The Lesson of the Princess Bucket

When you’re a child, adults warn you to avoid strangers at all costs.  What I don’t understand is, why doesn’t anybody warn you when you’re an adult to avoid strange children at all costs?

“Strange children?  Whatever do you mean?  Kids are sweet, innocent creatures, Candy!” you surely are admonishing me right now.  To which I must respond:  “Phooey!”  Because there are a lot of mean children with less-than-honorable intentions out there, believe you me.  And by “less than honorable,” I mean outright criminal.  Why, just yesterday Skye, Mr. Candy, Drew and I were enjoying a lovely afternoon at the park.  While I sat with Drew in his stroller, Mr. Candy oversaw Skye’s intricate Sand-Pushing Operation, in which she would dump sand on the sidewalk and push it back in the sand with her plastic gardening tools.  Over and over again.  Boring, but harmless — when out of nowhere, three older girls, old enough to know better, descended upon Skye and started grabbing her toys, as if entitled to them.  They never asked for permission.  Never acknowledged that these were NOT THEIR TOYS.  Simply grabbed the bucket and shovel out of my two-year-old daughter’s hands and claimed ownership.  Or, as any reasonable court of law would call it, petty theft.  I could tell from Skye’s body language that she was not pleased.  Perhaps it was her reaching out for her favorite toys and crying, “MINE!” that gave it away, I don’t know.  But, perceptive mom that I am, I knew she was not happy.

“What are you going to do about this?” my eyes communicated to Mr. Candy.

“I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me, so I’m going to assume it means you want sex tonight,” his eyes responded.

Having infinitely more patience than I do, Mr. Candy calmly told Miss Skye to share her toys, because “sharing is fun!”  Not with these brats, my furrowed brow implied.  But I miraculously managed to keep both my brow in check and my mouth shut UNTIL… a girl ran off with Skye’s bucket.  The bucket Skye loves.  The bucket she got for her birthday.  The bucket, it must be noted, with princesses on it.

Nobody messes with Skye’s princess bucket.

“COME BACK HERE WITH THAT!” I screamed, running after the three-foot blonde thief in the sand in my two-inch heels.  The thief proceeded to hand the bucket to her dad — for safekeeping, I presume — and run off in search of more loot.

“That’s my daughter’s,” I informed the princess bucket thief’s father, my scowl indicating that he was raising a thug with curls.

“Whatever,” he laughed, throwing the bucket at me.  He returned to talking about Fantasy Football with his dad buddy and paying no attention to his daughter.

No wonder these kids have no respect for others’ property.  Their parents never taught them the basic courtesy of “please” and “thank you.”  Never taught them to kindly refrain from absconding with a little girl’s favorite toy.  I imagined what the father would look like with a princess bucket full of sand on his head.  I immediately felt better about the state of the world.

Just as I returned to the scene of the crime, another girl, probably six years old, started walking away with one of Skye’s yellow cups.

“Mah lellow cup!  Mah lellow cup!” Skye cried, wondering how we had landed in this bandits’ lair.

“Drop it,” I hissed.  I stared the six-year-old down, my glare communicating that I would not hesitate to launch her from the see-saw if I had to.

Oh, she dropped it, all right.  More like THREW it in the opposite direction, so I would have to chase it down — and shrugged as if to say, “Whatever.”  Her glare communicating that she would not hesitate to flip me the finger to punctuate her point if she had to.

I noticed the girl’s mom watching us.  I embraced the opportunity to take the high road.

“Let’s get out of here, Skye.  These kids are RUDE!” I yelled pointedly, scooping up all of Skye’s toys.  For the first time ever, Skye did not protest leaving the park.

Which is my way of imparting this important parental advice:  If you go to the park with a princess bucket, be sure to wear your sneakers to chase down pint-sized thieves.  Also, do not hesitate to teach those thieves a helpful phrase, one that somebody should have taught them a long time ago:  “My daddy has hemorrhoids!”  It may not ensure the return of your daughter’s princess bucket, but it will make you feel really good inside.

Because sharing is caring, as I tell my kids. (Except my wine. Never my wine.)
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Candy Kirby

Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

13 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I find it interesting that you and Drew were sitting in his stroller! How’d that work out? LOL I’m sorry. I just couldn’t help myself.

  • I tend to go passive aggressive myself most of the time, but not sure it’d even be possible in that situation! Our neighbor recently stole on of our balls while my son was napping & didn’t know I saw, so I ran out and said “oh good! You found our ball! Hurray!” it also helps to write your last name in Sharpie to help with parents who don’t respect other people’s property and take their kids’ sides.

    • Oh yes, I’ve gone the passive-aggressive route, too — even with our own daughter. (As I extract the ball she’s about to throw at the cat’s head): “Oh, you found the kitties’ ball! They’ll be so happy!”

  • The park can be brutal. Today upon hearing that they shred the name Mia, a three year old girl told my daughter Mia who is two not to come back to the park ever again. The mom laughed. Ugh! I was to dumbfounded to do much other than suggest to my Mia that we go play at the otherwise ofte park.

  • Now that’s some hood rat stuff…

    No wonder there are so many rude and stupid people in this world, they were raised to be this way by their rude and stupid parents. But why didn’t Mr Candy do anything?

  • What a bunch of crap! This is obviously proof that people need to take a common sense test before they’re allowed to have children.

  • OMG, I would have freaked out if my husband said anything about sharing being fun (Especially since he hates when I steal his food and doesn’t buy into the sharing concept).

    And I don’t care if I’m 5 times their age, nobody touches my stuff, or my kids (once she’s born and has stuff to steal y’know).

    Sharing = Overrated.

    Teaching your kids not to be dicks = Undervalued.