Monday, February 16, 2009

Auntie Deb? Can I smack you?

I found a little girl at the grocery store tonight. She was hanging out in the toy aisle. Maybe 4 or 5 years old. By herself.

I was browsing for a couple of upcoming birthdays. You can find some good clearance prices at Dillon's right now, by the way. I spent quite a bit of time looking at Lego's and other boy stuff. Then I spent some time looking at some girl stuff.

I'm taking my time...watching this little girl out of the corner of my eye. She has a little kid cart with some groceries in it. No grown-up in the vicinity. The store entrance is at the end of the aisle. If I had any ill intentions, we could have been out the door in 10 seconds or less. I would appear to be removing a bratty out-of-control child from the store.

I'm appalled that I'm putting myself in the place of a predator, but something here is not right. I can't walk away from this little girl. Where is her mom?

I was walking down the aisle, ready to check out and leave, when I heard a crash. The little girl had dumped over her little cart. I turned and looked. It took me a moment, but I walked over to help her pick it up and replace the groceries. I asked her if she was OK, and she said yes, very quietly.

That was the last straw. I sent my hubs and Chip to check out while I hurried to the customer service desk to let them know about the little girl in the toy aisle. The girl at the desk called another associate to check it out so I went back to stand in line with my guys.

Then I see my little girl wandering along in front of the check out lanes. She is obviously still alone! I walked over to her and asked, "Where is your mommy? Are you lost?"

She said her mommy was at work!

OK...I said, "Who are you here with?"

She said her Auntie Deb is taking care of her.

I took her cart and led her over to the customer service desk. I told her that the girls that work here will help her find her Auntie. I left her there, confident that all was OK. Whew!

I was paying for my groceries when I saw a woman walk past the customer service and walk away with the little girl. I hoped that was Auntie Deb. I wanted to strangle the woman! I wanted to confront her with a "What were you thinking!?!?!?!" Hubby said to let it go. He's right.

But I still wanted to smack her.


Mommy to those Special Ks said...

MAN! I want to smack her too! One day you'll probably see her on the evening news as missing :(.

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel, Stephanie. It's primal-mommy-anger that makes us want to strike-out at adults who hurt and neglect children.

You did just right. And as much as anyone could do. Put the girl in God's hands. Pray for her, and all like her. That's a kind of 'letting it go', isn't it?