Top 10 Reasons Parents Have a Love/Hate Relationship with The Mall
10. It is a climate controlled environment larger than your home (unless your last name is Cruise or Jolie-Pitt). It is set to blissfully cool for those roasting in 10o+ degree weather in The South, and toasty warm for those who don’t see above freezing temps for four months of winter (waves to Calgary Canadians). This feature is vital in the war against Cabin Fever. However, this perk also leads to Breeding Ground for Every Possible Illness.
9. Many have a free play area for kids to
run amok and scream calmly walk from one obstacle to the other. Pushing is always never a problem, and parents ignore their children while they tweet carefully keep an eye on their own children – just in case.
8. None of these play areas have gates. If you’re watching your 4 year old, your 21 month old will sneak out. If you have a toddler, they find it more fun to escape and have you chase them, than play in the actual play area.
7. If you’re
cursed lucky, they install a carousel forty feet away away from the free play area. For $2 a pop, you can pretend you’re at an indoor carnival as your darling Lil Diva discovers the wonders of such a money sucking classic ride.
6. You have to pull the same enthralled child away, who emits tortured screams after you separate her from the “horsie” because you didn’t bring $20 in cash to keep blowing on carousel rides. You just wanted to order black out shades at JC Penny’s, but you had to walk by the stupid carousel to get there.
5. Malls have escalators. Which almost every child under the age of five gravitates toward. Moths to a flame. Bees to honey. Mosquitoes to me and my children. Me to brownies. Pick an analogy – they’re all true.
4. These escalators provide entertainment for passersby. Do you know how hard it is keeping two active, exploring, dare devil children together on an escalator? Or how to explain to a 21 month old, it doesn’t matter how hard she tries, she cannot go up the down escalator, or down the up one? Or how nauseous you can get after riding it 16 times in a row because you were pregnant and your two year wanted to do nothing else (this was in the pre-carousel days).
3. It’s a great place to window shop…. for everything you probably don’t need. The store owners try to help by placing breakable items low to the ground and near the entrance, because they depend on the toddler Lure of the Forbidden to bring you in, and the Your Kid Breaks It You Buy It to keep them in business. And heaven help you when your young child spies The Disney Store.
2. Some malls have added even more kid entertainment. A train that drives around the mall you’ve miraculously hidden from your son so far? A bouncy house play land for the low price of $10 per kid on the weekend? A trampoliny jumpy harness thingy I’m certain my children will beg to do once tall enough? Check, check, and check.
1. Where else can you choose from at least half a dozen or more food items? Chinese, burgers, cheese steak, pizza, fried chicken, potatoes, and Subway without ever stepping outside. I’m sorry, were there any healthy items on that list? Let’s not forget the Dairy Queen, giant cookie baking place, and the pretzel kiosk. A visit (or lack thereof) to any of these locations could be utilized as a reward, or dissolve into breeding ground for a tantrum.
And that’s just before my kids are teenagers.
Why do you love/hate your mall? I’d love to hear from those with older kids too, because I’m guessing the escalators aren’t as big of a problem with a 13 year old…
And if you still have some time on your hands….
I’m guest posting at The Red Dress Club today, talking about a nemesis so many writers deal with.