that an Available Option?
Shopping is a well-honed skill. Normally when Rebecca and I shop, we
choose stores that have play areas for kids. These stores recognize
that well probably spend more if we arent rushing to beat the moment
when our child suddenly explodes in a fit that drives us out of the store
before we can buy anything. We really like these stores, however,
because after we drop Skylar off, we can sneak out the back door and catch
a matinee at the local multiplex. This shopping excursion, however,
we needed Skylars expert input before making a purchase decision.
Hey! yelled a salesman as he ran towards us. Your baby is
crawling inside that dishwasher.
I know, I said as Skylar stood and pulled on the top rack.
Hes going to break the door, said the salesman.
Thats exactly why we here to buy a new one, I said.
I could tell we had a hungry salesman here. His eyes narrowed and he
began to salivate as if he I had exposed my jugular to him.
Actually its okay for your son to play there, he said.
These quality doors are built to last. He knocked on the
hardened steel to show us just how strong it was. Im almost
willing to bet it could handle both your son and I together.
He had taken my bait.
Ive got a proposition for you, I said. If my son can
play with your dishwasher for ten minutes without breaking it, Ill buy
I could see the salesman begin to sweat. I had called his bluff.
Did he have enough faith in his product to pit it against an inquisitive
11-month old? He looked over his shoulder to see if his manager
might be watching.
Its a deal, he said in a low voice. As an afterthought, he
put out his hand.
Okay... I said in a way that seemed to undermine his confidence as
we shook hands.
He looked at his watch. How long has he been in there? Two
minutes? Already he was trying to put his finger on the scale, so
Eight minutes is fine. I wasnt even concerned that it
was the salesman watching the clock: I have great faith in my son.
Skylar was already hard at work. His little tongue stuck out of his
mouth as he pulled on the sliding bottom rack. The tiny wheels
resisted his efforts, locked in their track, but a solid yank popped them
free, sending the rack and Skylar backwards. I caught my son before
he cracked his head on the tile floor. The salesman caught the rack.
Its supposed to do that, he said. Its removable.
For easy cleaning.
Easy cleaning? I said as
I placed Skylar back on the open door.
Hey, said the salesman, no helping him. He has to start on
Shrugging, I lifted Skylar and placed him on the floor. The salesman
realized his mistake too late. Perceiving that I didnt want him in the
dishwasher only enticed Skylar that much more.
You dont have any children, do you? I asked as Skylar pulled out
the top rack and laughed maniacally as he tried to hang from it. It
was too difficult for the salesman to watch. He turned away.
Is he done yet? he asked.
Hes just discovered the swirling jet arm, or whatever you call
it, I said. Wow. I didnt realize those could bend so
The salesman cringed. For a moment there was silence, and then the
sound of Skylar popping out the bottom rack again.
Rebecca nodded her head in approval. Its almost like the
engineers designed it so you could wheel the rack over to the cabinet
where you store your dishes instead of having to carry them in several
Next came the sound of plastic bending and then snapping back.
I have to say Im impressed, I told the salesman. The
soap dispenser door is holding up pretty well. I watched as
Skylar climbed out and started to play with the buttons on the underside
of the door. Say, this isnt one of those demo models that can
turn on while the door is still open, is it?
The salesman finally broke down. He dove for the dishwasher and
slammed the door closed just as the jets started to spray.
You win, he said, defeated.
I dont know, said Rebecca. He seems to really like
the see-through door. Skylar stood with his nose pressed against the
glass, mesmerized. Is that an available option?