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She’s gone fishing

I try to discourage the kids from wasting their money in toy machines. The claws slip easily off the toys. I’m convinced they are a rip-off and a bit shady, too.

But occasionally, they will show the claw who’s boss. One moment, I’m shaking my head at the folly of trying. The next, I’m high-fiving the kid who tried and triumphed.

Sam wrangled this rubbery caterpillar at the mall one day over spring break.

He gave it to Beatrix. He’d give anything to Beatrix, including his arms, legs, heart.

Since that afternoon, Bea has been obsessed with the machines. Every box ‘o cheap toys and trinkets she sees, she begs to try. I say no, usually. It’s 50 cents I’ll never see again.

I must have been feeling magnanimous on a recent day, because not only did I declare we could ride the mall carousel, we would visit the toy-grabby machine! Joy!

I did my best. I thought I picked a loose-looking and easily grab-able specimen. We maneuvered the joystick together until the claw was poised over a small stuffed bunny. I told her to push the red button, releasing the claw. It plunged into the plushy pile and rose, pincers empty. We missed.

Bea was so, so sad. She cried as we exited the mall.

It’s fascinating to see how our kids work through their disappointments, their triumphs, their emotions. Somehow, they manage to form outlets. Like a few of the other kids, Bea likes drawing and coloring. When something effects her deeply, she often draws.

Thoughts are shaken through the end of a pen.

I love this drawing because she hasn’t given up trying.

Beatrix is guiding the claw over Hello Kitty. She bypasses Spongebob, Patrick, Sonic, Mario, Luigi. She knows what she wants.

It’s inevitable. If you doubt that Beatrix gets Hello Kitty, you don’t know Beatrix.

8 comments to She’s gone fishing

  • bro-de-mopsy

    Wow – she is a really good artist for her age – drawing features of the characters, impressive.

    I remember when Aiden was little, we went to Six Flags with you guys and I took her over to the carnival games section with $5 burning a hole in my pocket — I was gonna win her the big prize, right? Nope. I still remember the look of disappointment on her face after all of the games of throwing rubber balls at strategically stacked aluminum cans. She must have thought her uncle wasn’t very good at these games, she left empty-handed. I admit my pride was a bit tarnished, I thought I could win SOMETHING at least!

  • jenni

    AWESOME drawing. Wow! I could totally recognize all those characters! Watch out, Hello Kitty…the claw comes for YOUUUUUU….

  • Hi Gretchen,

    I popped over from Erin’s post, because when I read your comment, I knew your family dynamic was one that did not fit my comment, and I was right. Your family is gorgeous!!!
    My beef, and I shouldn’t have shot my mouth off without thinking more carefully, was aimed mostly at the people in my area that embark on their first kid in their very late 30’s and early 40’s. Then dump the kids in day care, to get back to their job. I don’t know where you live, but in the SF bay area, there are many families like this. I think it is selfish and sad 🙁

    I’m a big advocate of big families!! Had I not had a bad hip, I think I would have had at least four. 8 kids is fantastic and amazing!! In your case, you come to the table with great wisdom. Plus hey, the older ones can chip in when you get tiered 😉

  • amy

    Love the drawing.

  • Mom

    Such wisdom from my big girl. I love Bea’s drawing. That’s a keeper for sure. It a hard lesson that disappointments come and we can’t always have what we want even when Mom’s and Uncles try their hardest.

  • Oh fishing… bah!!! I would lend you my hubs, I wouldn’t even bother to try and then he would win first time. I have banished him from those machines because he always wants to get eight prizes. And don’t you love art therapy!!! We had friends pop by for a visit today and they stayed about half an hour before dashing. My four year old was so furious… “Why did they bother to come over if they didn’t mean to stay and play…” Hours of furious and very productive arting followed!!!

  • That is a great drawing! I’m also very very anti those toy machines. Very. Hugely so.
    How sweet that Sam loves her SO very much.

  • that drawing! she’s amazing! wow.

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