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Shop Til We Drop

Today I took my kids on a shopping death march. For 7 hours we drove around getting further and further from home. If we're already in Redmond, we might as well go to the mall in Bellevue. If we're already in Bellevue, we might as well drive 15 more miles to IKEA. While we're so close to the airport, I might as well take the kids to Hawaii. I'm sure Dan wouldn't mind and I could buy them clothes when I got there.

For real. I considered jumping on a plane. This is the extent to which I was driven to finish every errand within my reach. Does going on an expensive vacation count as an "errand?" Maybe if you're bringing 2 kids along and you pick up milk while you're there.

I did pick up milk today but not from any tropical location. Today's milk was brought to you by Target because it was the last stop on our journey. Laylee was concerned, as any 4-year-old would be, that the milk at Target would be overpriced. She suggested that if it wasn't on a sale we should go to the grocery store when we were done. Honestly the milk could have cost $10 a gallon and I probably would have bought it at Target rather than go to one more store.

Laylee, on the other hand, has endless patience for shopping, for being loaded and unloaded from the van. About 5 hours into the trip she gave me a huge hug and thanked me for taking her to so many fun places. She said she loved me more than she's ever loved me before. So it must have been a good day for her because on Halloween night she said, "I love you so much that I love you more than CANDY! And I love candy a lot of much so I think that's pretty appropriate."

She did get to play in the ball room at IKEA. She also got a 49 cent frosty at Wendy's. I let her and Magoo play hide and seek in the children's clothing racks and then waited for 10 years while they jumped off the big boat play structure at the mall over and over and over again. It never gets old.

Mall Hoppers
Mall Hoppers

The kid's play area at the mall is conveniently located right next to Victoria's Not-So-Secret House of Socially Acceptable Porn. Each time we go, I sit and watch the kids play and pelt them with my ninja mind powers, willing them not to turn, look at the giant posters, and ask me why that lady's writhing around on the floor in pain just because she forgot to wear her clothes.

There is also a restroom right next to the play area. A smart mom would take advantage of that. A smart mom would buy some sassy lingerie while their backs were turned and then ask her wee children if they needed to go potty BEFORE taking them out to the parking garage, buckling them into their seats and closing the van door. As I closed the door of the van today Laylee's bladder suddenly attacked her so I got to unbuckle both kids, take them out of the car, walk back through the garage, up the ramp, through the mall and back to the restroom.

Laylee thought it was great. It gave her the opportunity to be flushed repeatedly by the automatic toilet, which was confused by her small size and the amount of time it takes her to do what needs to be done. Each time it would flush, she'd jump a little, scream and glare at Magoo who was standing a few feet away innocently trying to plot his way around me to dig for treasure in the MINI-TRASH!!!!

Survival on our trip today was brought to you by hand sanitizer, dried apricots in the car, ~$8/gallon gasoline, Swedish meatballs and a really fun game called "Please Open the Gate." The game is played by running in front of your mom so that she almost trips on you and standing with your legs and arms spread out like a starfish and a huge grin on your face, stopping her from walking any further until she says, "Please open the gate." When she says this, you move to the side with a spinning motion and a make a wooshing sound with your mouth. After she passes, you run about 10 feet ahead of her and repeat the game. The more you repeat it, the more hilarious it becomes. It's a good thing that the mall is huge and that it is statistically impossible that she'll want to go to two stores that are fewer than 3 miles apart.

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