Thursday, January 01, 2009

Post Holiday Wandering

Three days after Christmas the far end of the mall is eerily silent.
Ahhhhh but first impressions can be quite deceiving.

It starts out as a vague buzzing noise, like something off in the distance. As you pass the Coach store and Bath and Body Works, the buzzing gets louder. With each step the volume increases. It sounds like the chatter of a herd of mice scurrying and screeching around a kitchen full of crumbs in the distance.
Louder still.

Officially it's The Magic Forest or Happy Hippo's Hunker Down and Holler or some such.
I call it The Play Pit. They didn't have these little islands of respite when my kids were small. No, the only fun at OUR mall was a massive bronze sculpture of a guy with wings riding a tricycle. Naked. I kid you not. And he was anatomically correct if you get my drift. Yup. Bronze bottom and..... everything.

Anyway, back to the new age in shopping malls. The "parking lot" on the perimeter gives you an idea of the fun....frenzy?? mayhem??....that awaits children who walk through the narrow passageway to enter The Pit.

And this is just the North stroller parking lot.
All around The Pit, strollers are lined up stuffed full of blankies and bottles, favorite bears, sippy cups and Iowa Hawkeye sweatshirts in midget sizes.

Inside.......well, if you haven't made a "pit stop" with a kid or a grandchild in recent years, sit down and fasten your seat belt.

Somewhere in all that cacophony is a short person in a little lavender shirt and black pants who calls me Grandma Debbie. That she emerged from The Pit without a bruise or drop of blood still amazes me. Frankly the place scared the heck out of me but apparently kids just know the ropes these days. She had her shoes off and was lost in the sea of small people before I found a seat. The place was packed. I finally squeezed into a spot next to a nursing mama. She was wearily watching her 3-year old twins who had claimed authority over the Magic Castle and were pushing anyone who tried to climb the stairs off into the make-believe moat. Remember that whole "stop, drop and roll" thing that we used to use as a reminder for fire safety back in the day?? I saw it over and over in The Pit. A real survival skill. At one point her twins made a little princessy sort of kiddo in a black velvet dress cry and she shot me a look that said, "You look like a nice enough complete stranger. If I give you six million dollars would you please just watch these kids and let me sleep for two hours?"

Honestly, I figured I would have to carry my little Victoria all the way home after the half-hour visit to The Pit. Ha. Not so much. We stopped for a recharge at the candy machine where we spent our quarter.

And headed home.
Where Grandma Debbie took a nap.


Turtles In Alaska said...

hahah Your posts are always awesome! I have the same feelings about those pits.Why the heck werent they around when my kids were little....Well and why the heck dont we have a mall!

Stacey said...

Wow. You are brave. You are VERY brave! I would have gone miles out of my way to avoid The Pit! It's like being right back in with the lions after the Christmas holidays! I need a nap, and all I did was read about it!

Stacey said...

Hi Deb,
Me again! Just popping in to say HI, and to say you have an award! Stop by my place to see more... Can't wait for the next installment on your blog!