It started like this: Two weeks ago we were leaving a friend’s house after a fun-filled afternoon playdate. I strapped Emma into her car seat and started driving down the road, when Emma said, “Mommy- look.” She held out her open hand containing a small plastic toy that belonged to her friend. I said, “Emma! That’s not yours! You can’t just take someone else’s toy from their house. That’s called stealing.” She replied, “But Mommy, I love it.” She carried that toy in her hand for three days until I was finally able to pry it from her grasp and return it to its rightful owner. And by returning it, I mean sneaking into my friend’s house and placing the toy back in her daughter’s room without anyone noticing. What? It was my first time dealing with this, ok?
Last week, when I picked Emma up from school I noticed that she was wearing a new accessory- a light-up pink jelly ring. The thing was enormous. I asked her, “What is that?” She said, “It’s a ring. Look- it lights up!” And so it did. So then I asked, “Where did it come from?” She said, “It’s Natalie’s.” Natalie is not her real name btw- I have a reputation to protect-Emma’s of course. I gave up on mine years ago. Back to the story….
So then I said, “Did Natalie give that to you?” Emma replied, “No, she brought it for sharing. I found it.” What?! Not again! So I said, “Honey! You can’t take Natalie’s sharing! Imagine how sad she is right now. She brought that for sharing because it is special to her and now it’s gone!” So then Emma said, “But I found it.” I replied, “Yes, but the right thing to do would have been to return it to Natalie. Just because you found it, doesn’t mean it belongs to you. You are giving it back to Natalie the next time we see her.” That seemed to sink in, except Emma has since broken poor Natalie’s ring, so if you know of a place where I can get a pink light-up jelly ring in a pinch that would be great. *cough*
Why does my little kleptomaniac have such sticky fingers? I am mortified. I can assure you though, I am on it. I’m not sure exactly what being “on it” entails, but I’m going to figure something out. I the meantime, please consider this post a disclaimer.
To all potential future playdates: You lock away the silver and your jewelry, and I’ll give my daughter a full pat-down before we leave your house. Deal? (Please still invite me over for play dates I swear my daughter won’t steal your stuff well maybe she might but I swear that she’ll only take the crappy stuff but if it’s really nice stuff I promise to bring it back except if she breaks it and then I’ll do my best to replace whatever jelly light-up contraption it is because if I don’t have play dates scheduled I might lose my mind or what’s left of it and then the only thing I’ll have left to do is shop at Target and if one more toy from the dollar bin makes its way into my house I’m going to need to be committed.)