Adventures in the Mall, continued

With Baby Boy’s birthday coming up in a month, my Obachan said to me all of a sudden yesterday, “I don’t have anything for him for his birthday! Let’s go shopping and you can help me pick things out.”

As my mom will point out, I am usually a sucker when Obachan says things like this. While I like shopping, and it’s nice to have another adult around when I have the kids, going shopping with Obachan usually turns into a complete marathon. So I recruited Auntie to go with us (thank you, Honda Odyssey!).

Our basic goal was to find clothes for Baby Boy. He’s gotten lots of hand-me-downs (and nice ones) in bigger sizes than he wears now, so I’m trying to be as judicious as possible in what I’m telling people to get him when they ask. The other problem with buying clothes for him is that he is not the average size for an eleven month old. While he’s taller than average (per his last doctor’s appointment), he is lean, with a long waist and short legs. To put it another way, he’s just growing into his 6 to 9 month jeans length-wise, and they are still falling off his tiny little bottom, especially when he’s in disposables (cloth adds a little more bulk and helps him keep his pants up). His shorts look somewhat comical on him. I went through his closet last night and I think there are 3 summer outfits that are 12 month sized that he even has a hope of wearing before the summer is over. Part of this problem, too, is that kids’ clothes are never sized the same for the age between brands (and sometimes even within the same brand), period. That’s why his OshKosh clothes fit pretty well and some of his Carter’s stuff is still big. He can still wear some of his 3 to 6 month onesies.

This is making it really hard on me in trying to decide what to buy for him for next summer. I’m buying (and telling people who ask) to get him 2T sized things, because he has plenty of 18 month summer hand-me-downs from kids who were born at different times of the year, and Target always has good sales at the beginning of each season, where you can buy T-shirts and pants and shorts for between $3 to $5 apiece. But I digress…

Our first stop in the mall was Gymboree (love that store), where both Obachan and I were instantly smitten with a new line of designer cherry outfits for girls. They are cute. So, of course, we found something really cute for the Munchkin, but there wasn’t anything really that was catching my eye for Baby Boy. We did find a shirt and shorts outfit in a 2T size that Obachan bought, but it just looks huge to me. I hope he fits it by next summer (if not, it may be the summer after that). We did find some nice polos at GapKids (also love that store, especially when they have good sales) for both kids. And then the Munchkin needed a Pull-up change, so we went to The Bon – Macy’s, I mean – and Auntie and the Munchkin and I went into the bathroom, leaving a sleeping Baby Boy (in his stroller) with Obachan, who told us that she was going to look at socks.

When we came out of the bathroom, we went straight to socks. Obachan was not there.

I was not panicked, but exasperated. She has a habit of wandering off to the next section or sale rack, and totally forgetting about meeting up with someone. She just figures you’ll find her eventually – she never worries about it. I lost track of her at Wal-Mart once. It was not fun.

So, with Auntie and the Munchkin in tow, we searched the entire women’s shoes and socks section of Macy’s. It was so obvious that we were looking for someone that the salesgirl offered to page whoever we were looking for. I almost took her up on it, but declined. As I said to Auntie, “Obachan probably wouldn’t hear it if we did page her.” A bad combination of being asborbed in shopping and that she never has her hearing aids turned up really high.

We finally found her after five minutes of active searching in the women’s clearance section, within full view of the bathroom entrance. “We went looking for you in socks!” I nearly exploded.

“Oh, they didn’t have what I wanted, so I came back over here to wait for you,” she said nonchalantly. Never mind that she didn’t stay in socks to wait for us, she wasn’t paying attention to the bathroom entrance to see us and wave us over.

After a few more stores, Auntie needed to stop and run into a store for a gift card – she’s got a birthday party to go to. So she and I ran to the store, leaving the Munchkin and Baby Boy with Obachan at the fountain (and a couple of pennies for the Munchkin to toss in). We were gone less than five minutes, and when we got back, they were gone.

Auntie and I were stunned. This was not Macy’s – this was the entire frickin’ mall. We ran briskly up to the next store that we had planned on going to – they weren’t there. Auntie checked the play area – nope. We went back to the store that we’d gone to for the gift card, thinking that they might have followed us – not there.

On our third trip back to the fountain, and I was saying to Auntie, “How do you yell at your 81 year old grandmother for running off with your kids?” (to which she replied, “I have no idea,”), there they were.

Now I did explode. “Where were you guys??? We were gone less than five minutes!!!

Obachan shrugged. “The Munchkin ran after you, and I had to chase her down, but then once I caught her, I couldn’t find my way back to the fountain and had to ask a security guard.”

Auntie smirked. “Ohhh, so it’s the Munchkin’s fault this time.”

I decided that my blood pressure had been high enough – twice – for one day. “We’re sticking together for the rest of this trip,” I declared.

Obachan agreed. “Next time, you should leave us at the play area, so she doesn’t run off after you.”

Too exhausted to say anything more, I nodded.

When we finally got home, I began making a grocery list, and realized that I needed to go to the same grocery store that Obachan was planning to go to today. I called her up, and offered to meet her there and take her home, so she wouldn’t have to carry her groceries on the bus.

She eagerly agreed. “Oh, and do you need to go to Target? I really need to pick up some things… and if you’re driving, then I want to stop and get that wooden train toy for Baby Boy from OshKosh…”

If you look up “sucker” in the dictionary, my picture should be there.

I’m not letting her out of my sight today.

2 Responses to “Adventures in the Mall, continued”

  1. Little Cousin' Mommy
    July 14th, 2006 06:11

    It’s Obachan, what can you do? But you are a sucker.

  2. Dozeymagz
    July 14th, 2006 15:09

    I really enjoyed reading about your trip in to the mall – my Auntie & Mum (they are twins) are 80. They keep you on your toes but it’s great to have them around. I can only hope that I’m as active at 80! At the moment my Auntie is coming over every day to help with the Toddler’s Two and it’s brilliant! It’s so nice to see that you have a similar thing with Obachan! Please say a big ‘Hello!’ to her from your bloggy chum in Scotland!