Every summer at the bookstore it's the same old story. People drop off their kids and let them roam around the mall, unsupervised. I guess they either can't (or don't want to) pay for daycare and think a bookstore is an appropriate alternative. (It's not). We can't be responsible for unattended children. Mall security (or police officers, if it happens to be a weekend when they're on duty) are going to be called to handle the situation if the parents can't be located within 10 minutes or so. We're not there to babysit. As a wise woman once said, Ain't Nobody Got Time For That.
So today a little girl was wandering around the store for hours, playing with our display tablets, picking up books and then laying them down just anywhere, moving toys from the children's department, running, etc...and this behavior went on for hours with nary an adult in sight. I finally got fed up with the situation and went to talk to the child. And this is how it went.
Me: Hey, there. How old are you?
Girl: ..........Um.... twelve.....
Me: Is your mom in here with you?
Girl: Yes. (This was a lie).
Me: You need to go find her. Where is she?
Me: You can't be in here without your mom. Let's go find her.
Girl: Screw you, lady!
Being told off by a tiny 12 year old girl is a new one even for me, the veteran of six summers at the bookstore. Whew!
School can't start back fast enough.