Discovering the Vending Machine and Its Magic Within
I saw the world through the eyes of a 4-year-old a few years ago when my little grandson, Langston, spent a short time with me at work. It gave me a slim peek at how much we take for granted in our lives.
Langston is the first of my daughter’s three children and when he was born, she became a stay-at-home mom totally dedicated to providing the right diet for her baby boy. I’ve noticed dedication to that mission has waned with the births of the next two babies. But for Langston, I don’t believe he had ever seen a vending machine before his visit to my office.
It was a chance encounter. I used to pass that machine multiple times every day all day long and never gave it a thought. I’m not too sure his parents are happy for Langston’s chance encounter.
When he saw that big machine, he looked at it with great wonder.
I let him look through the glass and make a selection from the items he saw. Then I gave him the coins to feed the machine. I punched the buttons for him and his treat fell to the bottom tray. Next, I showed him how to push the little doorway open, stick his little arm in and grab his treat. He stepped back to survey the whole picture and then announced with a big smile, “I like that.”
We made a few trips back to the machine before he left the office with my husband whom our grandchildren call Umbi. Langston couldn’t get past the amazement of using Mimi’s money to get one of those wonderful snacks. His snacks at home were and still are wisely controlled by his parents. It’s a new and different world with Mimi and Umbi. But, I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be when grandkids visit. We are the house of “Yes” while home is a different story.
This week, 4-year-old Brantley came to visit a few days and said she was ready to move in with us. And, why wouldn’t she? She has two people to dote on her every move and word. With two older brothers at home, she doesn’t get much of that. I think that’s our role as grandparents.
I did learn a lesson of my own the day Langston discovered the vending machine. Perhaps there’s a good reason to control the snacks we let those little people have. My sweet Langston soon became cranky and demanding, requiring a lot of attention. I dare say my daughter and her husband have learned to control snacks and sugar intake as much for self-defense as care of their children. With three under the age of 8, naps and controlled snacks is a system to benefit the parents as well as the children.
When they come to visit now, I hold off allowing snacks and candy until right before they go home. I make sure they are going home with parents right about the time the effects of the candy start in. Isn’t that a grandparent’s job? We are supposed to spoil them and then send them home. To quote my little Langston while at the vending machine, “I like that.”