Tuesday marks the day that I completely lost touch with reality.
J and I both had off from work, the weather was cold and lousy, and so…
We decided to take T to the mall.
I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. Oh, wait; I do. I think it was something along the lines of, "T was so good the last time I took him to the mall! He just slept and stayed in his stroller!”
The problem? He was two months old at the time. (Like I said…lost touch with reality.) It was only once I was literally peeling my giggling, rampaging NINETEEN-MONTH OLD off a mannequin for the umpteenth time that day that it dawned upon me: There’s a very compelling, very cute reason why I’ve been pretty much shopping exclusively online for the past year or so. And that reason does not take kindly to being confined to his stroller when there are fountains to lunge into and Cheerios to fling.
J and I quickly realized we had a formidable opponent on our hands. T arched his back and whimpered until we took him out of the stroller, whereupon he took off down the hall, basically all but singing “Born Free” and frolicking. I swear I heard him mutter “suckas!” under his breath.
Compounding the problem was that we’d taken our “car stroller” to the mall with us, which basically stays upright only if: a) you don’t place any bags on it which contain more than a feather; b) there’s no wind; and c) the moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars. Clearly, that day, my diaper bag weighed a ton, there was a stiff breeze in the mall and the stars were not in alignment.
The stroller, naturally, went down.
We made a decision then and there that we would take turns: one of us would wheel around the good-for-nothing-but-holding-our-bags stroller while perusing the stores, and the other would attempt to corral Giggly McRunsalot. Why? Because we had made our way to the mall as a family for the first time in eons, and BY GOD WE WERE GOING TO BUY SOMETHING.
When my “free time” came, I was like a Supermarket Sweep contestant (minus the abjectly hideous sweatshirt).
I bobbed and wove my way through the throngs (yay, alliteration!), with a stroller mind you, knowing that my time was limited. I found, tried on and purchased these flats in under seven minutes.
I was a force to be reckoned with!
At that point, I came back and switched with J. T spied the escalator. “Whee!,” he shrieked, “Mommy, down!”
…And off we went. While J took the empty stroller with him through Banana Republic, I picked up T and took him for a ride down the escalator. He LOVED it, and wanted to go back up. Do I even need to tell you that the “up” escalator was out of service? What the HELL, mall?? My kid was entertained, though, and so it was that I wound up hefting him up and walking all the way up the escalator, and down we went on the (functional) other side once more. After my third time doing this (and coming to the realization that I was woefully out of shape), I decided that I needed to find a fully working escalator if I wanted to, you know, continue living.
We walked a little further down and found one. Seven times, people. SEVEN MORE TIMES we went up and down the escalator. I'm NOT KIDDING:
(Do you like my drawing of my jeans? And brown boots? Graphic design is my true calling.)
After the seventh time, I began mentally going through all of the escalator scenes that I could recall from movies; I got through the “Colorblind” scene from Cruel Intentions, the end of Superbad, and Mallrats when I noticed J waiting for us at the top of the escalator (just like Cruel Intentions!). “Time to go?” he asked me. “Time to go.” I replied.
We spent the rest of the day fingerpainting, cooking together, and playing Extreme Couch Cushion Fort Wrestling Battle Royale (patent pending!). In short, NOT being the same idiots who took our toddler to the damn mall in the morning.
Now, I’ve already made a vow to myself (and T!) not to bring him back there until he’s old enough. (i.e., When he’s obnoxious to me one minute, and then sweetly asking me for a ride there the next…I figure I’ve got about 13 years.) Until then, however, I have but four questions:
1. Do any of you with toddlers take your kids to the mall?
2. If so, does your arsenal of mall-going supplies include a tranq gun?
3. Because I saw some kids around T’s age sleeping in their strollers…how do their parents get them to do that IN THE MALL?
4. Seriously, how? I need to know.