Monday, April 9, 2012

RAOK #37 - Why do my kids think they can operate a crane?

One thing that is neat about having kids around is that they haven't been tainted much by disappointment.  They think they can do anything because, so far, life hasn't kicked them in the tush much and beaten them down yet (you know, like all of us adults!).   While the rest of us are hanging up motivational sayings in our offices, reading books about how to get over our latest hang-up, tagging inspiring words on FB and pinning them on Pinterest, the kids are just going out and trying stuff and thinking they can.

Ignorance is bliss sometimes, isn't it?

I think I could do with a little more "getting out there and trying it" versus "sitting around here and trying to motivate myself".  How about you?

Anyway, you know those silly crane machines where you drop down the hook and are rewarded with a stuffed animal when you pick it up? (You know... like in Toy Story).  Those really look like fun to the kids, except for the part where you never can actually hook anything so it is a waste of money.  Of course, the kids don't know that part of it.  Somehow they think that they have magically developed the skill of a crane operator or of the character "Tank" played by James Garner in the movie Space Cowboys. Remember the part where he operated the crane and won himself a toy?  Yeah, well he was trained by NASA, kids!

With four kids of various ages, I've been plagued for about 14 or so consecutive years with children intermittently wanting to play with those machines at the front of the store, the fair, a carnival, or wherever else they are placed to inconvenience parents and try to part us from more of our money.   Of course since I say "no" all the time, they get the hint and quit asking for the most part. 

I've tried explaining what "the odds" are, and what that means anyway.  Pointless, especially to the under 16 set who aren't working yet.  Vegas analogy?  No good for a 5 year old.   Hey little sweetie, when you are putting money on the roulette wheel, there is only a 1 in 38 probability that you are going to win against "the house".  Isn't it obvious if they can afford a humonguous building that they are making way more money than the people who are gambling and therefore gambling and operating this crane are both a big waste of money?  Mom, what is roulette, probability, and why are you calling a humonguous building a house?  I've never seen a "house" that big.  And what do you mean we don't have "money" for that? Just go get more from that little machine at the drive-thru.


RAOK #37 was for the poor tired mom or dad who had to drag the little one to the store with them and the kid saw the "crane" machine.  I taped some money on it so the parent could just, for once, not have an argument about why the crane machine is a waste of money.

And if the kid actually operated the crane, won a prize and beat the house?  More power to him!

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