America's Most Wanted Strainer. Watchdogs, please don't rat me out.

Let’s add reluctant KleptoMomiac to the list of things I have become since giving birth. In my teething-induced, sleep-deprived stupor I inadvertently shoplifted a strainer from a gourmet market I visit regularly today.

Did I give it back? No. Forgive me, for I have sinned. But, as always, I do have an excuse or two.

I make it my personal goal to spend less than $100 every time I visit said market, so I strategically place all of the goods I am buying in the bottom of my stroller instead of getting a cart. That way, I am confined to whatever my stroller, diaper bag, hands, and cleavage can carry. I never adhere to my $100 rule, so I wind up stuffing food, Mommyjuice, and kitchen gadgets anywhere in and around the stroller that won’t put my son in harm’s way. The sleek pedestal strainer would have taken up the majority of precious underbelly real estate, so I stuck in the front, like some strap blinking Christmas wreaths to the grills of their cars during the holidays. I mean, it was impossible to miss.

I checked out as usual, doling out much more than $100–again, as usual. I bundled my little guy up to head out into the abyss, and successfully navigated my way through an obstacle course enroute to my car. While carrying two overflowing bags, I avoided huge pot holes, intimidating puddles, spots of frozen ice, mounds of snow, and angry parking lot traffic–in some sexy knee-high boots. I was pretty impressed with myself, to be honest.

I then transferred my son into his car seat, took his hat off, gave him his sippy cup to pacify his hunger for the ride home, started the car, unpacked all of the groceries, put my diaper bag in the front seat, and tried to collapse the stroller to place it in my trunk–but it would not go down. I stood there frigid and swearing at this inanimate object that would simply not listen. “Why the hell will you not collapse?” I screamed. After one particularly hard attempt, a shiny white strainer came spilling out on to the sleet encrusted pavement. That’s why.

What’s a Mommy to do? Risk an infant meltdown by dragging him back into the market to admit I stole a strainer by accident? I had a precious half-hour before feeding time to get home in terrible weather. I looked both ways, threw the snow covered strainer in my trunk, folded the stroller in front of my loot, and took off.

I really had no choice. Wouldn’t you agree? Have you ever stolen something by accident?

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