Train Rides at the Mall: Why, Universe, Why?

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.

The newest way to torture parents. The mall train.

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?

Tori rides the train. Cheerfully.

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.

Smart kid.


Photo credit: Chelsea Gomez via Flickr


5 Comments on Train Rides at the Mall: Why, Universe, Why?

  1. Meagan
    June 8, 2013 at 10:58 pm (3 years ago)

    My boys have ridden the train once. They loved it. They asked a few times afterward and were told no, unless that’s what they wanted to spend their money on. They don’t usually ask anymore.

    They earn money doing chores (they earn a quarter for feeding the cats, etc) and have to buy their own toys unless it’s a special occasion. They are rapidly learning how much things cost and how long it takes to save and how much work they need to do to earn that money. I highly recommend this method to reduce the whining for THIS, whatever this is today. :)

    • Amber
      June 11, 2013 at 10:27 am (3 years ago)

      I didn’t mean to make it sound like she gets everything she wants…she gets one thing per trip to the mall. Sometimes it’s a train ride. Sometimes it’s a cookie. Sometimes it’s a gum ball… she doesn’t get toys except for special occasions. But we haven’t instituted an allowance yet. It’s definitely something we need to think about!

      • Meagan
        June 17, 2013 at 10:34 pm (3 years ago)

        And I wasn’t trying to imply that she did get everything she wants. :)

        It’s amazing how much kids will beg. And you tell them they get to choose one, they pick, then they still expect more.

  2. Allison
    June 9, 2013 at 7:43 pm (3 years ago)

    I detest the friggin’ train!!!


    • Amber
      June 11, 2013 at 10:26 am (3 years ago)

      You and me both, sister! :)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *