Caught red-handed

by Jayke Brown

I want to scream and…well…Ahhh! Yep, it is that time again and my little precious princess has caused another ruckus. This time, we were enjoying shopping at a quaint, years-old establishment, which I suggest you all do too. The Peanut Shoppe in downtown Akron was the scene of this punishment.

My daughter grabbed a candy bar and pocketed it without paying, and we walked out. When we got out of the store and walked almost a block, she asked when she could eat a candy bar that I know I did not purchase. I purchased a bag of cashews and a small bag of candy for her, but no candy bar. She plucked it right out of her pocket. At seeing this, you can only imagine what was going on in my mind. Assumingly, we have all seen those cartoons where they eat something hot and steam is coming out of their ears, well, that was me for sure.

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Being a child, I know I needed some patience with her, and the first time this happened I did. This was second time it happened, and I realized my teaching had not sunk in her head. I just let my frustrations get to me and started to quietly scream and because of it could tell my daughter’s tears were starting to flow. I did not want that either so I turned it into a bit of a dance. Yep, if you saw me that day dancing, that was indeed me!

After doing a little dance, while still silently screaming, we had a little heart-to-heart. Her punishment was to take it back, apologize and ask how she can pay for it. We did just that and the staff was so kind that they told her to keep it as a holiday gift. Feeling bad about it, I still left more than enough money behind to pay for it. After leaving, we talked about how nice that was of the store but as a punishment, she could not eat the candy bar or any candy, until the next day. With sadness in her eyes, she agreed.

We ended up still enjoying the rest of the day, which ended up being a beautiful hike at the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm and had no other issues. Also, we have never had this five-finger discount happen again since then. I hope it always stays this way and that she did indeed learn a valuable lesson.

If you are at the point where I was on this day, then feel free and do what I did. Obviously, correct the problem, but feel free and do a jig to get your frustrations out. If any of you see a parent doing this, just honk in support or even a friendly wave. Hopefully, we won’t see this much but you have to do what you have to do to survive as a parent!

Jayke Brown is living life to the fullest while being a daddy, husband, author, caregiver and friend to everyone he meets.

Photo provided by Jayke Brown