Friday, March 9, 2012

Mall Walking

"I'm going this way now."

LO has been fighting a head cold the past few days, which means he hasn't been able to go to daycare. Unfortunately, the enforced togetherness with his mama has made my little man somewhat stir crazy, doing such things as pulling random items from the bookshelves and throwing them, clinging to the front of his stroller and crying, and of course, typing "All work and no play makes LO a dull boy" over and over again. Today, I decided that we needed to go for a walk, lest LO start channeling the more disturbing of Jack Nicholson's personal tics.

Although it's absolutely beautiful outside, the weather is still leaving a little something to be desired in the field of temperature. So, our walk was going to have to be inside the Tippecanoe Mall.

After LO's a.m. nap, we gathered up the diaper bag, baggie of cheerios, sippy cup, diapers, spare clothing, books, toy cars, grand piano, and kitchen sink necessary for any toddler jaunt lasting longer than 10 minutes. We made a couple of rotations around the mall in the stroller before I took LO over to the indoor playground and let him go.

For about 20 minutes, LO truly enjoyed ignoring such social niceties as turn-taking and not pushing as he went down the little slide over and over. Then, the child sneezed and it was truly gross. Cyrano would have nothing on this sneeze. I had left the wet wipes in the stroller, which was parked just outside the playground, so I grabbed LO's hand and escorted him to the wet wipes before any of the other parents or kids could notice the snot.

The problem with this, however, was that once LO and I got back into the playground, de-snotted and ready for play, LO now knew how to escape from the enclosure and realized that there was an entire mall available for his enjoyment. After he headed out for the mall proper twice, I realized that I was well and truly stuck with a toddler on exploration mode (and resetting that to the default mode requires removing the batteries), so I just picked up as much of his necessary gear as I could carry and followed him.

The thing about LO and walking is that now he has mastered the skill, he is remarkably confident about whichever direction he chooses. No matter where he is going, there is a sense that in his head inspiring music is playing and he is mouthing "Westward HO!" to himself. The child walks with purpose!

So, confidently, LO headed toward the nearby stairs and spent 20 minutes climbing up and down them while I tried to shift the stuff in my hands to make sure I had a free one in case he needed me. Which, of course, he didn't.

After some time, the joys of stairs palled, and LO decided to start investigating various stores, focusing his efforts on the tuxedo rental, the jewelry store, and a high end shoe store. I'm not entirely sure what the child has in mind, but it seems clear to me that he has some exciting weekend plans.

Eventually, energies flagged and LO started crawling, then simply lying on the floor. So I scooped up my little explorer, got the stroller out of parking, and headed home, where I hoped the child would go down for a nap.

I'm still waiting.

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