Last Thursday, my girls had the day off from school because our school's basketball team was playing in the state tournament. Despite being a very busy day for me, the girls were behaving very well... or so I thought...
One of my many errands was stopping at the local pharmacy to pick up prescriptions for my grandmother. I had called them in earlier, but they weren't quite ready. The girls and I sat playing with tiny wind-up toys while we waited. They were pretty cute, but not cute enough to spend $9.95 on to sit in the bottom of the toy box.
When the prescriptions were ready, the sales woman (whom I've known for years) called me over to the register to pay. With the girls by my side, I paid and we left. They were still behaving very well. I was totally impressed!
After a few more tedious errands, we finally headed for home. Meanwhile, the girls fought incessantly in the back seat the entire twenty minute car ride home. So much for them behaving! I was going crazy trying to make them stop. I even pulled over and told them to get out of the car if they were going to continue to fight. Of course, they called my bluff and gravel flew as I pulled away from the shoulder of the road... grrrr.....
I had to give them credit for doing so well all day, but this was enough! When I pulled into the driveway, I told them to go to their rooms for ten minutes for a time-out. Unfortunately, the fighting continued upstairs between the two rooms.
Eventually, I discover that my youngest (6) stole a little tube of lotion from the pharmacy while no one was looking!
I was floored! I've talked about steeling a hundred times with my girls and for the life of me, I couldn't understand why she did it. She is so considerate of other's feelings and belongings. She is almost heartbroken when she does things that are naughty. I just couldn't believe it!
After a long talk and an even longer time-out I told her she would have to set it straight; she would have to go in and pay for it and apologize. She was completely embarrassed over this idea, but the next day, I called the saleswoman that helped me. I told her what happened and asked her not to be harsh, but don't tell her that
"it's ok" either. I wanted Lexi to learn from this experience... not only from me, but from another adult.
With her piggy bank in one hand and the tube of lotion in the other, we walked into the pharmacy embarrassed looks on both our faces. On the verge of tears, all she could do was walk up to the woman and hand her the lotion. She couldn't say a thing. She is shy to strangers to begin with, but having to admit she did such a bad thing made it even worse.
The woman talked her through it with not a word spoken from Lexi. I tried to get her to talk, but got nothing.
"Do you want to pay for that?"
"Where did you get it?"
"Did you take it?"
"Without paying for it?"
"You know it's wrong to steal, don't you?"
After a few more words from the woman, Lexi felt a little more comfortable, but still a little shamed. She slowly counted out a little over two dollars to pay for it while two more customers where patiently waiting behind us. Luckily, they too understood what was happening and what I was trying to do.
In that twenty-four hour period, I went from feeling like a proud mama of two very well-behaved kids, to a fed-up mama - ready to dump those same kids on the side of the road, to a disappointed mama - discovering her child is a thief, to an embarrassed mama - having to fess up to it all, to a mean mama - forcing my child to do something so degrading, to a proud mama once again for making her do the right thing and teaching her a lesson.
I just hope it sunk in because I don't want to have to do that again!