Dec 24, 2013

Christmas ’13 Part 2 – Christmas Shopping With ‘lil q

Trying to shop with a toddler is like trying to herd goats – it sounds hard, but it ends up even harder. But with the Thanksgiving to Christmas time at under 4 weeks, we had to ‘multitask’. One of the tasks I didn’t let fall by the wayside was our weekend daughter/daddy breakfast. Every weekend – usually Sunday – I take her out to eat while Mike walks the dog. I get so little time to see her during the week – she’s still sleeping when I leave and at most she’s up for 2 hours after I get home and that includes, dinner and bath time – that I wanted a time for just us. When asked where she wanted to go for breakfast – she said ‘pancake house.’ [Okay, I gave her choices and that was one of them, but she did pick it.]

After breakfast, we got in the car and drove to Annapolis to try and get the rest of the gifts on our list. We didn’t get a lot accomplished other than cards and a gift for her – (I might be deluding myself, but I don’t think she knew it was for her) – and not just because we couldn’t find gifts we wanted. The mall, in what I’m sure is meant to be a ‘family friendly’ move, has a child’s play area. The problem with a play area for little kids is, once she spotted it, she had to go. Shopping became a distant memory.

Being indulgent – and I admit to being very willing to give her some latitude when it comes to her having fun – we stopped to let her play.

A child has an infinite attention span for anything called a playground, play area, play room – pretty much anything marked ‘play.’ When I informed ‘lil q we had to go – and being honest, I told her twice and she told me ‘no’ – she decided to crawl into a little hideaway hole.  As I dragged her out feet first, the screaming began. It stopped only when she announced to the entire mall that she poo pooed in her diaper.

Now you’d think that a mall that places a children’s play area near a family friendly zone -(which I think was a temporary daycare) – would also put a kids bathroom next to the play area. Nope, they’re tricky people these mall owners. They put it down the hall, behind the food court with the ice cream and frozen yogurt shops. Oh and just in case that wasn’t enough, just before you get to the kid’s bathroom, they had a moon bounce place that invites you in, but hides the fact it’s not free by placing the fees on a letter sized piece of lamented paper. Saying no to that was almost as much fun as dragging her out of the hidey hole.

But we avoided, the moon bounce play area, the yogurt and ice cream shops and were on our way out when a tiny little children’s train drove by and tooted it’s whistle. Guess who had to go on the train ride? Here again, the mall people are tricksy. Given her age and size she had to be accompanied ‘by a paying guardian.’ Yeah, and to make it worse, the dag blasted little train was…well…little. For those who don’t know me, I’m 6’2″ and this was a kid’s train.  Another fun moment in shopping for me. She, however, had fun and that’s what mattered.

She had fun that is, until the 4 minute train ride ended and she wanted to go again. By my estimates, for a parent and child – since we have to go on it together – the cost per hour is about $250. So it cost more per minute to ride this silly little train than it costs to fly to North Carolina to see her grandparents. Even indulgent papa has his limits and I drew the line at one train ride.  And we were back to her screaming like I was killing her.

Fortunately cookies are a complete cure all and we stopped to get one on the way out.

This was her five minutes after we cleared the mall and made the highway.


  1. The joys of going shopping with a toddler… 😉 Wonderfully told.

    • I try to be somewhat tongue in cheek, because really I have this stupid smile on my face as she holds my hand and walks down the mall – walks anywhere really. I know how silly it sounds, but I love being a parent – I think it’s because in some small part, I get to be a little kid again. Makes things fun and new all over again. 🙂

  2. Wonderful story again Andy. My God, you’re really getting into this parenting thing, hehe!! It’s a hard life, but SOMEONE has to do it…I hated it when he used to have a meltdown in the supermarket for various reasons…toilet, hungry, wants to play, you name it, they can throw a tantrum, and talk about embarassing!!

    • The interesting part about tantrums are you get three kinds of looks – the parents who TOTALLY get it, have been there and are glad its you not them; the non-parents who never were who are just wondering why you can’t control your kid; and the parents of adult kids/grandparents who miss those days, no matter how harried they made you. As I said to Chris T. – I love being a parent, tantrums and all. 🙂

  3. Jo Ann says:

    I love reading your blog. It brings back so many memories and makes me laugh so much. Patience and love raises a child and you seem to have an abundance of both. Poor thing. So spoiled and doesn’t even know it.

    • This was one of those days that at the time was a tad frustrating but having the pictures and recording it on the blog, I look back and wish I could do it again – crying tantrum and all.

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