As a parent, there are times when you have to decide to either react immediately to something your child did or ‘wait and see.’ If your child were to run up to someone and hit them, then you’d react. But sometimes….there’s a grey area. There are times when something bad happens, but maybe it was an accident or perhaps good intentions accidentally led to a bad decision. This is one such story:
Justin has become a Yo-Kai Watch fanatic. It’s a toy watch that is part of a role-playing game. The watch is supposed to help the person wearing it identify other Yo-Kai who haunt people and cause mischief. (Imagine Pokemon with a watch.)
Since Justin has become enamored with Yo-Kai, so has his little brother. (Garrett’s really only interested in it because Justin is.) Garrett wants to watch Yo-Kai with Justin, play the Yo-Kai video game with Justin, and even watch Yo-Kai on TV with Justin.
On Saturday, I decided to take Justin and Garrett out to the mall. I made it clear that they were allowed to buy one small toy each. Garrett found a small Lego toy that he wanted in Target. After Target, Justin dragged all of us to GameStop to see if they had any Yo-Kai tokens for his watch. They did and I allowed him to buy three packages.
While Justin was shopping, I took a step back and allowed Garrett to browse the aisles of the store as well. He clearly knew I was there, but he probably didn’t think I was watching him closely. With the Target bag in one hand, I could see him casually pick up another toy, check it out, and then put it back on the shelf. However, when he found a stuffed animal version of Whisper from the Yo-Kai world, he held onto it longer than he had with the other toys. And then, I saw him put it in the Target bag and walk away. (By the way, Whisper looks like a giant sperm. Seriously. He’s translucent/white with a tail. He’s a sperm.)
Here’s the moment when I could have reacted, but I decided to wait. Was he shoplifting or was he having an absent-minded moment? I wasn’t sure.
After a few moments, he walked up to me and asked me to hold his Target bag so he could continue to look around. I agreed. As he walked away, I looked in the bag and saw Whisper staring back at me…and imagined him quietly mouthing the words “Help me!”
I removed him from the bag, put him back on the shelf, and didn’t say anything to Garrett. I honestly could not tell if he had done this purposely or if it was an accident. So, I decided to wait. I would not have to wait long.
About an hour later, we arrived home. I unlocked Garrett’s car door, unbuckled him, and handed him his Target bag. He took the handles of the bag, spread them apart to look into his bag, and only saw his Lego toy.
He looked up at me with an expression of stunned dismay and outrage. With a furrowed brow he screamed, “HEY!?!?!?! WHERE’S WHISPER??? HE WAS IN MY BAG!!” (It was like a movie moment when the thief realizes that he had been double-crossed.) He was so angry that he checked the bag a second time. Nope….Whisper still wasn’t there. I told him that I saw what he did and returned the toy to where it belonged. The look he gave me after rechecking his ‘stash’ said, “I’ll get you for this!”
Well, that answered that. My 4-year old was a thief and he got double-crossed by his own father!