Mall Rats


So, yesterday after I pick everyone up from school we run into my sister Kate, who is read/walking down Port Washington Road on her way to the library.  I swerve into the driveway in front of her, honk the horn, and she looks up from her book.  It just so happens we are on our way to the library as well to see if my requested book has arrived, so we drive her to pick up her check.  And it is serendipitous, because our next stop was Bayshore Mall, where we need to pick up Dillon's white tux for Marcus & Nikki's wedding tomorrow, and that was also Kate's next stop. 

So the kids and I start out with Kate at H&M, but that was severely testing my 'compacting' (see previous blog post ) ability, and the kids' patience, though they were being pretty good- Dillon just kept trying to make Kate purchase trendy short skirts and minidresses which weren't exactly her style.  Then they made faces into a mirror for ten minutes.  But when their attention turned to the escalator, I decided we'd better proceed to the tux shop, and made plans to meet up with Kate later.

Dillon looks awesome in his tux.  It's white, with a cappuccino vest and tie.  He LOVES it…  One of this kid's favorite things to do is dress up.   So he was strutting around despite not having the shiny white patent leather shoes (I tried to cram the size 11 on his feet until I realized that it was a losing battle and we had received shoes that were three sizes too small…)  But we finished much more quickly than I anticipated, despite having to re-order the shoes to arrive today, and went across the street to wait for Kate near the fountain.  

Let me explain to you about this fountain .  It is fantastic, one of those intermittent-water-shooting things that are really fun, and Bayshore has encouraged kids to play in it.  Every time we walk by there is a gaggle of little kids playing in it.  And all summer, (we made 4-5 trips to the eyeglass store, to get pictures developed, to eat, etc.) I have promised my kids that someday I would allow them to play in it.  But yesterday I truly wasn't prepared for this in any way, I had my wallet, phone, and some bubble gum given to the kids by a mall security guard.  And a formalwear bag.  

But I wanted to be super-cool, laid-back, impromptu mommy.   And so I told my kids they could take off their shoes and socks and get their feet and hands wet.  At this time please note that Charles dressed them yesterday morning, and he tends to dress them quite inappropriately and warmly for the weather, so despite the 85-degree temperature, they were both wearing jeans.  

The rest of the kids in the area are in swimsuits, but I don't care…  I am super-cool and not uptight like these other moms!  And then I realize that it takes my kids all of about thirty seconds to get completely drenched.  You see, the water lulls you into a false sense of security, staying really low to the ground so you can hop over it, then shoots out like a cannon five feet into the air.  There is really nothing funnier than seeing a little kid look into the holes where the water comes out and then catch a blast full in the kisser.  My kids repeated this mistake several times despite the fact that they both complain if you get water on their foreheads while you rinse their hair in the bathtub.  And none of the other kids seem to mind when this happens, you see them sort of step to the side and then shake it off like a puppy, and hop right back in again.

It takes me about twenty-five minutes to realize that I have absolutely no exit strategy here.  Shortly afterward, Charles and Kate show up, as the plan had been to eat dinner at one of the mall restaurants.  Charles still needed to pick up his tux, so he headed over there and Kate watched the kids while I ran home for some dry clothes.  By the time I got back about fifteen minutes later, the temperature had dropped a bit and my kids were sort of blue and shivery.   We changed them in the van and got some dinner, and Dillon asked to get back in the fountain after we'd left the restaurant.  (I didn't let him this time.)

When we got home there was a package of a lot of used kids' books I had bought for Dillon on eBay.  It occurred to me the other day that he's reading these "Magic School Bus Chapter Books," "Bailey School Kids," "A to Z Mysteries," etc. at an enormous rate.  We check them out of the library in great piles, but he needs to bring a book to school every day for "silent reading time" and I don't want to send library books to school.  (I still seem to be missing "The Littles and the Big Storm" on my library card from this summer!)  So I checked eBay and I bought 30 of these titles he loves for less than $1 each…  That should keep him busy for a month, if I can also get him library books…  

So after he got his pajamas on, I showed D the great stack of books and he was totally overjoyed.  He said it was the best present ever, except for if I had gotten him another Lego computer game.   Apparently he told everyone in his class that his two favorite things to do were reading and 'screen time."  And as my grandmother would say, he didn't get that from the stones in the street.

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