Luckily we caught on to this before she has a rap sheet. But if Ana becomes a crime lord, we'll at least know that it all started with an innocuous walk through the shops of old town Truckee.
We were just spending a day out as a family. Grace and Ana in the stroller, dad pushing them along and Erin leading the way into and out of shops. It was gorgeous weather and our vacation was starting to wind down. We weren't really looking for anything in particular. Just kind of meandering to wherever the sidewalk took us. We had a lovely meal at Jax (Hate or love Guy Fieri and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but this particular place was damn good), so we may have been a little punchy after our consuming all those onion rings and sweet potato fries. It was meant to be a lazy stroll together.
After visiting the third store on the block, I was admittedly in a malaise. I was full and tired and was just about done with the whole "shopping" experience. Erin was pressing on though. There was a store with cute pajamas after all, and you can never pass up cute pajamas. I decided to wait outside and revel in the smell emanating from the fudge shop (I imagine this is what heaven will smell like when I ride Erin's coat tails to get there). I also wanted to play with the girls as best I could because I can only imagine how bored they were strapped in their stroller if I was bored walking around.
They were so bored in fact that Ana must have decided to grab something for entertainment out of one of the stores.
A toy truck to be exact. An unpaid for toy truck to be even more exact. I believe the kids call it "boosting" a car, and Ana did it at an age that would qualify for Guinness World Records.
Now truth be told, the tractor itself was not what she wanted. Apparently all that food that mom and dad had just enjoyed made her a little hungry for cardboard. Can you blame her? So she was chewing away on the packaging. I took the stroller into the store that Erin was in and dropped the immortal "Look at what your daughter did".
As an aside (since I'm good at those, see that was an aside within and aside), there are levels at which your kid shifts ownership between each parent based on what they've done. But it is cyclical. It's your kid if they do something that makes you proud or happy. They slowly shift to your significant other's kid when they do something bad or embarrassing. But they shift their way back to your kid when the thing they do is so embarrassing and ridiculous that you can't help but claim them.
We took the toy away from her and went back to the store red-faced and embarrassed. Luckily the lady was a little too busy to notice Erin's ninja-like return policy. But I'm sure the shopkeep will be left scratching her head when she sees the mark Ana left on the box. Or maybe she can use that as a selling point: both fun for kids and a delicious snack!
The problem is there are no consequences when you're 9 months old. I called Ana a little thief. This only made her smile. I told Grace that she was an accomplice and her lack of action in fact aided the crime. Which was met with a "dadada" and a raspberry. Obviously instead of Sesame Street we need to show them one of the many different Law and Orders to show them that a life of crime doesn't pay.