Yesterday I took V. out to pick up a few things at the supermarket. Parking her pram up at the till, I paid for my things then we sauntered out of the shop and began walking back home.
After a minute or so, I looked down at my daughter and stopped in my tracks.
“Veevee”‘ I said to her. “Where did you get that Peanut Butter Kit Kat Chunky?” She takes her teeth away from the chocolate bar and looks up at me innocently.
I used to have a fear, when I was a boy, that whenever I’d leave a shop the security alarm would be set off. I would have visions of a guard rushing up to apprehend me and I would be in Big Trouble. So much so, that I’d hold my breath every time I walked out of a shop entrance.
It’s been a while since I’ve felt like that, and I should think so, being in my mid-forties. But there’s always an element of the 12-year old in all of us. And he came back to me as I stood over V., considering a her ill-gotten gains.
I looked back over my shoulder, in the direction of the shop. There was no security guard running after me. On closer inspection of the chocolate bar, I found that the wrapper was still intact but it was clear that the contents were going to be damaged by 6 tiny teeth gnawing at it.
My daughter isn’t going to learn a valuable lesson, at just over one year of age, by returning the item to the supermarket. On the other hand, there’s long-held fear of being caught shoplifting when I haven’t actually taken anything.
So what do you think I decided to do?