Adventures at the Mall

We had cabin fever, and a little cash in Mommy’s wallet, so we escaped to the mall yesterday as soon as Sesame Street was over.

The real reason for going, officially, was to meet up with Friend and the boys so the kids could play together at the play area. The weather around here has been sporadically rainy, though warm and muggy, so turning the Munchkin loose outside really hasn’t been an option. And she just does much better all the way around when she burns off some of her energy. So, it was off to play! I am pleased to report back that this time, she did very well. There were no hitting or pushing incidents involving her (though Head did get bowled over by another kid), though she and the Brain contemplated escape at one point, only to be pulled back in by Friend. Baby Boy also enjoyed himself (and wore himself out) in the play area, and the bigger kids around him were very considerate. He wasn’t above chatting up another mother, though, with his baby babble and big blue eyes. She was quite taken with him – up until the point when he tried to make a grab at her paper bag from Hallmark. Then I came in and re-directed him toward the toys.

After 45 minutes, the Munchkin was hungry and Baby Boy worn out, so we put our shoes back on, said good-bye to Friend and the boys, who had other errands to run, and went for lunch. Baby Boy fell asleep on the way there, but the Munchkin and I enjoyed getting to eat together in the food court. I could really tell that she thought the whole experience was quite a treat. Baby Boy woke up just as we were finishing, so he got to snack on the other half of his sister’s grilled cheese sandwich while we moved along and did a little shopping.

The main difficulty that I have with the kids nowadays at the mall (besides the Munchkin wanting to get certain things that are not on my list), is that Baby Boy has to ride in the stroller, which means the Munchkin is walking. And she ignores me sometimes, and wants to dart off. Generally, she is pretty good, but if she gets caught up in something – like looking at toys or stopping at a storefront window – it can be a lost cause to get her to keep moving. The biggest problem is when she thinks that the whole trip is one big game of hide-and-seek, which delights her and freaks me out. This is why I don’t venture out to the mall without help, usually. I don’t want to leave Baby Boy, compliant as he is in his stroller, alone to chase down the Munchkin.

I have no desire to buy a double stroller just to keep her in line. I want a better-behaved toddler. I think that only comes with time and experience, though. So maybe I should get a leash. Just kidding.

All in all, we had a pretty good time, and she fell asleep in the car and took a nice nap once we got home. Baby Boy, on the other hand, tried to get by on less than one hour’s nap yesterday and ended up going to bed an hour early because he was tired and cranky.

But I’m definitely getting braver. When Baby Boy was born, I couldn’t wrap my mind around taking both kids out of the house to shop by myself. Now, even though it takes a coordinated effort, I have fewer qualms about it. The medal, though, goes to the mom I saw at the food court at lunchtime. She was by herself, with her preschool-age son and boy/girl twins in a double stroller who looked to be around Baby Boy’s age. I felt like standing up and applauding her. But I didn’t, because the Munchkin was too busy trying to talk to the teenage boys at the table next to us. I tried to tell her that they were too old for her, but she ignored me. Again. I have a feeling she’ll still be ignoring me in about ten to fifteen years when I say the same thing.

In the meantime, if the weather’s decent, I think I’ll make the Munchkin run laps or something to take the edge off her energy. Mommy is now out of cash, so we can’t go back to the mall until after payday.

2 Responses to “Adventures at the Mall”

  1. Little Cousin' Mommy
    June 15th, 2006 06:46

    Don’t joke about the leash for the Munchkin. I say invest! At the very least it will throw her for a loop when she tries to escape. The expression on her face would be priceless, until she started screaming.

  2. Dozeymagz
    June 16th, 2006 04:47

    The leash really isn’t such a bad idea – I have one that straps to both our wrists. It’s a good way to ensure that Munchkin doesn’t run off, especially in a busy place like a Mall. She’ll still have plenty of room to walk around and it’ll be a load of worry off your mind. If she doesn’t like it right away – make a game out of it and don’t hesitate to use bribary!!!!