Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Pregnant Woman Walks Into A Grocery Store...

No... this is not a joke.   

Nicole Leszczynski and her husband Marcin recently relocated from California to Hawaii.  Late last week they got lost while searching for a grocery store with their toddler, Zofia.  They finally stumbled upon a local Safeway where they bought approximately $50 in groceries.  Nicole Leszczynski -- 30 weeks pregnant -- was famished by the time they reached the store so she and her husband picked up two chicken sandwiches to eat while shopping.  They saved the wrappers but they weren't scanned upon check out.  The couple was questioned by store security and subsequently arrested for theft, despite their insistence that the whole thing was simply an oversight.  Their daughter was taken by Child Protective Services for 18 hours until the Leszczynski's were released on bail.  Safeway has since dropped the charges and has issued an apology

Nicole Leszczynski -- a former Air Force staff sergeant -- blames the incident on mommy-brain.  What do you think

I can't tell you how many times I've opened food in a grocery store, either to feed myself or to feed Mackenzie.  I've seen other mothers do it as well.  
I've peeled apart packages of string cheese and torn open small boxes of cereal.  Those options seemed better than Mackenzie gnawing on the side of the shopping cart or me losing consciousness in line at the deli counter.  
It's always my intention to pay.  
Not once have I ever tried to cheat the system.  
I'm a busy stay-at-home mom shuttling from Mackenzie's music class to the grocery store to the post office.  I'm not a thief.  
But I'd be lying if I told you I've never walked out of a store without paying for something.  It was never deliberate.  
How was I supposed to know that Mackenzie had pulled deodorant off the shelf at Target and hid it in her pocket? Or that the clerk at BJ's forgot to ring up the toddler sunglasses in my cart? In most cases I can figure it out before reaching my car.  But I have to say... there are times when a busy mother doesn't notice these things until it's too late.

But... Should we be arrested? Should our kids be taken away from us?  
Now, it's one thing to stick your hand in the gummy bear bin to "sample" a handful of chewy deliciousness in the candy aisle.  It's another thing entirely to eat a sandwich while shopping... especially if you're in your third trimester and on the verge of passing out.  I believe the Leszczynski's had every intention of paying the $5 for those chicken sandwiches.  I believe they simply forgot to have the cashier scan the empty wrappers.  I also believe that the manner in which Safeway handled the incident was an absolute travesty.  
That family may have received an apology.  But those parents will never get back the 18 hours in which they were separated from their 2-year-old daughter.  Their daughter who no doubt felt frightened, confused, and abandoned.  

1 comment: