I Hope She Looks Good in Horizontal Stripes

Recently, I have been faced with a few on the spot judgment calls.

I guess it goes with this whole motherhood gig. Sigh.

Let me set the scene. You are shopping at your local grocery store or Tar-GEY. You round the corner and are faced with those self-serve bins full of granola, nuts, and the ever popular CANDY.

For almost 5 years, my firm, "NO" was sufficient at stopping a curious girl {mine} from peeking inside. I don't ever buy anything in those things if I can help it, because of the whole ICK factor. You'll see what I mean, if you aren't already there with me.

One day we came upon the candy bins and I immediately gave A. the look and said no. She was fine with that until two moms and their group of kidlets approached the bins. Said kidlets reached inside their bin of choice to grab "free" candy, while their moms watched.

A light went on over A.'s head. I saw it and was ready with a swift reminder of "No, we don't do that, let's go, yada, yada."

Mid yada, one of the moms told A. to "Just take one. It's okay."

Quick as lightning she did, before I got across the aisle to stop her.

My little criminal. But the chocolate covered peanut was long gone.

I didn't know what to do. Should I have said something to the mom, you know, about stealing? I pulled A. down the other aisle and firmly reprimanded her for disobeying me and explained how taking even one was wrong, it was stealing, etc.

Since then, this type of thing has happened again, from a member of our family {whom shall remain nameless} who gave A. permission to "just take one". Of course, she did.

So here I am. The candy bin Nazi. Beside a 5 year old felon.

Now I am turning to you, my dear bloggy friends, for your opinion. What would you do? What do you think about the Just Take One principle*?

*I will confess to eating a grape or two or taking a Brachs caramel from time to time when I was a kidlet, usually because my dad did too. I guess theft runs in the family.


  1. Oh my gosh, I am totally shocked! On so many levels. It is SOOOOO stealing. I would NEVER! And encourage my kids!?! And encourage someone else's kid!?!? I'm seriously in shock.

    I'm sorry, but I'm not going to compromise my integrity for a jelly bean. I mean, if I'm going to turn to the dark side, I might as well have a good time doing it with scads of other people's money, like the corrupt politicians in Washington...

  2. You're a great mom, Holly!!!!

    Yes, and I'm with Rochelle--shocked! To tell someone else's kid it's okay to steal? Weird.

  3. oooh- i am on the stealing side. (confession: as a child, i HAVE taken a candy!). it's so stealing. i would like to say i'd confront said mom to her face, but more than likely i would address my child in front of her telling my child why it's wrong. so, you know- passive-aggressive type, non confrontational style of reprimanding. but then, as i think about it, that's not so fair to my kid. i mean, i will for sure tell him off for disobeying me, but another "authority figure" did tell him to take it, so i would likely need to tell that person to not do. not that i'll have the guts to do it when the time comes, but i'd like to. oh man. why are these dilemmas so hard? i think if she's gutsy enough to tell my kid to do something when i've said not to, i will tell her something equally gutsy- as in "no to you." whew- rambling.
    thanks for the heads up on what i have to look forward to when 1- target shows up here and 2- k reaches 5!

  4. that is a hard call. I can't believe a total stranger would disrespect you and tell your kid to do it anyways..but people are nuts... I think you need to tell A. the truth and that it is stealing and that it is just something you don't do. She will grow up and understand.

  5. I think I would have had a hard time not giving that other parent a piece of my mind!!!

    You have to do/teach what you want A to live by. You are doing the right thing. Well I think you are anyway.

    I was wondering what A's response was to what happened????

  6. The first time, with the lady and her kids, it happened so fast and I was so shocked that I didn't know what to say. Since she had given her kids AND my kid permission (as if it was hers to give) to steal, I had a feeling she'd just laugh in my face if I said something, like what's the big deal, it's one piece.

    Plus I didn't want to throwdown in Aisle 6 of HEB.

