July 2, 2009

The Bike Raffle

Last Saturday was child safety day at our city's police station. Community volunteers took Polaroids of my kids and fingerprinted them at the same time as representatives from the local credit union handed me four raffle tickets.

"Write your kids' names and phone numbers on the back of these," a woman told me, "and they could win one of three new bikes." She pointed to three plastic buckets, each of which was labeled with a different age group: 0-3 years, 4-6 years, and 7-12 years.

Since the only things I have ever won from raffles are objects that are also handed out for free at college job fairs (ie mechanical pencils, foam cupholders, and embossed frisbees), I didn't hold my breath. At my kids' insistence, however, I filled out the four raffle tickets and dropped them into the age-appropriate baskets.

Much to my surprise, yesterday morning I received a call from the credit union's branch manager informing me that Cortlen had won one of the bikes. My son overheard the conversation and by the time I got off the phone, he had already rubbed his good fortune into his siblings' faces.

"I'm getting a new bike! I'm getting a new bike!" he yelled jubilantly, dancing around the house.

I had to remind him that what the credit union giveth, the credit union could easily take away if the antics didn't stop.

Twenty minutes later, we arrived at the credit union for the big ceremony. It was lunch hour, and all seven of the credit union employees had congregated in the lobby with their bagged sandwiches and microwavable Jenny Craig entrees to witness the big event.

"Which one of you is Cortlen?" asked the branch manager, scanning my crew.

Cortlen stepped forward, beaming with excitement and anticipation.

The bank employee registered a momentary expression of surprise before signaling to a man who was standing in the back of the room.

"Bring it out Frank!" she called to her coworker. Cortlen began bouncing up and down in place. Kellen and Camber folded their arms and puckered their lips into thin scowls. Suddenly, with great dramatic flare, the credit union's break room doors swung open to reveal my son's prize.

The minute that I saw the bike, I realized the error was mine. In the chaos of the moment, I had put Cameron's (my 9 month-old) raffle ticket into Cortlen's basket and vice versa.

"The bike might to be a little young for you," the bank manager told Cortlen as the object was rolled in front of him. I didn't hear much of what the lady said after that. I was too busy trying to anticipate what my son was going to say and do when his words finally came to him. I had my hand cupped and ready to cover his mouth, should he choose unwisely.

The deafening silence was broken at last by a jubilant hoot.

"Woo Hoo!" Cortlen shouted in the direction of his siblings as he stuffed himself into the plastic driver's seat. "I have a new bike and you don't!"

Envy is a cruel and sometimes illogical master. At the sight of their brother's new toddler push trike, Camber and Kellen collapsed on the floor.

"I want that bike soooo bad!" they wailed, clinging to one another for support.

"Really?" I asked the poor sports, gesturing to the plastic car. "That's the bicycle of your dreams?"
"Yes!" they sniffled in unison and dried their eyes.

I waited until we were out of the credit union parking lot before telling the sore losers that they would have to wait until next year's raffle for a second chance at happiness.

Until then, they must endure.


Lindy said...

7 employees? Let me guess, only one of them works the drive-up window.

This story is cute and hilarious and scary all at the same time!

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

He handled it much better than I thought. Mine would've been mortified.

Inna said...

you're kids are such good sports. :)

Do you think he'll share with Cameron?

j and s (but mainly s) said...

this made my morning.

Jennifer said...

this is AWESOME!!!

Holly said...

My parents have one of those and my nephew loves to ride in it. Because he started riding in it when he was 2 and in love with the Wiggles (big red car!).

Now he's 7 and fights with his siblings over turns in it. Until Grampa pulls out the go-cart.

Foursons said...


Dana said...

OMG! I laughed and tears came to my eyes! I love your blog! It's the first and sometime only laugh I get in the morning before I wake my 3 kids up. You'll never run out of writing material with those wonderful kids of yours!

Melissa said...

LOL, that is so funny! I am also laughing because all the ads on your blog this morning are for rat and pest removal :D

Kami said...

For some reason, that makes me think of Mike from Monsters Inc.

You know, they watch the Monsters Inc commercial and at the end of the commercial the company logo goes over Mike's face before you can really see it's him.

Mike stares at the TV, surprised, and says, "I can't believe it! I'm ..." His friend Sully is about to comfort him, then Mike gets ecstatic and goes, "... ON TV!!!!!! WOOHOO!!"

Lani said...

Poor little guy:) Hopefully he'll share it with Cameron!

Meagan and John said...

I can't believe it, so when are you going to break it to him about the mess up--

honestly had i had more than 1 kid and he rubbed it in the other kids faces like that I think I would have taken the other kids to pick out bikes of their own (at a second hand store ofcourse) at least that was my first thought before I heard how they reacted to his gloating

Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving me my daily dose of laughter!!!
Your kids are priceless!!!


Heather said...

ha ha.
That is so funny and all too real at the same time.

Tiffany said...

Only a child could be so happy about such a mix up. It is new, that is all that matters. Of course the others had to have it, just because someone else is enjoying the "bike." You just have to love children!

noelle said...

Oh my gosh Jana. I love you. This made me laugh so hard. You remind me of David Sedaris - you have a way of turning seemingly mundane events into the funniest things that have ever happened.

Diane said...

This is the best post ever! I got my ab workout for the morning laughing!

Bonnie said...

Jana, they almost make it impossible for me to find you and vote! Please tell them to stop moving you around. Thanks so much.

A Musing Mother said...

I'd be tickled to win a cup holder! The boy understands the odds.

mom24orsinis said...

I"m a fairly new follower, with 4 kiddos of my own, but you never cease to make me LOL! Truly, that was a hilarious situation...thanks for the tears of laughter!

Mothership said...

That was awesome! Thanks for the laugh.

Connie said...

He could still rub it in his sibling's faces! I'd like to see what that bike looks like in a month from now!

Janille said...

I was sure they were going to bring out a little girl bike with pink streamers and a flower basket . . .

Unknown said...

This happened to us once...my 4 year old won a HUGE 10 speed bike. We had to sell it to the neighbor and go and get him a bike he could actually sit on. Too funny!

lisa b. said...

Ha, love it!! lol

Megan B ♥ said...

Oh my goodness! I'm laughing so hard!

Ok, I DO have to mention: I find it very ironic that this all happened from a safety fair. At a children's safety fair, they had you put your child's age, name, and phone number in drop boxes??

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