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Friday, July 22, 2011

My Son, the Underwear Thief

It's true.  He stole some underwear from Gymboree on Tuesday.  And I didn't even know until today.  I was horrified at first, then I started to laugh.
This past Tuesday, I took my kids to Children's Place and Gymboree to buy some clothes.  I had some Gymbucks to use before they expired.  I had also planned to take them to Stride Rite to buy shoes for school.  Shoes were on clearance there for around $15 a pair.  Fortunately (you'll understand why later in the post), we did not make it to Stride Rite that day because my kids were not on their best behavior. Actually, they never are on their best behavior so I don't know why I thought I would be able to hit 3 stores at the mall that day. 
We started out going to Children's Place to return some shoes that were too big for Ben.  The store has a good sale going on right now so I bought a pair of shorts and a pajama set for Ben.  From there, we went to Gymboree.  I like how Gymboree has a TV and chairs for the kids.  And the store is small enough to make it easy to keep watch on the kids from nearly any angle in the store.  I let Ben hold onto the Children's Place bag while he and Jackie watched TV.  Big mistake! While I was trying to decide what to spend the Gymbucks on, Ben kept getting up from his chair and checking to see what I was doing.  A couple of times, he brought over a pair of underwear to show me.  I explained to him that I was not buying underwear there and beside, they were not even his size.  I periodically checked on the kids and I noticed that Ben was holding onto yet another pair of underwear.  I figured as long as he is just holding onto him, then it was okay.  No need to start a fight over underwear.  I would just put them back on the rack when I went to check out.  After I picked out some clothes for Ben and Jackie and paid, the kids and I started to head out of the store when the thought occurred to me that I should check the Children's Place bag in case Ben decided to heist some underwear from Gymboree.  I looked in the bag and didn't see any underwear. So we left the mall. No shoes this day as the kids were really starting to misbehave and fight. 
So this morning, I decided today would be a good day to shop for the kids' shoes.  We got to the mall and I took the kids to Chick-Fil-A first for lunch.  Thankfully, the kids were very well behaved while they ate.  We then went over to Stride Rite where I noticed that the remaining clearanced shoes were marked down even further to $9.88!  Ben is really starting to have an opinion on shoes so we ended up with just 1 pair for him.  I got 2 pairs of shoes for Jackie. 
After we got home, as I unloaded my car trunk, I noticed the bags from Tuesday's shopping trip. After I brought them into the house, I went through and started to put the items in the proper places.  As I emptied the Children's Place bag, I noticed at the bottom of the bag an item that I did not recognize as one that I purchased.  I took it out and noticed that it was a pair of Gymboree underwear.  I knew I did not purchase those underwear.  I was horrified but then I broke out in laughter. 
Now, as funny as it is, I think it is also a serious thing.  By putting those underwear underneath the items already in the bag, it indicated to me that Ben was intentional in hiding those underwear so that I wouldn't see them right away.  Now I know he probably still doesn't totally understand about stealing.  He doesn't yet understand the financial impact of stealing.  So, why did he take them?  He hid the underwear from me because he wanted them even after I told him to put them back on the store rack.  He knew what he was doing was wrong. 
Today after Tim got home, I showed Tim the underwear and told him the story behind it.  Like me, he laughed but he also realized the seriousness of the situation.  Until this time, I didn't even let Ben see the underwear because I knew that he would insist that they were his.  Even if they were too big and heisted from the store. So Tim showed Ben the underwear and when he asked Ben if he took them from the store, Ben smiled and nodded his head.  He insisted that the underwear were his.  We explained that it is wrong to take things out of a store without Mommy's or Daddy's permission.  I don't know how much Ben truly understood but he didn't seem to be too upset that we couldn't let him keep the underwear.
So, guess who will be paying a visit to Gymboree very soon?  Hopefully, the store employee will find humor in the situation and appreciate my honesty.
For your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of the "flaming baseball" underwear. 

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