So here's a big fat What Would YOU Do for your consideration right here in the down time between Christmas and New Years:
Picture the scene... Mark and I took the two youngest with their Yuletide cash to one of the largest retailers in America on the day after Christmas. To say it was a madhouse would be an obscene understatement. People were everywhere.
In the midst of the chaos, I told one of my children (who shall remain nameless) that it would behoove them to keep their cash in their pocket because pulling it out to stare at it like it was their Precious every 5 seconds would heighten their risk of losing it.
I think it must have been somewhere around the 16th time of repeating the aforementioned warning that I made the firm decision to NOT replace any cash that was foolishly lost because said offspring refused to obey.
We finally finished our torturous shopping experience a trillion and a half hours later when we headed to the equally torturous check-out line. "Child" puts their goods up on the belt thing and proceeds to pull out their cash.
Or should I say: What was left of it.
It was very obvious from the look on Child's face that they realized right away that they were not going to have enough to pay for 2 of the 3 things that they were hoping to purchase. Eventually, all of the pulling of the moolah in and out of their pockets caused some to fall out.
Even though I'd told them so, I still felt like crap, but I had no other alternative than to say, "I'm so sorry, but you are going to have to put back these two things. This probably wouldn't have happened if you'd have obeyed Mama, you know."
The child looked at me with big ol' tears forming in their eyes and simply said "Yes ma'am". Child was naturally disappointed, and I can understand that. Tears rolled quietly as they paid for the rest of their stuff, but they weren't obnoxious about it. After all, it stinks when you are learning a lesson the hard way.
In the mean time... The people who were behind us in line made no bones about the fact that they thought I was a HORRIBLE jerk of a Mom. One of them muttered "that's just wrong" when they witnessed the exchange between Child and me. I decidedly ignored it because I don't have to defend my parenting to random people who don't have a clue what's already happened.
We gathered up our stuff and we walked toward the door. We ended up running into some friends of ours on the way out, so we exchanged the usual greetings and kept on going. We were just about to exit when a woman (who I'd never seen before, not even in the line behind us) comes running up to us holding the items that Child had to leave behind. She looked at Child sympathetically and handed them to her. I said (like a goober) "No ma'am, we didn't pay for those things." But she motioned that she had and then she put her hands up as if she wouldn't take them back and then walked off.
I was stunned and humiliated, and then I got M-A-D (all in the time span of about a minute). We got to the car where I had to explain the whole thing to Mark, who had been helping the other Child and didn't know WHAT in the free world was going on. Then HE got mad, but at that point, neither of us knew what to do about it.
So, I turn the question over to you, bloggy friends. Now, go getcha some leftover Christmas cookies and a large drink, and then tell me.... If this little scenario had happened with you and your child (and random strangers), what would YOU have done?
Thanks. And a Happy New Year to you!