My Tori loves to shop. Perhaps I should place more emphasis on that. She Loves To Shop. In fact, one might say the mall is her version of Disney World.
Her face lights up when we tell her we’re going. Then the questions start.
“We’re going to the mall? Does that mean we can see the jumpers?”
“Can I get a cookie?”
“Can I ride the fire truck?”
“Can we look at shoes in Target? And, and TOYS?”
“What about a pretzel? Can I have a pretzel?”
The answers are as follows:
1. Yes, we can watch the bungie jumpers. No, you can’t jump.
2. Only if I need to bribe you.
3. See #2
4. Yes. And yes. But only if mommy gets to look at clothes. And makeup. And maybe even books.
5. They’re as big as your head. And they cost as much as a meal at Wendy’s. So, no.
As you can see, a trip to the mall can quickly become an expensive proposition – and we don’t even have a big mall (we’ll have to talk about our trip to Great Lakes Crossing in Detroit, which has a frigging carnival inside, another day). Nope, our mall is anchored by Target. And Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Yep, we’re big time here in Bloomington.
Anyway, these are all minefields I am prepared to tackle. They’ve been there since, well, Tori’s been here.
But there’s something new at the mall. Something devious. Maybe even a little evil.
A train. A super colorful, pint-sized train that cheerfully toots its horn as it travels across the mall, calling out to all the youngsters it passes to follow it to the cash register where, for a small fortune, their parents can buy them a glorious ten minute trip inside.
It first appeared at Christmastime (when such things are acceptable), but didn’t disappear with the festive lights and fake pine needles.
And now? Now it’s a temper tantrum waiting to happen, every time we try to go to Old Navy. That’s where the train station is, you see.
Take today. Tori was all sugar and spice, skipping and giggling her way through the mall, until she saw that train.
And then? Then it was showdown time.
“Mommy, can I ride the train?”
“Not today, honey.”
“Because you can’t have a train ride every time we come!”
“I. Want. To. Ride. The. Train.”
At this point I have a choice. I can persist, say no, and have to drag that pint-sized fireball out of the mall, kicking and screaming. Or I can give in, plunk down the six bucks, and finish my shopping in peace.
Guess which option I chose?
What can I say? I’m weak. But I did get the rest of my shopping done.
Stupid people with fabulously devious ideas for making money. Stupid mall. Stupid parent.
Photo credit: Chelsea Gomez via Flickr