On Thursdays, I post from the vault. This is from April 2010.
I went to the mall with the kids yesterday. ALL FOUR KIDS. I'm sure that this is an indication of a very small and sheltered life, but achieving this? The feelings it inspired were similar to the feelings I had after running my first half-marathon. If I can do this, I can do anything!
I didn't intend to take them to the mall. I had a small window with a babysitter. But let me explain small windows with babysitters. There is a LOST-style time-warp issue when I have a sitter. Suddenly, time moves very quickly, and in the three hours of freedom, I typically manage to acheive what could be completed in about 10 minutes of normal time. It's a similar phenomenon to what happens when I take small, crying babies on a plane. Only with that situation, it's the converse, and time moves very, very slowly.
Anyways, my plan for my morning of freedom was to get fitted for some new running shoes, take a quick run, and then swing by the mall for a quick errand. I got fitted for the running shoes and then my time-warp clock let me know that it was suddenly, inexplicably, time to pick up the kids from preschool.
But I really need to run to the mall. I've been needing to get some new underwear for weeks. I left most of mine in Haiti, and I've been getting by on a small rotation of the pairs I left behind. And yes, I should probably be boycotting Victoria's Secret for some reason or another. They are an awful company that promotes the sexualization of women in consistently submissive poses. But darn it if their cotton collection hasn't cornered the market on wedgie-free, non-hideous undies. I've tried others. Really, I tried.
VS, I can't quit you.
Now I know some of you may be reading this and thinking, "Non-wedgie underwear? You should just wear a g-string! They are soooo comfy! I love g-strings!" And to you people, I feel compelled to say this: I look at you like I look at the women on that show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. There are only two plausible options:
You are lying
You are missing some nerve endings in your lady parts. Seriously, with the wad of fabric in your butt all day. Who can tolerate that?
And how can someone not know they are pregnant? And why do I still keep watching this show? Why?
Okay, this started as a post about the mall, and quickly deteriorated. Back to Victoria's Secret. I did feel a little bad about taking my young, impressionable kids in there, what with the godzilla-sized posters of half-nekkid, airbrushed women. But they seemed more interested in dousing themselves with sample perfume than looking at the giant sexy ladies, so hopefully their gender expectations have not been too marred. I was able to grab a few pairs of sensible cotton bikinis and get out of the store with my sanity intact, and with only a few annoyed glares from the clerk as my kids knocked over a display of glittery body lotion.
I have a little routine when we go to the mall, on the rare occasion that I really need to go there with the kids. Basically, I bribe them. A mommy store, then a cupcake. A mommy store, then the carousel. All the while, I warn them that their ability to partake in the cupcake/carousel is dependent on their behavior in the "mommy store". It's pretty effective leverage.
Kembe has finally gotten over his fear of carousels and really enjoys them. Only, he calls them playgrounds. As soon as he spots it he starts yelling, "A playground! A playground!" A fact that India likes to correct in her "There is no Dana, only Zuul" demon-voiced teacher impersonation. "It's NOT a playground. It's a CARA-SELL!!" (If you would like a better visual on what her face looks like and how her tone sounds when she screams at Kembe, take a look at this video.)
Ayways, the kids were good enough to ride the carousel AND get a cupcake. For some reason, the carousel attendants were giddy on power and made me ride the carousel with them. Unlike my children, I do not enjoy carousels. I get carsick from the slightest motion. I almost puked. But I didn't.
Then we wen to the cupcake store. They sell mini-cupcakes for a dollar, so it's a very easy reward for the kids. Jafta and I have done this routine numerous times, and I can't tell you how many times he has inhaled a mini-cupcake and then upchucked it right in front of Bloomingdales. He just eats it soooo fast, and then it comes right back up - always on a certain spot of tile just in front of the makeup counter. I think that the Clarins lady shudders a little every time she sees us come through, since she knows he'll be puking on the way back out. This time, Jafta tried to eat his cupcake in his typical caveman fashion, but I slowed him down. He almost puked. But he didn't.
And that, folks, is how we define success around here.