On Sunday The Man and I are attending a wedding. Since jeans and flip flops aren't proper wedding attire, I was forced to head out into the retail world and buy something more appropriate to wear.
Now, I've known about this wedding for months and could have gone shopping before school let out so I would have had the luxury of doing it without three kids in tow. But then what would I blog about?
So I packed up my three relatively clean kids and we pointed the minivan in the direction of the mall.
"What are we doing here?"
"This is BORING."
"MOMMY! He HIT me!"
"How long are we going to be here?"
"Can we go to GameStop?"
"I hate GameStop!"
Should I continue? Luckily, the dressing rooms at Macy's weren't overly crowded and I parked my three angels into a dressing room, closed the door, and went into the next one to try on everything I had picked out. My karma must have been strong because I found something that not only fit, but looked decent. Score!
So the kids were OMG SO HUNGRY I THINK WE MIGHT DIE RIGHT HERE IN MACY'S so we decided to head over to the food court.
On our way to the food court we were accosted by men selling things from kiosks. Have you ever been to a fair where the guys running the games yell things out at you to get you to play their game? That's what walking in the mall has been reduced to. As we passed once kiosk that was selling some useless gadget or solution or something else, the high pressure sales guy that stood next to it shouted out "Ma'am?"
I love being called ma'am. It reminds me that my youth took one look at my troublesome brood and fled the building.
For some reason I briefly paused and said "Excuse me?" because I guess I thought he had a legitimate question to ask me.
"May I ask you a question?"
And then I realized I was about to be sucked into a sales pitch. So I said "Um, no, I'm not interested. C'mon kids!"
And I thought to myself... what kind of moron sees a frazzled woman with three children and tries to stop her for a sales pitch? When I'm walking through the mall with kids, the goal is to arrive at whatever destination we have set forth with all three children still in tact. Any distraction or detour has the potential to seriously derail this goal. Children are easily distracted by shiny things, fuzzy things, things that light up or fly or move. It is a full time job to keep an eye on them and Mr. Youneedmypieceofjunklikeyouneedaholeinyourhead thinks it would be a good idea to stop me and try to sell me his magic beans? Does he really think I have the time or energy to listen to his tried and tested speech that was handed down from upper corporate management? This isn't a leisurely shopping trip, buddy.
And so we moved on.
At the food court the children all wanted to eat different things so we had a fun time collecting whatever their little hearts desired and finding a table to sit at. After lunch we decided to head over to the Apple store to get an iTunes gift card for one of Munchkin's friends. Unfortunately to get to the Apple store we had to pass by Build-A-Bear.
What is it about Build-A-Bear that strikes a desire larger than any other in my daughter's heart? The mere mention of Build-A-Bear causes her to go into a full on grief stricken tangent describing how she has only ever been to Build-A-Bear once and she was 5 and it was so long ago and every one of her friends has lots of Build-A-Bears and why are we so mean to her??!
Well, Munchkin, it's because I think spending over $50 for a stuffed animal that you had to make yourself is a little ridiculous. I don't care if you held its little beating heart in your hand and made a wish on it. Whoever came up with Build-A-Bear is a freaking genius.
About halfway to the Apple store, Bug said "Mommy? Where's your bag?"
And I looked down and realized I was not holding the outfit I had purchased for the wedding. Bug didn't have it, Munchkin didn't have it, and Goober didn't have it.
But it FIT!!!! Tragedy has stricken!!
So we turned back and I prayed it was still sitting at the table we ate our lunch at. Bug ran ahead as he is smaller and less encumbered and can move quickly through mall crowds.
My karma held out and Bug returned with the bag in hand. Crisis averted. On our way back to the Apple store we passed Build-A-Bear again. Joy.
The Apple store was filled with teenagers wearing low rise jeans that appeared to be painted on, chunky belts, and they all had haircuts that were straight out of an anime cartoon. I don't go into the Apple store often, but this is the first time I realized there is no cash register area. There's no place to walk up to someone and say "Hey, I'd like to get a gift card. Can you help me?"
There's the "Genius Bar" that Bug warned me was not where I was supposed to go and if I did I would surely embarrass him by being such an out of place loser that I didn't know what to do at the Apple Store. Other than that, I guess you're just supposed to find an iPad to play with and wait for a "Genius" (I challenge them to an IQ test...) to come by and assist you.
So we left.
And we walked by Build-A-Bear again.
On our way out of the mall I stopped by the Piercing Pagoda to ask if they could clean my necklace. Piercing Pagoda is owned by Zales and since we bought the necklace at Zales, they're supposed to polish it up for me whenever I demand it. While standing outside their kiosk Munchkin decided that she had finally worked up the courage to get her ears pierced.
It's been a couple of years in the making, actually. She's wanted to get them done and then she changes her mind. Pain freaks her out. But yesterday she felt ready. She picked out some cute little sterling silver stars and I signed the waiver that said I wouldn't sue them if they chopped her ear off.
And then she sat in the chair.
She was nervous... she was shaky... she wanted them to just get it over with, already...
And then they did.
She just said "Ouch" and her eyes got a little watery. And then she was happy.
And though a part of me thought how sad it was that I had just allowed someone to poke holes in my perfectly formed child and another part of me lamented that she is indeed growing up... I was mostly so proud of her.
And then Bug made fun of her for tearing up and she decked him.