False incrimination; a day in the life of an innocent parent

One of the many things that I enjoy about motherhood is watching my children try to figure out this so-called life and the funny things they say as they make their observations and assumptions. Things like, “Why can’t we just eat through our belly buttons since that’s where the stomach is?”.

Although their perspectives are usually humorous, at times they can be embarrassing and downright falsely accusatory. When I was at the DMV recently, trying to get my licence renewed, my 6-year old stood next to me, taking it all in. I swear, out of the blue and all on his own, he announced to the nice lady on the other side of the counter, “We have State Farm Insurance!” as if he was coached to say so. I found myself explaining to her that yes, indeed I have insurance, and that the proof was not intended to be what appeared to be a coached 6-year old. He has been watching recently, myriad af insurance commercials on TV (really, they can’t be avoided unless the TV is turned off) and studied them as if they were some kind of social clubs. He asked one day, as if he was afraid that we had excluded ourselves from these elite clubs, if we had insurance. He seemed to be relieved that we indeed belonged to one of those clubs… he was somebody.

This situation was only mildly uncomfortable, and I took it as a pro, being in more embarrassing moments in the past. It reminded me of the time when my youngest wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye, and I had taken my oldest out shopping for a friend’s baby shower. She was to have a baby boy and together we carefully chose a nice soft blue baby blanket and a few more trinkets to go along with it. By the time we found our gift, I was tired and ready to just get out of the store. I found it strange that the total bill came out to be slightly more than I had expected, but I paid it and left the store.

Still wondering what happened with my calculations, I studied the receipt after I got home. A mistake was made, the blanket accidentally scanned twice and I was charged for two blankets instead of just the one that I brought home. I verbalized my frustration to my husband who then encouraged me to go back to the store to get a refund. “But how would they know that I am telling the truth?” I said, positive that someone had to try buying two before, then accusing the store of making the mistake of charging twice getting a free refund, therefore making it hard to prove the honest mistake that happened with me. With much encouragement from my husband, I made my way back to the store with my oldest in tow.

To my surprise, without even a questionable look out of the corner of the eye, the store returns person fixed the problem and refunded my money. As we turned and walked away, my daughter said loudly and with amazement, “Wow! They actually believed you!”. Even though I was completely innocent, I didn’t visit that store for many months afterwards due to sheer embarrassment.