We talked about getting a new stroller for Rebecca because all we had was an Umbrella stroller and a double stroller left over from Daniel and James. I brought up the Double stroller from the back room, down stairs and it was in great shape, looked clean and almost brand new. I washed it down anyway, put it in the van and decided to try it out today. It was a rainy day and we have been indoors for a couple of days now so we decided to go out. We made a quick stop at Home Depot, which Rebecca has grown to like, for some light bulbs and hooks. .As we walked in, I put Rebecca in the shopping cart and I recalled a time 2 years ago when I took Daniel and James there and they cried the whole time we were in the check out line. I tried everything to calm them down, let them hold the bag of screws, hammer etc. nothing seemed to work. Finally an employee of Home depot comes up to us and says (very loudly), “There is no crying in Home Depot!!” and both of them just stopped crying and have been good ever since, when ever we entered Home Depot.
After that I asked if they wanted to go to the mall and ride the carousel (actually sears was having a sale on power tools). Daniel and James were very excited and Rebecca scrunched up her nose with a big smile and a gleam in her eye, which I had never seen before. I turned around to start the car and instantly felt a wave of anxiety come over me as I wondered, was this just another day with the kids, a new adventure or was this a turning point in my daughters life. Was I going to be responsible for her first trip to the mall? Would this decision be a foreshadowing to her teen years of which I will forever regret? I turned back quickly and her intense smile had abated and settled into an expression of contentment which I had later convinced myself was probably a little gas.
When we arrived at the mall I got the stroller out and immediately placed Rebecca in the front and strapped her in and thought we were all set. Well, those of you who have kids probably already know that I was in trouble. I had forgotten that this was Daniel and James’ stroller which meant I had 2 seats and 3 kids (when I was a child they called this “Musical Chairs” and made a game out of it, but my kids didn’t seemed amused). Daniel and James are 4 years old and love to walk rather than ride but all of a sudden felt entitled to ride and the fact that Rebecca was their cute little sister who couldn’t walk yet just didn’t cut it as an excuse. Lots of energy in the form of disagreement and some crying had been created (in stereo); we were in the middle of the parking lot, I was at a loss of what to do. My peripheral vision allowed me to detect the yellow flashing light of the mall security car approaching and I heard the characteristic muffle of their two way radio which I assumed was being used to call for back up or to set in motion the mobilization of the mall S.W.A.T. team in response to our scuffle.
Where is the Home Depot guy when you need him? I quickly entered into a combination of timeouts, calm discussion, negotiation and threats that would be carried out in the very short term. When all the dust settled we calmly entered the mall with the appearance of a family that had no inner tension or turmoil. We went directly to Sears’ hardware section where I found a nice variable speed power drill which was on sale. Rebecca wasn’t interested at all in power tools and became a little fussy so we decided to move on. Rebecca is definitely all girl and wont be helping me fix things around the house or mowing the lawn when she gets older.
From there we headed over to the play area where Daniel and James made some new friends and burned off some energy. Rebecca crawled around a little and I talked to a woman who is a twin and has twin boys, with a younger daughter, and gave me some insight on raising Daniel and James. On the 3rd floor they have a food court and a Carousel. We bought tickets for the Carousel and discussed what each of us would ride on over lunch. James, our daredevil, wanted to ride the horse by himself. Daniel wanted Rebecca and me to join him in the teacup. We had a nice time, we didn’t spin too much, as Daniel had wanted, because I was afraid Rebecca would get sick. She seemed to really enjoy it. From there we headed over to another play area where they have some rides and James’ favorite which is a NASA rocket. He took 2 rides and Daniel one, I looked at the clock and we had been gone 4 hours, so we decide to head home. Everyone was asleep before we left the parking lot. I carried Rebecca in and she slept 2 more hours, which kept her on schedule, and the boys slept in the car another hour after we got home which gave me some time to get dinner started.