Due to all the rain we've had lately, the kids have spent a little more time inside than I'd like to admit.
On three separate occasions we spent our days in food/arcade like places that reward children for spending their parents hard earned cash. In reality, the games don't come to an end until you've fed the machine the last of your tokens. Who's idea was that?
But have no fear. Those tickets that the machines spit out can be turned in for incredible prizes. Larger than life teddy bears, new bicycles, and video games to name a few. If you can imagine it, you can have it. Or so we thought.
So there I stand at ticket redemption with my boys. We played games for nearly 2 hours. Our tickets could easily be wrapped around the earth's circumference twice. Their smiles were from ear to ear. They're obviously happy Mommy has a mini-van so that their new prizes can be transported home with ease.
Then, Happy Teenager appears from behind the counter. Because she forgot to wear her name tag, I dubbed her "Teenager Evil Doer," or TED for short. You'll see why this name fits her perfectly soon enough.
She looks over the tally and points my boys in the right direction.
"Wait a minute, what's this?" The boys were obviously confused. Clearly they had enough tickets to buy part ownership in that restaurant, yet TED insisted that they could only pick from the prizes under the glass.
Sure, Chinese handcuffs sound cool. So did the plastic dolphin that spit styrofoam darts faster than the speed of light. But you could tell, the kids had bigger ideas. I'm not sure exactly what they were, but I'm guessing they consisted of super-human sized stuffed animals paired with a fork lift.
I could cry and whine about how the system is unfair, but since my children are still young, I allowed them to do that job for me.
They did indeed leave with a good number of prizes that day. Most however, were no bigger than my pinkie. And instead of needing my mini-van to haul away their treasures, it turns out, their pockets did the job perfectly.
They even shared one of their lollipops with Mommy.
How ironic I thought.
"A sucker for the sucker!"