    I fiercely explained to A. why it was wrong, it was stealing from the store, I had told her not to in the first place. She understood and said she was sorry, etc.

    The NEXT time, she definitely knew it was wrong, but unamed family member said it was okay. Grrr...I reminded her that she KNEW she wasn't supposed to, she should not have even asked...but by that time she had already eaten Just One.

  7. OH BOY! Holly, this is just crazy! Of course it is stealing. People are funny about taking things that aren't theirs to take but if someone were taking it from them and it was theirs...whole diffrent story. It is shocking what some see as acceptable. It was a great teaching moment for you and A. all the same right? I guess you could look at it that way.

  8. keep up the good work mama!! I do remember taking a piece of candy from one of those bins as a kid (and I was older than 5!)...but got a reprimand from my mom! I am thinking that if you talk to the other family member, maybe you all can come to an understanding???

    what if she continues to do it and you make her go pay the manager (with her own money that she got for birthday, saved or worked for?) for that "just one" that she took....? might make an impact on her?

  9. I am with you all on this one... definitely stealing. No way should anyone "take just one". If the store wanted you to sample they would have one of those retired ladies in the aisle handing them out. So wrong... I can't believe the other Mom encouraged it.

  10. I have never let my kids take "just one", and would have been appalled if another parent invited my kids to join in the fun. But when we buy grapes, I always have Chloe test one to see if it's too sour. Guess I figure if it's too sour, they shouldn't be selling them, and if it's sweet enough we'll buy them. So are there degrees of sin? Interesting topic.

    Another thing that strikes me is that I have worked in the retail business at the scrapbook store. You would be amazed at what people think is "owed" to them. I've become quite sensitive to that behavior.

    But here are a couple of things that I "take". 1) I love the little gift cards at Target and sometimes just want one to have, maybe us in a card, some of them play music, etc. ::yoink:: it's mine. 2) Coasters at Chilis, you know to make altered art, cover the chipboard, make a little book, etc. So where to these lie on the spectrum of stealing?

    Oh, my brain hurts now. But you did the right thing. I wouldn't have confronted the Mom, the moment was gone. All you can do is try to teach your own child.

  11. It's so tough raising children today when adults can't even follow the rules. I'm so with you on the ICK factor. Grodie.

  12. I am so surprised that these mothers would tell their kids (and yours!) that it was okay to help themselves to the bins of candy. What in the world? How is that okay? Does that mean we can take other things from the store if they're small? I'm blown away by this and think you're great for teaching Annelise right and wrong.

  13. Um, I am totally with you on this one. It's not like she'd go to jail, but it IS stealing. I can't believe that other mom. That would have made me so mad!

  14. I am with you on the candy and would not allow it and I would have said something to the mother, too.

    Also, I have not been blog reading for almost a couple weeks now and I am SO SORRY about Ike and all that you've been through. I can imagine you are tired of the topsy-turvey it's caused. I hope all is back in order soon.

  15. That is creepy of that other woman. I would have been upset, too.

    I just recently ate raspberries at the upick place. (while we were picking the ones we paid for.) Hmmmm. Was that bad?

    Anyway, I totally agree with how you handled it. It is stealing.

  16. I am smiling at your comment that "theft runs in your family". Sorry to smile but it just seemed humorous at the moment. I am with you though on this. It is totally disrepectful of that other "mom" to have given another child not even her own little thief to steal. It certainly must have been confusing for A coming from another adult. You were right tho to make the lesson at the moment it happened. I probably would have said something to the mom too now. But, not sure what I would've done 30 years ago. I am much bolder now.

  17. I would have probably not said anything to that mom but I would say to MY CHILD. I am your mom, you follow the rules that OUR family follows. I consider that stealing, you get one pass but know I am disappointed that you took the candy and even more disappointed that you didn't follow my directions. I explained this once but I hope I don't have to explain it again because if I do you will be in a lot of trouble. Lets go. (of course I would say it loud enough for the other moms to hear).


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