After school pick-up I needed to pop to the supermarket to collect a few bits for the children’s tea. As usual the tiddlers weren’t behaving impeccably (when will I ever learn to go to the supermarket whilst they aren’t with me???) so when we finally made it to the cashiers I told the tiddlers to sit by the window whilst I packed the bags and I was amazed when they seemed to be sitting really nicely. I also noticed a bookshelf had appeared by the window which was selling used books for a charity donation. I didn’t think much to it really until we were half way back to the car when Beanie Boy produced a £1 coin out of his shorts pocket and told me that his keyworker at Nursery had given it to him???? Then Little Bean produced another £1 coin and told me that her teacher had given it to her too???? Suspicion rose very quickly within me, especially since neither of them had entered the supermarket with any money.
Unfortunately Little Bean has become quite fond of telling fibs just lately so I decided to play it differently with her, rather than just saying “I don’t believe you”. Instead I said “oh that was really nice of Miss C, I must remember to say thank you to her on Monday”. At this point Little Bean’s footsteps slowed and I could see her face frantically thinking so then I turned to Beanie Boy and said the same to him, “I had better say thank you to C too on Monday” at which point he said “C didn’t give me the pennies Mummy, we took them out of the box over there by the shelves”. I thought for a moment about the best way to deal with this and remembered the security guard who stands in the doorway of the supermarket so I told the tiddlers they had to take it back to the guard and tell him what they had done and that they must apologise. It might have been a little mean of me but I need them to learn that they can’t just take things which don’t belong to them.
Little Bean dropped to her knees in the middle of the car park and begged me to not make her go back to the guard but I lifted her to her feet and took her in. As we approached the security guard I winked at him and quietly said “please play along”. I then quickly explained how the children had presented me with some money which I knew did not belong to the children and that they had just admitted they had taken it from the charity box. The guard put on a calm but stern voice and said “well I should call the Police but since you have admitted what you have done, I will accept an apology instead. Little Bean became very tearful and said “I’m so sorry” but Beanie Boy became very obstinate, he would NOT say sorry at all, he just stared the guard down and then gave him the money back to which the guard said thank you and then “next time you come in I will be watching you on my TV screen here ok?”.
We had a very quiet journey home and then as Little Bean stepped out of the car she hugged me tight and said “I’m so sorry Mummy I promise you I will never do it again” so fingers crossed at least one of my tiddlers has learnt her lesson!!
Do you think I did right? What would you have done differently?