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Parenting So Bad You Can’t Make It Up

, , , , , | Right | December 8, 2018

(I get a call from an employee about a child who is causing some issues, and has been wandering unsupervised for a half hour. The kid is about two or three years old, no parent around. The child has taken makeup samples and is smearing them on the floor and on himself, “finger painting,” and making a huge mess. Besides this, the kid seems dirty and his clothes are torn.)

Me: “Hey there. What’s your name? Where is your mommy?”

(The kid doesn’t answer. One employee talks to the kid and get his name out, but when asked where his parents are, the child shakes his head and starts crying loudly. Security for the store comes down, and we take the kid behind the counter where it’s quieter and give him a promotional plush toy to calm him down. Security starts making an announcement.)

Security: “One of our smallest shoppers seems to have lost his adults. Please report to any cashier if you need help.”

(No one responds, and mall security shows up and says the police are on their way. It’s now been over an hour since my initial call, and because of all of the circumstances, we are worried the child was abandoned at the mall. Store security takes the child to their office. I get a call that police have arrived with a CPS officer, and I go down to meet them and take them to the office. Halfway down to the door, a well-dressed woman stops me.)

Woman: “Hey, where did you take [Son]? I’m ready to go now.”

Me: “I… What? We’ve been paging you for a while.”

Woman: “Oh, I thought those were for someone else. I knew where he was. I left him to play by the makeup while I bought a purse. I saw he even got a free stuffed animal! But it’s time to go now. Where did you put him?”

Me: “Ma’am, wait right here. There’s some people you have to talk to.”

(The police and CPS found her story to be as weird as I did, and I spent the next month receiving angry phone calls from her and threats of lawsuits because CPS investigated her.)