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Got That Stuffing Process Licked

, , , , , , , | Right | April 25, 2023

I used to work at a toy store where customers could come in, put stuffing in an animal, put clothes on it, and name it.

A couple of years before this story, the company started offering a birthday promotion where parents could bring their young children in, and however old the child was turning would be the price of their animal, e.g., six years old = $6.

Close to the holidays, pre-health crisis, I answered the phone on a busy Saturday. The woman on the other end told me she was pregnant and due very soon, and she wanted to know if she could bring her children in for their birthdays before she wouldn’t be able to. Corporate was very generous with the policy, so I let her know she could, and she said they would be in later.

A few hours after, we had a lull in the crowds. In came a very pregnant woman, her husband, and three rambunctious boys, all under the age of six. I recognized her as the woman I had spoken to and welcomed them in. She told me that her three boys, turning six, four, and three, all had their birthdays within the next two weeks and she was due during that time. Since I had the time — and as a manager, rarely had the opportunity to help with stuffing — I grabbed the animals for her kids and began helping.

I don’t remember the entire stuffing process, but after we had stuffed them and put the hearts in, the boys wanted to pick their clothes while I stitched. I asked for a high-five from each of them. The six-year-old gave me one, and so did the four-year-old. And here comes the reason for this story.

With his two older brothers running away with their dad and their mom sitting down, the three-year-old must have felt like now was his opportunity to get away with something wild. My hand was held up for a high-five from him. In what felt like slow motion, he grabbed my wrist in his hand, pulled it to his face, and LICKED the palm of my hand from wrist to fingertip.

Before I could even react, he ran to his brothers and dad. I looked to see if his mom had seen what happened. She was horrified.

Mom: “Did he just lick you?!”

Working with kids — and customers — I laughed it off and assured her it was fine. Using my slobbery hand as little as possible, I closed up the animals and then ran to scrub my entire arm clean.

Honestly, I would rather this happen than have them cough or sneeze directly in my face. It just happened so fast; I couldn’t help but laugh.

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