I miss the stroller. I am happy that Shayna is getting older but yesterday we went to the mall. It was me and the three girls. Shayna is really too big for the stroller, yet she is still small enough that I do not trust for a second to let go of her hand. A stroller is also ideal for hanging bulky bags and placing drinks that your children no longer wish to carry. Add to that Rachel and Hannah. They are almost 11 so you would think that walking around the mall would be no big thing, but Rachel has Asperger's. This means that she is easily drawn away by something that takes her fancy and is prone to wander. She is also hard to get moving if she does not want to do something or wants to go another direction. As a result, I become a boot camp sergeant at the mall.
The first stop we made was the shoe store, all three girls needed sandals and both Shayna and Hannah had outgrown their sneakers. You would think that this would be no problems, however, the way that the store is set up, all three girls sizes are spread out in three different aisles, but we managed. At the check out I specifically told the clerk to keep the boxes as I would be walking around the mall and didn't want the bulk. I guess she was too busy chewing her gum, and I was too busy keeping the girls from playing with all the accessories they sell at the counter and in my line of vision to realize she did not have the ability to chew gum and comprehend what I said simultaneously. There was a long line behind me so I just grabbed the two bulky bags, fixed all the stuff my four year old was playing with and left.
Next the department store to buy a new training bra for Hannah. Macy's used to have just one store in the mall. Now they have a whole store for women and another store at the other end of the mall for men, children, and home stuff. I decided we were better off going to to the lingerie department (plus it was closer). Hannah disagreed. When we got to the department I asked if they carried training bras and she said no, I should check out the other Macy's at the other end of the store. Hannah them loudly turns to me "See! I told you so!" The clerk gives me what I am sure is a look of sympathy because that is the moment Rachel decides to loudly comment (inappropriately, of course) on some of the more interesting types of underwear while Shayna is trying to get my attention to discuss the size of my breasts and determine which of the bras on display I should buy.
I usher them out of that department and made the mistake of stopping at the make-up counter to replace my face powder that I have used down to the last particle. Apparently Shayna really likes Clinique's display make-up.
At this point there was no way I was dragging my motley crew down to the other side of the mall. I found a "tween" store that sold the size bras we needed. While at the store Shayna wandered a little too far and I could not see her, I panicked and yelled at her when she peeked into my view half a second later. This caused her to cry the entire time during check out.
Finally, I thought, we were finished! But It was close to dinner time and I had bribed Rachel and Shayna to behave with a rare treat of dinner in the food court. Normally I would relish the thought of not having to cook, but the food court means lots of choices. They all wanted something different. So the drill sergeant in me organized a plan. We would stop at each of the three places and get it all "to go" rather than balance three different trays and four bulky shopping bags. Hannah helped with some of the bags so I could carry the food bags as they increased at each stop.
We settled in at the tiny tables and chairs they set aside for kids. I really didn't care that my knees did not fit under the table or that my ass was hanging way off the sides of the chair. I made it. We were so close to leaving I was able to relax thinking it was easy sailing from here on, I was mistaken.
Shayna made a little friend sitting at the table next to her. The little girl was her age and came over pulling up a chair next to Shayna. I thought it was so cute! Her parents were right behind us and we were enjoying watching and listen to the two preschoolers introduce themselves and have an adorable conversation. Until...
Shayna was telling the little girl about her family. Her sisters and her mommy and daddy. On Sunday, Ira and I had gone out for a date night without the girls, it was the first such night in a long while. Shayna proceeded to tell this little girl that her mommy and daddy went on a date. This is pretty much how the conversation went.
"My mommy and daddy went on a date, and they did this"
Shayna began to make small fists and was bumping them together in what looked like and obscene gesture in front of her!
The little girls father was at this point cracking up.
"what?!?" I said to Shayna, "Are you talking about?"
"This mommy", and she repeated the gesture.
Then she said to the little girl, with a giggle "they kissed."
Of course, the gesture was her mommy and daddy kissing. Still, it was rather embarrassing. I went five shades of red and tried to laugh it off! The girls dad was really cracking up at this point.
This is when I cleaned up our mess, smiled politely at the little girls parents, and left dragging kids, bundles, leftovers, and a various assortment of drinks.
I miss the stroller.