinda funny. The only thing I ever stole was candy from the store, but got busted and had to work there for a week. I was like 6 and had been dared. (I also only stole like 25 cents worth too)

It's amazing how they just have no understanding of why they can't just take what they want. Kids.

7:18 PM

Blogger DM said...

Your kid stole some merchandise, but rather than return the loot yourself, you had the nanny do it?


8:32 PM

Blogger Kristen said...

That is too funny- I'll look for her on the next episode of "America's Most Wanted," since you're here in the States. Do you guys have a Canada's Most Wanted in case she gets nabbed when you return home? LOL.

I definitely think you should have made the call to the Fiance. Hilarious.

9:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to get the hate on, but I agree with DM. You have a two-year old repeat "shop and drop" and you are surprised when she "shoplifts" (I'm not sure a two-year-old actually CAN shoplift), and then you make your nanny take the items back?

What a message to send to your daughter, let alone to everyone here!

9:33 AM

Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

That's awesome. I love when babies steal.

6:51 PM

Blogger Heather said...

Everytime I stole something (and apparently it was alot) My parents ALWAYS made me return it myself. Likely why I stopped, just not sure why it took so long.

8:15 PM

Blogger HomeFireBlue said...

Wow, first time ever reading this blog and I'm stunned at some of the comments.

Holy cow, guys ... the kid's TWO. She's TWO! Two year olds don't comprehend that they don't own the entire playground and pitch a fit when you tell them they can't LIVE there. Do you propose that she have the Dictator toddle back in the Gap and return her finds? Maybe restock some shelves in apology?

Have you ever had a two year old?


10:44 AM

Blogger DM said...

Who's giving the kid a hard time? The only critical comments suggest that maybe Ms. Eckler should have taken responsibility for her kid's conduct, rather than fobbing it off on the hired help.

4:04 PM

Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I stole flowers from a neighbour's garden when I was five. Mom marched me right up to the front door to return the already-picked tulips, and my cheeks still burn at the memory. Never stole a thing again.

5:10 PM


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