On a day when the kids were out of school--probably one of the last days of winter break, we had to run an errand or two and ended up at Target (which happens to have a nifty mall entrance).
As soon as we enter the store, Joseph sees the mall play structure and of course wants to play. Being the great brothers that they are, Porter and James plead to take him to the structure while I grab the four or five items we came for. The mall is pretty quiet on weekdays and the play area looks relatively empty. Seeing as there are two of them to keep an eye on one child, I decide to let them go ahead. Brooks and Mae want to go as well, but I insist that this would be pushing it a little.
So, fast forward ten minutes. I quickly buy my items and step out into the mall area just in time to see J and P look at each other and then look at me with a look no mother wants to see: the "he-was-just-here-a-second-ago" look.
Immediately, I head into the neighboring arcade--the one I had warned them repeatedly Little Joe likes to try and escape to. He is nowhere!! Attempting to avoid complete panic, I instruct the big bros that they'd better get shaking it down the mall corridor until the child is found.
They haven't even taken five steps, though, when some 14-year-old boy in the arcade says,"uh, you lookin' for your little brother?" Before we can respond to the obvious, he points to a ball machine.
This ball machine to be exact.
So, the shocker is that the child is not playing WITH the game/toy, but is actually INSIDE of it!! Yep, inside.
Apparently his little body is a perfect fit for this prize door.
As well as this little walled area in the bottom left corner (he never quite made it into the actual balls--although I'm certain that was his intended destination).
The worst part of the story is that as I'm telling all of my kiddos, who want to burst out laughing, that this is not even a little bit funny, I'm secretly contemplating how terrible a mother I would be if I pull out my camera and snap a few shots before rescuing my two-year-old from this hilarious predicament (hilarious only because he's safe and entirely oblivious to the fact that little boys should not actually be inside arcade toys).
Turns out, though, I don't get the chance. The 14-year-old must have ratted us out, and the manager (presumably) is at our side unlocking the front entrance to the toy ... in complete silence. Apparently he doesn't even want to know how this whole mess occurred.
Moral of the story?? I'll let you come up with that on your own. I'm sure there are dozens!
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