The Other Parent Is ‘Hollywood’

| Portland, OR, USA | Children

(I am working at the register of an office supply store, and next to the register I am at is where we keep our travel-size care items. I am ringing up a woman and her young son and waiting on a price override when this exchange occurs.)

Little Boy: *grabs two bottles of mouthwash and a travel toothbrush and looks straight at me as he slams them on counter* “I NEED these. I have trouble sleeping at night…”

Me: *looking at the mother* “Where did that come from?”

Mother: “I don’t know. Probably some movie.”

Play Time Is Over

| PA, USA | Parents & Guardians

(I am walking around my department, finishing my tasks, and overhear part of a conversation between two middle-aged women in the toy department:)

Woman: “And everything’s educational these days. Kids can’t just play.”

Owning A Smart Phone Requires Smarts

| Northbrook, IL, USA | Sons & Daughters

(Our store is WHITE, as in, BRIGHT WHITE, so as to accent the products we sell. A group of three or four kids come in on a busy Friday night, and proceed to mess around with the store. They finally pay for their items and leave. I notice, a few minutes later, that one of them left their phone on our counter. It’s a rather large BLACK phone, on a WHITE counter. Kid must not have been paying attention at all. It’s kind of a fancy phone, too, and because I had just recently gotten my first smartphone, I was protective about it, and didn’t want the kid to lose his. I tell my manager and coworkers and leave the phone behind the registers, in case he comes back. About twenty minutes go by and the kid hasn’t returned. I ask my manager if I could possibly call a parent from the phone, and he gives the okay. I turn the phone on, and there are several missed calls from the mother. I decide to call her back.)

Mother: “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?! I’VE BEEN TRYING TO CALL YOU ALL NIGHT—”

Me: “Ma’am.”

Mother: “—WAIT UNTIL I TELL YOUR FATHER YOU HAVEN’T BEEN PICKING UP YOUR PHONE—”

Me: “Ma’am, my name is [My Name] and I’m calling from [Store]. I’m just calling to let you know your son left his phone in our store and hasn’t been back to pick it up.”

Mother: “Wait, what? He left his phone in your… How did he do that?”

Me: “I’m not sure, ma’am, but he was with a group.”

Mother: “Well, how did he do that? That phone was his responsibility!”

Me: “Ma’am, if you know any of his friends, or their numbers, I could call and let them know—”

Mother: “No, no, he was out with friends. I don’t know any of his friends’ names or phone numbers… God, you’d think the kid would… You know what? My daughter is out with her own friends there, too, and I’ll let her know to pick up the phone. Would that work?”

Me: “That would be fine, ma’am—”

Mother: “Okay, great, thanks so much. You’ve been a real help. Bye!”

Me: “Wait, wait, wait, MA’AM, can I get a description of your daughter so I know who to give the phone to?”

Mother: “Oh, yes, yes, of course! She has long reddish hair and looks just like her brother.”

(Note: I have no idea who this kid is. He was with a group, and frankly, all kids look about the same to me.)

Me: “Great… thanks.”

(Not ten minutes later a girl walks in with her friends. She has reddish hair, and indeed looks familiar. She’s smirking.)

Daughter: “Hey, I’m here to pick up my brother’s phone?”

Me: “Oh, yes, thanks. Here you go.”

Daughter: “You know, that’s the second time he’s done that tonight. No more phone privileges for him!”

Daddy Is Always Watching

| USA | Children, Parents & Guardians

(I see a little girl playing with a CCTV camera: waving, making faces, playing peekaboo, even dancing in front of it. I think it’s silly and cute. Her mother comes over, waves at the camera, too, and even blows a kiss. I think, huh?)

Mother: “Time to go home.”

Girl: “No! I want to play with daddy.” *waves at camera* “Daddy!”

Mother: “Daddy can’t hear you now. We’ll see him tonight.”

(They leave, waving to all the cameras. So, it seems Daddy works in the security room, watching. How nice.)

Hitting The Bumble-Bee Notes

| ID, USA | Holidays, Parents & Guardians

(My mom and I are Christmas shopping together. Let it be known that a) I am liable to break into song at the drop of a hat, and b) I collect action figures as a hobby.)

Mom: “I don’t know what to get you for Christmas. Let me look at your Christmas list.”

Me: *singing* “This is my grown-up Christmas list…”

Mom: “Grown-up Christmas list? Girl, you asked for Transformers for Christmas!”

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