Well...yesterday I had an extraordinary learning experience. My Oldest and I both did :o)
We were leaving Old Navy (Dept. Store) and I noticed that my oldest little darling was walking a little behind me. I told her to come on and she ran to the other side of her sister and held her hand which for her it was weird for her not to hold my hand. As I we walked I glanced over to see her hiding something behind her back. I asked her what she had (NOT thinking anything about her stealing something). I thought she may have picked up something off the ground. When she showed it to me I saw that it was an unopened package of gum. I stood there in utter disbelief!!! She immediately said, "I'm sorry mommy".
I didn't blink, I don't think I even thought for a second. I wheeled right around and marched her right back into the store. I know that at 4 she didn't even really understand the gravity of what she had done; but I was hoping to scare the whits out of her enough that if she ever thought about doing it later on she would remember the experience. Not sure that she really will; but I didn't want to let it go and try to re-teach her later.
There we stood...her on the verge of tears...and me as well as she handed the gum back to the cashier. I felt so awful about her being afraid and embarrassed that I truly understood the phrase "this hurts me more than it hurts you". Never really got that before. N-e-ways, even if she doesn't remember and we have to go through it all again I know that I will never forget it the look on her face or her quiet desperate voice calling out "I'm sorry mommy, I'm sorry mommy" all the way in the store. My poor baby :o) This will definitely be a story for the grand kids!!