Let's go back in time to the summer she was six, shall we?
:::travel, travel, travel:::
We had the usual crew visiting for summer. Sky King has an enormous family-more about this later, I have to go to bed in 3 hours. Each summer, many of his siblings descend upon our area, and stay either with us, or with a sister 10 minutes away, and we get together most days and/or nights.
One of these days, T called, saying that she and K wanted to take the kiddos to the jumpy house place, because it was so hot and they wanted them to get their energy out. The best part was, she said she would pick the kids up, and my husband and I would have a couple hours alone. In the middle of the day. With the A/C running full blast. Wink, wink. Naturally, I took her up on it, and took a nap as soon as the kids were gone. No, no, just kidding. But it's not THAT kind of post, so I will just walk away from that.
Before they are set to come home, T calls (how very thoughtful to give us a 10-minute warning, right?) and says:
"Everything is fine, but I HAVE to tell you something totally funny."
This does not sound good.
She goes on: "Okay, so we are at the jumpy place, going in and out of the different jumpy rooms. And after a while, I realize Princess is not with us. So I figure she was in the hallway, because she had seen one of those crane games where you use the joystick to move into position to grab a prize, and i had told her is wasn't working and I didn't want to spend any more money."
I DON'T like where this is going. Not one bit.
"All of a sudden," she continues, "a woman comes in and says, 'you GOTTA come see this!'. I KNEW it had to be Princess, so I went out to the hallway, and there she was, with a group of kids surrounding the crane game. She was in it, and was choosing things for each child, with them guiding her from the outside." By this time, T is laughing, and I am flushed with embarrassment. Why? I KNEW something like this would happen. I have THOSE KIND of kids. It's genetic, from my side. I did crazy things, so they do crazy things. More on this later.
"So, I say to Princess, 'Princess!!! That is NOT OKAY. Now, stay RIGHT THERE while I get my camera'. Then, I ran and got my camera, and took some pictures. I will lend you the camera to upload. Isn't that HILARIOUS? Oh, and she's fine. I called once she got out, so I knew she was okay. Holy crap, she is a nut."
This is what I get to upload when I get home:
(To the kid waiting patiently outside) Do you want this one? Or this one?
Busted. Yes, she is STANDING.
Turns out, she SNUCK A DOLLAR FROM T's PURSE, then put it in the machine, completely ignoring the OUT OF ORDER sign that she can totally read. Then, she was pissed, so she pushed the little door, realized there was some slack because of sub-par plexiglass, and climbed in. Then she stood up, being bendy and all, and went about the choosing. She figures she has the pick of the litter at this point. Other children get wind of the situation, and decide to take advantage. Now, Princess may be mischievous, but she isn't MEAN, so of course she obliges, and begins to allow each child waiting to choose their favorite item, while she's at it. She's super sweet like that. This is about the time she gets caught.
So, of course a verbal tongue-lashing is completely useless when you are laughing your ass off, and I KNOW IN MY HEART she has learned nothing.
I tell her about the many many problems with her methodology:
Taking money from T's purse,
Not reading the sign
Climbing into a crane game that is clearly NOT MEANT TO BE CLIMBED INTO
Giving other children prizes too, that they didn't EVEN EARN
The next time you might not be so lucky and they may have to call the fire department to cut you out, and you would get hungry waiting for them to come rescue you.....blah blah blah. What she heard was:
Don't do it again, just because. But always remember, you are funny as shit. And cute. And skinny.
Let's fast-forward a few months, shall we?
:::travel, travel, travel:::
I know you know where this is going. Yep, there.
So, one day after school (a half day, so we had to scrounge up some lunch) I just didn't feel like foraging in the kitchen for food. So, we head to a burger joint close to home, one that has lots of crap for the kids to do like play video games, and get squishy animals out of the quarter machine. They also get to pick their own burger toppings, and they have nacho cheese that is TO DIE FOR. Obviously, this is before my diet.
I am cleaning up the table, getting ready to get moving towards home, and the kids have since run out of quarters, but are milling about. I figure they are looking for quarters underneath the game machines. Or finding candy. You know, the usual.
She comes on over to get her drink, and she has a soft pet in her hand (I need to clarify: a "soft pet" is what you all may know as a stuffed animal, or a plush animal). I say, "Where did you get that???" The look on her face is confirmation. She did it again. And, just after I had a talk with her about a poor little girl in another state that climbed into a crane game, got stuck, and had to be cut out by the fire department. I even showed a picture to her, and the little girl was crying. I figured, "Phew, THAT will never happen again." Damn. Thanks a lot, Internet.
SO I walk over to the machine, and I really cannot believe that she got into this thing. the opening for the machine is seriously 7 inches by 9 inches. I'm totally flabbergasted, and remembering to keep my game face on. So, I talk her by the hand, and we go up to the counter.
I put the soft pet ducky down, and I say, "Tell the man you're sorry for taking this without paying for it". The man, all of 17, stops to say something, probably, "No worries, she can keep the stupid duck" when I give him my best withering "Make my child PAY, damn you!" look.
Princess lowers her head, looks through impossibly long lashes, and softly says, "Sorry I took this from the crane game.". He looks at me with a furrowed brow, and says, "WHERE did she get this??" I told him she got it from the crane game by squeezing into it, and he should tell her how important it is to never do that again because they don't even have a key. He mumbles something like that, and takes the duck, walking away. Probably to go tell him that some crazed chubby lady and her malnourished daughter creeped into the crane game and "HOLY CRAP! THAT HOLE IS HELLA SMALL!!!"
And THAT is why I carry a set of lock picks with me.