I took the girls to the mall with me this past Sunday for a quick errand run. And by “errand run” I mean I thought the girls would enjoy a little outing to go buy a cute top I saw. I lucked out and got a great parking spot right in front of Johnny Rockets, and any avid shopper knows the closer you can park to Johnny Rockets the better. I could tell it was going to be a great day. The girls ran down the mall jumping on colored Easter eggs that lead us to the Easter bunny and I happily followed, stopping only to converse with an old friend I happened to run into. Maile and Laina waved timidly at the Easter bunny and we continued to Nordstroms, the destination of that cute top.
We attempted to use the escalator, but Laina was in a stroller and Maile’s intense fear of escalators caused a back up of…oh…I’d say fifteen patrons waiting behind us. Maile was at a stalemate with our friend the escalator and would not budge. She didn’t have the nerve to take that first step, but she didn’t want to walk away. Upon the realization that we were not going to move for AT LEAST twenty minutes and that the people behind us were not finding this nearly as cute as I did my face turned a deep shade of red and I managed to pry Maile from her nemesis whilst maneuvering the stroller around to allow people to continue along their way. At this point Maile stopped dead in her tracks with a look that said “if you make one more wrong move I am going to lose it right here, right now.”
I decided we needed a break. After some sweet talk and hugs…and promises of a milkshake at Johnny Rockets we proceeded to the elevator.
Fast forward 25 minutes, the top was bought and we are finishing up lunch at Johnny Rockets. The girls are clearly tired and I can’t WAIT to get out of the mall. I’ve hit the wall. We’re ALL ready to go home. I started the car from inside the mall with this neat little toy we got installed and soon the girls were strapped into their carseats. As I pushed the stroller around to load into the trunk I smiled to myself as I thought about all the people who would soon be racing to take my great spot.
The trunk was locked.
Pause. Wait. Pause. No.
Pause. F WORD.
My car was running. Warmed up and ready to go. My kids safely inside along with my keys and my phone.
I start talking to Maile through the window. “Listen, Maile, can you listen to Mommy?? I need you to get out of your seat…OUT OF YOUR SEAT…can you climb out!?! What!?! No, Clliimmbb.”
Maile looks amused and slightly distracted as My Little Pony’s is playing in the DVD player.
“CAN YOU TAKE OFF THE STRAPS…LIKE THIS…SEE, GET YOUR ARMS OUT.”
I move down to Laina.
“Laina, listen to Mommy, I can’t get in! The doors are locked, see!! You need to climb OUT, can you climb out for Mommy!?!”
Laina is enjoying the opportunity to talk to me through the window of the car and and would like to take this moment to discuss her shoe that has come loose and is falling off her foot.
“Excuse me Maam??? Would you like to use my phone??” Two concerned women stopped to help me, but I had no idea what to do. It would take Pat AT LEAST 25 minutes to get to where we were so the nice ladies went inside to get mall security. I thanked them when they came back and after telling me their own personal stories about a similar experience they sympathized and were on their way.
As security man worked on jimmying my door lock I worked on Maile and Laina. At this point the van had turned off and I was no longer competing with the movie for attention. Maile and Laina both were able to free their arms from their straps and it was just a matter of shimmying their little legs out of the seats. I knew they could do it, but every time they gave a somewhat decent effort they would give up, slouch over and refuse to look at me for further instruction.
The mall security was having NO luck with the door, the car alarm had been set off about three times, women were coming out of the wood work to tell me their stories, and men were lining up for a chance to jimmy my lock the “right way”. Eventually I saw cop lights weaving their way through the parking and to the aid of a slightly worried and extremely mortified soccer mom. After he blocked off the entire entrance to that area of the parking lot (because we can’t have people trying to park their cars when clearly we have a serious situation) the police officer emerged with a confident stride. He took the metal rod from the silly mall security man, bent it slightly while asking me some necessary questions, and three minutes later my keys were in my hands.
Dear God. The show is over everyone. I wanted to get out of there as fast as I could, but when I realized how warm the van was I got the girls out to remove their jackets. Poor Laina had really worked up a sweat. I felt really bad for them, but also a little disapointed in their survival skills. I learned that day that my kids will never be those kids you see on tv who call 911 when their mom is unresponsive, or guide their car to safety when their dad has a heart attack. My kids are the ones who follow the stranger from the playground when he offers them candy or go riding into traffic without their helmets on.
When we finally got home I put them in bed and tried on my cute new top.
It is really cute.
And then I got the stomach flu which really was not fun…but at least I looked cute.
And now feel sorry for the girls as they both came down with the stomach flu after me: