My husband works a ton. Both at his career job and around the house. So when he asked me if I could do him a favor and go pick up his contacts for him really quickly before he had to leave for his business trip, I figured it was the least I could do. "Yes, I'm sure. Yes, I know where it is. The boys will be fine. It'll only take a second." Ah, famous last words.
I was POSITIVE that the eye place was a stand alone store right past the mall. So imagine my level of delight when I called Husband as I was traveling in the wrong direction in search of said store, only to learn that it was in fact IN the mall. Awesome. My plan to leave the boys in the car and run in to a store where it would be certain I would know no one were shot.
I drove around the insanely crowded mall parking lot for a solid 20 minutes (ok, you got me: maybe it was closer to 10, since my A.D.D. would never let that happen) before I settled on a spot one row away from the dead last. I glanced at the clock on the dashboard and was pleased to find out that it was nearing 5:00. It was one of the hottest days on record and my kids were about to start their meltdowns if dinner was not at the end of this rainbow. Not only that, but I didn't have their stroller with me, so they were about to have to walk. In the heat. Across the crowded parking lot. In the mall. This "quick" errand was already killing me.
With one slung on my hip and the other two steps behind me with his little hand outstretched to keep a grasp on my fingers, we began our half-mile journey to the front door. Did I mention that the "baby" weighs 26 pounds? And it was literally one hundred flippin' degrees out? I began glistening immediately. (Supermoms don't sweat, btw... they glisten.)
Once we reached the entrance, I decided it was time for everyone to walk. As we strolled (very slowly at this point) past a full length mirror, I almost passed out as I caught a glimpse of myself. Whoa. Three Spiderman stickers stuck randomly in the center of my chest, a yogurt (or maybe it was banana, who can tell?) stain on my shoulder, some ridiculous looking old work-around-the-pants, and a frizzin' out pony tail. Had Oprah been on site, I hands-down would have made it on to her "make over a mom" show, and the very thought of that makes me want to shudder. And cry. Where the freak was this store, and why wasn't it closer to wherever I was????
Walking in to any store with two small boys in tow is always a crap shoot. Sometimes I get the "oh wow your boys are so cute" and other times I get the look that says, "get your stinkin' kids and their dirty hands the hell out of my store". I had a feeling that walking in to a place that had no toys, walls of expensive glasses, and nothing but over-polished glass counter tops was about to warrant the latter. Oh well. Sorry- nothing I can do.
Luckily, the visit was relatively quick and painless. One of them sat down on the floor, and the other jumped up on one of their chairs and began spinning himself around in circles. Hey- they weren't screaming, crying, whining, or pulling the frames off the walls. Things could have been much worse. And much to my surprise, they didn't even complain on our trek back in to the heat to find our car. We made it home in time for dinner and I deemed our trip a success.
Much more successful,that is, than the last time we ventured out to the mall. It was Christmas time. (Yes, the last time I took them to the mall alone was six months ago. That's how not fun shopping with them is). I was in line in a makeup/all things beauty/nothing for small children store with the gigantic double stroller, waiting patiently in a very long line. Of course as luck would have it, the little one started crying (loudly, as is his style) as a girl from college came up to say hi. Totally put-together as always, she smiled as she showed me her two kids who were just waiting with her in line as if they liked it. We stood in that line together, making conversation as I continuously pulled small makeup items out of my son's hand that he kept grabbing out of the bins. (note: her sons were not. Why is that???) By the time it was my turn to check out, the line had grown to approximately ten people deep. I tried to maneuver the stroller around a standing kiosk of nail polishes, and wouldn't you know it: I was stuck. A second line of people touching shoulders with me, and the front wheel completely jammed against the wall of the kiosk, I could neither fit around it or in front. With completely and utterly no where to go, I looked around. Would I REALLY have to back up all the way out of this huge line? Oh. My. God. By this time, my friend had gone up to the other cashier and normally purchased her items. Just typing this now, six months later, is making me wonder all over again why in the world that store would make their aisles so friggin' narrow. Duh, so NOT PC. I mean, seriously. Luckily, a very nice fellow mom (or irritated co-shopper, you choose) volunteered to help. She lifted the front end of my screaming baby holder and helped get me out of my tight spot. Thank you, fellow mom. Thank you.
No more mall adventures for us.