It happened last night. My baby tried to steal something. I couldn't believe it, but I guess it's not uncommon at her age. This is how it went down...
We were at the Dollar store looking for footie pajamas. Super O! wanted everything in site, which is unusual for her. She usually just casually hints that something looks cool and if she's good and it's cheap, I'll get it as a treat if we buy other things. Last night, she was in a mood and the uglies came out. "Mom, I want this...Mom, can I have this". All of the answers were NO! As we were leaving the store, I was in front of her and I heard her touching a rack behind me. I opened the door, stepped out, turned around and I saw it. She had a hand held battery operated fan in her hand and was about to walk out of the store with it. I saw red! How could this happen? My baby is only 5, where did she get the idea that taking something that doesn't belong to you is okay?
I immediately turned her around and marched her up to the checkout counter. The lady was busy helping another customer so we stood there, Super O! with guilt on her face, me with embarrassment on mine. When the lady was finished, I calmly said "My daughter tried to take this from your store". Super O! handed it back to her and said "I'm sorry" in her tiniest voice. The lady was very nice and said "Thank you, it's okay". I followed her with my stern mommy voice "No, it is not okay but thank you for being so nice about this." With that, we left the store.
When we got to the car, I didn't know what to do. I was so angry with her and wanted to put the fear of God into her, but I also didn't want to go overboard. She was acting like she had no idea what the big deal was which was NOT okay with me. I told her that what she did was very bad and if the lady in the store had wanted to she could have called the police because stealing is against the law. This got a reaction out her! I then told her that if she EVER tried to steal something again, I would make the person in the store call the police and they would deal with her. Again, reaction. At that, I left the issue alone.
We were almost home when she brought it up again. She asked if I was still sad at her. I told her that I was sad at what she did. She then asked if I still loved her. My heart broke a little bit and I said "I will always love you, no matter what you do, but what you did was very bad and you can't ever do it again." When we got home, I got a big hug and I don't think she'll ever try to steal again.
Edit: On a side note, my mother reminded me that I stole from a department store when I was in Kindergarten. She handled it the same way I did and I never did it again. Who knew I was passing on the kleptomaniac gene!