So I asked my good friend Jen to regale us with a recount of her recent adventure with her son, a vending machine and a crowd of judgemental eyes.
Now if you'll excuse me I have to get back to watching Teen Wolf Too.
*When contacted by Hannah to guest blog for Skidmarking, I was both honored and surprised. After all, how could I have ever guessed that those classic college days we spent exploiting our livers and dancing like we belonged on a pole would lead to this: bonding over maternal shortcomings and sharing parenting debacles with the Internet sect? Oh, the places you'll go. Preach it, Seuss.
Channeling my best Sophia Petrillo, I ask you to picture it: Vetta Soccerdome, Saint Louis, Missouri. Much like other upwardly mobile parents desperate for their yuppie children to excel in the fabric of suburban life, we enrolled our 4-year-old son in soccer lessons. What this means for Logan is he gets to run around and disobey someone else for 50 minutes per week. What this means for me is I get to gossip with my friend Nancy and take a much needed break from my constant vigil against kidnappers and child molesters. Everyone wins....well, except the child molesters.
Of the many things I envisioned stemming from soccer lessons (free college tuition at some fancy school, Nike commercials extolling Logan's talent and agility, David Beckham begging for his autograph), I never would have imagined this:
My son stuck in a vending machine.
It's not that I wasn't watching him. It's more like I was watching but didn't particularly care what he was doing. There, I said it. In the blink of an eye he went from reaching an arm into the prize door, to ducking his head in and, just as quickly, slipping the second arm inside. And there he was: a child buried to his waist in a 7” x 9” hole. Legs flailing, arms pinned, and with a nonbreakable (I tried) plexiglass door clamping down on his neck each time he tried to pull himself out. Horrifying. Humiliating. And yet, kind of charming in its own “just wait until your rehearsal dinner” kind of way.
It's amazing the things you think of when you find yourself prostrate in front of a vending machine. If you're wondering what, here's a hint: you're thinking about the 45 parents who just formed a crowd around you to gawk at your screaming child. You're mourning the soccer lessons your son used to take before you had to reallocate the money towards his therapy. And you're wondering if you can get him out of the machine and drive off before Child Protective Services comes to take your child.
So, draped in the warm glow of scathing judgment, I extracted Logan. First I had to staunch the raccoon-tossed-on-a-fire screams emanating from my firstborn. If there is ever something that will keep me up at night, aside from wondering how Mariah Carey's Glitter was green lit, it will be those screams. Next I had to run about 800 algebraic permutations to find the best angle to lift him out without, say, decapitating him.
In the end, it was nature that saved the day. Logan was so scared, so hysterical that he soaked his entire head and shirt with sweat. I was able to use that to first slip his arms out and, with the help of a stranger who held the door off his neck, turn him on his side, press his head against the floor of the machine, and lift him up and out. Blessed freedom! As my friend Kate so eloquently said, it's like a vending machine gave birth to my son.
In the end I was left with one very sad little boy who learned his lesson for about 3 seconds before, I kid you not, stuck an arm up into the air hockey table. Much like his mother and rail vodka, he never learns.
And what became of the death trap vending machine? Well, check out its newest accessory, which we have affectionately named “The Logan Bar / Anti-Lawsuit Device.”