Friday, June 11, 2010

The Mall-- Refuge for the Weary, Downtrodden and Desperate

When I was a kid, my dad used to hate the notion that I wanted to go to the mall with my friends. He would tell me, " I don't want you becoming a mall yuppie."( I remember this line distinctly because I angrily wrote it down in my diary after I had been sent to my room for being "histrionic". Yes, my parents used the term "histrionic" to describe my pre-teen tantrums. Gee, I wonder what line of work they're in.) I had no idea what that meant other than the fact that I was rarely allowed to accompany my friends sans my parents as they perused and snickered at things they didn't quite understand yet at Spencer's, bought fake gold best friend necklaces at Claire's, looked for boys at the arcade and ate at the DQ in the food court.  But now that I am a grown-up with a baby, things are quite different. Not only am I ALLOWED to go to the mall, but it is my safe-haven on those days when I can't quite keep it together enough to do anything else. It's simple, really: next time you go to the mall, look around and count how many frazzled looking moms( and dads) you see mindlessly wheeling their infant around in a stroller/Bjorn. You will find them in abundance, day or night. Since Arlo was born in early December, let's just say that he is well acquainted with the Kenwood mall. If he cries-- who cares? It's not like anyone can really hear him, and believe me there are always like 6 other babies screaming louder than he is at the same time. Hungry? No problem. Nice restroom for breastfeeding or formula feeding-- always littered with moms and babies. Tired? Easy. Arlo falls asleep with the stroller motion, and eventually I can sit down somewhere and just watch people go by until he wakes up. So be kind to your mall warrior friends with babies. Refrain from staring if their kid is throwing a major tantrum. Don't give them the evil eye if they aren't as quick on the draw as you would like them to be when trying to quiet their child. They're just trying to survive, trust me. The mall has saved me many a day-- and I promise, dad-- I'm still not the "mall yuppie" you feared I would become.

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