Just this weekend, I took my kids to an arcade, and my 4-year-old daughter had her sights set on the dreaded claw machine. See, as an adult, I've had decades of experience to learn not to waste one's tokens on those two-bit vending machines in which you have to manipulate a metal hanging claw in an attempt to win a prize. Many a quarter has been sacrificed in the name of a fluffy stuffed animal I was sure I would be able to grab with that damned pincer.
But my preschooler had that look in her eye, and I couldn't not let her give it a go herself. "She'll see," I told myself, preemptively chalking it up to a teachable moment.
We swiped our card (the 2019 version of arcade coins), she pointed out the bouncy ball she wanted, and together we toggled the joystick to move the claw just above it. She slammed on the release button, and I cringed in fear. But then . . . it worked! We won the ball! We did it! Through blurred vision, I scanned the room to find my husband and shrieked for him to come see. Our reaction, while my daughter quickly lost interest in her prize, was as if we'd won the lottery.
"Oh my gosh. This is so worth $300."
Little did I know that the very same weekend, Jimmy Fallon was jumping up and down with his own 4-year-old daughter, Frances, after they, too, miraculously bested the claw machine. He shared his reaction on Instagram, and I can verify that every bit of it rings true — from the awestruck look on his face when the stuffed kitty actually dropped through the winning hole to his wife's audible "hold on!" shock.
"Franny! We got it! We actually got it! Wow, that never happens. That's unbelievable!" Jimmy says, hugging his daughter, who was happily clutching her new toy. "Oh my gosh. This is so worth $300. Wow, that is insane. We gotta go home. That's it."
Unfortunately for me, our win came at the start of our night, and I went on to spend an uncomfortable amount of money trying to repeat my daughter's victory. Jimmy, I'm glad you got to end your trip to the arcade on a high note!