Most of us moms have been in the following scenario. Picture it.
You’re strolling down the supermarket aisles, pushing a tired toddler, with the stroller under one hand and holding a basket with the other. As usual, you picked up a few more things than planned and you cannot maneuver the stroller and hold the heavy items in the basket, so you put one or two larger items in your stroller’s bottom section. When you get to the checkout line, you’ll take them out. Thank goodness for the durable stroller.
Except by the time you get on line, your baby is screaming, you’re juggling sippy cups, money, discount cards, and you inadvertently forget about the items in your stroller basket.
This has happened to me before. Only after glancing down at the back of my stroller did I remember to retrieve the heavy items from the stroller, just in time before the cashier finished checking out my order.
One New York City mom was not so lucky…
Elissa Drassinower, 33, was shopping at an Upper East Side Fairway market and between her crying child and supermarket frenzy, she forgot to pay for a quart of milk and six-pack of beer in her stroller’s bottom compartment, reports the NY Post: “My handbasket was getting so heavy, my arm was turning red. So I put the milk and a six pack of Corona under the stroller. When I was checking out, my son, who was really cranky, started acting up, and I forgot to pay for the milk and the beer.”
The security guards noticed and instead of reminding her about the items in her stroller, they waited until she was exiting the store to confront her.
“She said she saw me put the milk and beer under the stroller. I apologized, explained what happened, said it was an honest mistake and that I fully intended to pay, but she just nodded her head and told me I was shoplifting. If I really meant to shoplift, why would I pay for the $15 brie and the cranberry Stilton only to steal $3.49 milk?”
Drassinower had already paid for $50 worth of groceries in total. Now she is banned from Fairway for life, and not allowed to enter the store. If she does, she’ll be arrested for trespassing. While she wasn’t arrested for shoplifting, a team of security guards surrounded her outside the store, took her photo and asked her to sign forms.
The store maintains they have her on camera placing bags over the items she didn’t pay for but she says she hurriedly put them in her stroller after paying for them and didn’t see the milk and beer in the bottom.
I wonder what happened to discretion? The Upper East Side of Manhattan is a big, family-centered neighborhood where parents will pay hundreds of dollars for a pair of toddler shoes so a container of milk and a six-pack of beer is chump change. Also, can’t a security guard pick up on the difference between someone trying to steal and a frazzled mom trying to get her baby home for dinner?
Fairway went overboard in this case. If I was that security guard (who was a woman, no less and should be able to differentiate a stressed out mom from a hardened criminal), I would have simply reminded her at checkout that she had some items in her stroller. She would have probably thanked the security guard and it would have been over.
What do you think? Was the security guard wrong? Do you ever place heavy items in your stroller? Have you ever forgotten about them at check-out?
Read Danielle’s blog Just Write Mom.
A grocery store is just one of the places we don’t need your parenting advice!