When Babies Steal.

posted in: Story, Travel 0
Trouble, pure and simple.
Trouble, pure and simple.

Not ready to talk about the doctor just yet, so for now, a funny story.

A few weeks ago, I was at the airport (LaGuardia?), standing in line for coffee. In front of me was a woman holding a baby of about a year, I’d say. The kid wasn’t verbal yet, just very wiggly, very active. Nearby the woman was the rest of the family; they were from somewhere in the Mediterranean. Malta, maybe. There was Dad, Gramma and Grampa, two more small kids, and everyone needed something. The woman with the baby was trying to communicate to the staff behind the counter that she needed coffees and pastries, but things were not going well.

Dad called over to his wife from the center of the melee, apparently overhearing what she had said to the coffee gals. “No, honey, I need one more coffee — black, and no sugar in the other one,” he said, as the little boy tugged on his sleeve.

The wife turned her head over her shoulder and asked her husband, exasperated, “So that’s three coffees, then? Total? Or two?”

As they figured things out, I waited patiently and looked at the baby, who was reaching for the breakfast and candy bars piled in a nearby basket. She was attracted to the shiny, pretty colors and probably the sound of the wrapper when her tiny fingers made contact. She succeeded in grabbing a Special K bar. I was impressed. The mother turned back to tell the coffee girl what she needed, noticed the baby had grabbed a bar. She took it out of her hand, and put it back in the basket.

Once the coffee had been ordered (wrong again, I feared) there was an issue with a breakfast sandwich. The gal asked if the woman wanted egg and cheese or egg and bacon and cheese. The woman turned her head and called to her mother, this time in their native tongue. I’m pretty sure her question was something like, “Do you want egg and cheese or egg and bacon and cheese?”

And as she did this, she was looking away — and the baby grabbed a candy bar again.

The woman turned back to tell the clerk bacon and she saw that the baby had another candy bar. She took it out of her child’s hand and she said, “Stop it,” and replaced it again. It was pretty funny, this pattern, like a comedy routine. I was entertained enough to keep my annoyance at bay. This coffee was taking a long time.

Money finally changed hands and, naturally, wrong change was given. Dad got involved and the kids started fighting and everything was extra chaotic. When the woman and her husband had finished arguing with the staff about the change (not) given, the wife whirled around, annoyed, to walk away from the counter once and for all. And wouldn’t you know it, but that baby grabbed her Special K breakfast bar right at the last second — and the mother didn’t notice a thing. The baby just “swoop!” swiped that bar after all. I covered my mouth with my hand and turned my head to laugh. She did it! She got one!

In fact, I faced a moral dilemma. Should I have gone to the mother and tapped her on the shoulder to say, “Um, excuse me, but your baby just stole something.” That seemed a little much. Should I have told the clerks at the counter? Nah — I’m not into reporting babies. I decided to do nothing, figuring that maybe the mom would notice they had an extra treat, though it’s quite possible she never did; there was a lot going on for that family that morning.

Baby criminals. Now that’s good comedy.

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