The one where I stole a toy from a child…


Yesterday I stole a toy from a child…

It wasn’t my child and it definitely wasn’t my toy but never the less it ended up in my handbag…

We arranged to meet a friend and her children yesterday morning at the local play centre. I always find it better to go with someone you know as time doesn’t creep along at such an excruciatingly slow pace. Instead of sitting listening to the screams of excitement you can scream together as you catch up on the latest gossip – if you can’t beat them, join them.

About an hour after arriving we were craving caffeine and the kids were craving chocolate. I’m the bad mummy that gave in and let E have a little chocolate lolly while my friend’s kids got an early lunch. As part of the meal deal they got a sandwich, a drink and a toy.

After finishing their food her two boys were anxious to see what their surprise was and it turned out to be a little plastic slinky. They were delighted, and with them and E playing away we took the chance to finish our cups of tea while they were still warm.

I checked my watch and it was just gone twelve. Somehow I’d survived over two hours of play centre hell – see what I mean about the time going quickly when you’re with someone? Of course once the children found out we were all leaving they changed into mini Hulks quicker than you can say ‘Avengers’. The situation then became even worse when one of her sons realised his slinky was missing. It was all hands on deck as we searched high and low for the toy but with no luck. We decided that the slinky had been swallowed by a black hole and my friend nipped off to change her younger sons nappy.

I took the opportunity to check my phone for messages and as I opened my handbag guess who was looking back at me? The missing slinky. WTF. Firstly, how the hell did it get in there and secondly, how the hell do I explain myself? I was speaking to another friend over drinks last Friday and we agreed that no matter how bad a situation, honesty is the best policy. Well here was my chance to prove my theory.

As she returned to the table I told her (with an increasingly high pitched, squeaky voice) that I’d found the missing slinky in my bag. I also said that I had no idea how it had got in there. Had one of the boys mistakenly put it in the wrong bag or had I been absentmindedly tidying away the toys and picked it up along with E’s. Either way I looked guilty as hell and my reasons sure wouldn’t have cut it in a court room. Fortunately, my friend just laughed and was relieved that the journey home would be a peaceful one. Phew!

So now you know the story of the time I got sticky fingers (and this time it wasn’t from eating a doughnut).


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  1. I’ve got a problem with this. I went to a group last week and went home with half a carton of milk and a toy pear. I just sweep everything up when it’s time to go.

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