while shopping at target recently
i found myself in a long, slow, self-checkout line
behind a family of three-
a tired after a long day looking mother
a perky tween daughter
and a high-energy young son
who was clearly bored and restless.
needing to create something to do
the young son
somehow found a way to
push his head through the middle of the skeleton wreath
that they were waiting to purchase.
due to the crazy universal law of
‘on is easier than off’
he could not get it
back over his head to take it off again.
first he tried to get it off himself,
then his sister joined in,
when she heard his yelping
mom turned around, sighed, put her things down, and proceeded to help
looking at her wits end
as they patiently worked their way toward the front of the snaking line
continuing to struggle with the skeleton wreath removal project.
when they finally were in the front
mom asked the store clerk if she could scan the wreath while he was still wearing it
and deal with getting it off after they purchased it
she got the go ahead, scanned it on his neck, along with all her other items
and moved out of line.
employees quickly jumped in to help
with one holding his ears flat,
another tilting the wreath in a variety of positions,
his mother putting lotion on his face
moving his head up and down,
and his sister trying to keep him calm.
when they were finally able to free his head from the wreath
he stopped crying
mom quietly pushed her cart out of the store
her son carrying the wreath
his sister holding his hand
looking like they were all more than ready to head home.
“there is no panic like the panic when you momentarily feel
when you get your hand or head stuck in something.”