We needed a few things at Wally World last night so Nicole, Ian and I jumped in the car and off we went. When we got there, we didn't even stop to get a shopping cart- we just planned on grabbing a few items, and then getting the heck out of there. (Wal Mart on a Friday night? Enough said.)
As we approached the 10-things-or-under check out line, I gathered the items Nicole was holding and handed her a DVD from Red Box that we needed to return. "Here", I said, "you take this DVD and go get in line to return it while I check out." She took Ian with her as I piled our items onto the check out counter.
When I met up with them again, they were still in line waiting their turn to return our DVD. We visited for a minute with each other until our turn came, then we hurried off to our car in the bitter cold.
Halfway to the car, Ian said- pretty matter of factly, "I think I stole this." I looked down at what he was holding. It was a theater size box of candy he had asked me to buy him.
When I emptied Nicole's arms at the check out line, I had forgotten to check Ian's hands and sure enough, he was still holding the candy, which I had not paid for.
Nicole and I stood there looking at each other for a second trying to decide what to do- I mean it was cold AND we were in a hurry AND it was only a $1 box of candy.
But knowing this was a good teaching opportunity, we turned around and went back into the store. Ian was worried he had done something wrong and that he was in trouble. Nicole and I did our best to reassure him that he had done the right thing by telling us and that it was just a mistake and we would go pay for it now.
As I explained to the young checker why we were back in line again with one box of candy, she just smiled, rang us up, and said the usual, "Have a nice evening".
As we found ourselves walking out of the store and to our car for the second time that evening, amazingly enough, the wintery air didn't feel quite as cold.