|OK yeah, that's actually pretty cute.|
So I left work, ran to the babysitter's house, packed up the kids and rushed out there to make it in time. Just slid in as they were getting started. I'm already looking at my watch (OK, my phone, who wears a watch?) and calculating what time we'll be home so I can make dinner and get some housework in before I have to start filling Etsy orders, catching up on The Bachelorette, sleeping, etc. I'm figuring what, 30 minutes at Build-a-Bear? 45?
Build-a-Bear was a TWO HOUR EVENT, you guys. TWO. HOURS.
Oh, and I had my toddler in the stroller, already stretching his little arms as far as they'll reach to get all the shiny pretty Bear outfits and accessories that are all right at his eye level and that all cost like, more than ACTUAL clothing I buy for my ACTUAL children.
You can buy your Bear a Bear iPod. I'm serious. Except I think it's called an "iPaw." I'm still serious.
Monster knows a lot of words now. He was demonstrating with enthusiasm his mastery of "DOWN" and "MINE" at Build-a-Bear.
|This face means "Well, hello there. I am adorable and I will destroy you."|
And this, friends, is the point in the story where I make an Alarming Discovery.
I? Am old.
Maybe you don't find this alarming. It's true, I've been old for awhile now. I thought I knew this. But there's nothing quite like 2 hours in a mall to really drive that point home.
I was bored.
In the mall.
I took three steps into Forever 21. And you know what? They could name their store Forever a Two-Headed Unicorn, but walking in there wouldn't make me one of those, either. I am, in fact, 30.
So I left Forever 21 and headed to H&M. I'd never been to H&M, mostly because H&M is not located inside Target. But I'd heard they had cute kids' stuff for pretty cheap, so off I went with my stroller.
I DID find some cute kids' stuff, and some of it was cheap. I got the Princess a cute little purple sundress, and the Monster found a Lightening McQueen hat ("MINE! CAR! MINE! HAT! CAR! MINE!"), so I went ahead and bought that, too.
Or I tried to.
I couldn't actually find the cash register. I mean, I did, eventually. But it took me time, you guys. Like, some real time. I passed those Lightening McQueen hats ("MINE!") at least seven times. I was starting to get scared. I found the exit a few times, but I had to buy ("MINE!! HAT!!") the stuff I wanted ("MINE!!") and WHY would they hide the place you go to give them money?
I was just really starting to panic, and considering consulting my GPS to see if Google Street had an H&M Aisle View option or something, when suddenly, as if by magic, I was in line! There was a cashier! I planted my feet and kept my stare locked on her, lest she disappear. I might have creeped her out a little. But you've gotta do what you've gotta do. I only had one extra diaper in my purse, you guys, we could NOT get lost in there again.
But we did.
We paid without incident, and the Monster put HIS hat on HIS head and glared at me with triumph or something, and off we went. Just...this way...right?
They have mirrors.
And then they have weird partitions that look like mirrors, except there's nothing there, it's just a weird faux partition and you can walk right through it, except not THIS one, THIS one is actually a mirror, and look! Lightening McQueen hats! "MINE! HAT!"
I got lost again! Like, truly, deeply, intricately lost. I clutched my H&M bag and my stroller handles and began to make plans. Would we have to sleep here? What would we eat? Would the Princess find us? Maybe the Build-a-Bear people would bring her here? But what if they got stuck too?? SAVE YOURSELF, PRINCESS! GO BACK TO THE BEARS, YOU'RE SAFE THERE!
Seriously, I wandered around for a good 10 minutes AFTER I was done shopping. H&M exists on a different plane than the rest of the mall. It's in its own dimension, and it is terrifying.
Eventually, you'll be happy to hear, the otherworldly beings in charge of H&M saw fit to release me, and I did find my way out.
And I was parched. (Side note: what is it about malls that makes you so thirsty? Or is that just me? Discuss.) I wanted a Mountain Dew real bad. And didn't I deserve one, after what I'd been through?! Alas, the soda machines in the Mall of No Escape have only Coke products. I hate bottled Coke, but fountain Coke is OK. So I headed to the food court.
The food court wanted $2.99 for a little fountain drink. I almost paid it, but then I looked at my phone and realized that the two hours had almost completely elapsed while I was stuck in the parallel universe that is H&M, and it was almost time to pick up my Girl Scout and leave this place! And there's a McDonald's right across from the mall, and they can give me a large Coke for $1 instead of a small for $2.99. I'll wait. And that Coke will taste SO GOOD.
This is called foreshadowing, you guys.
So we went back to Build-a-Bear, and the Girl Scouts were still in the process of stitching their Bears' backs shut and cramming stuffed hearts into their body cavities. And then of course, the brand-new Bears needed baths at the Bear Bath Station.
|Hang on, Mom. Don't rush me. This bear has dirty feet. She needs a full-service air pedicure.|
And then of course Princess wanted SHOES for her bear and I refused because I'm EVIL so we had to have that discussion ("MINE! BEAR! DOWN! MINE!!") and I showed her the dress I got her and she twirled and showed all her Girl Scout friends and then she gave it back and still wanted Bear shoes but I wasn't budging because I am EVIL.
|PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE??? She NEEDS shoes!|
|Why you gotta be so evil?|
They gave me a Diet Coke.
Oh snap. There's more. Read That Diet Coke was Lying in Wait.