Today was the first day of homeschool co-op. I’m teaching a writing class of middle schoolers, but for the first two hours, I get to drop off six of my kids and walk away.
I may have popped a wheelie in the 12-passenger van on the way out of the parking lot. My apologies to that lady who had to dive into the dumpster…
Finn and I headed off for big and important things: making returns at local department stores. I strapped him in the stroller while he chanted, “Wes go, Mama! Wes go!”
His chatter ceased abruptly when we walked through the double glass doors and into the fancy mall. It occurred to me – he’s never been in a department store before. Because: honestly, Why?
My stop was upstairs, so I hunted down an elevator. And remembered why I rarely use a stroller any more. I had flashbacks to huffing and puffing behind the quad stroller whilst trying to walk out Baby Number Whatever in a local mall.
I may have doubled over with a phantom contraction.
The elevator made Finn nervous, because he shook his head at it and told me, “No,” when we got off. Alrighty then…
We made our way to the counter where I began my return. Finn started asking, “Dem da guys? Dose guys?”
I answered him absent-mindedly like I had answered him all the way there in the car, “No, baby, we left the guys at co-op. We’ll see them soon.”
He kept repeating his question so I looked around. He was pointing at two mannequins who posed staidly in front of his stroller. “Oh. Ummm, no, honey, those aren’t real people…”
Finn tucked his chin and furrowed his brow. Staring suspiciously, he kept those mannequins in his laser-focused beams until I finished my business. I pushed him toward the mannequins and knocked gently on the knee of one awkwardly posed “woman.” He jumped at the hollow sound it made. “Do you want to touch it?”
He shook his head for emphasis and jerked his hand up tight by his chest, lest I try to force the issue. I relented and we strolled on… Right toward a bizarre arrangement of about twelve mannequins posed auspiciously in the main walkway. “Dere more guys, Mama! Alla guys!”
Then he proceeded to give me a tour of every mannequin we passed until we left the store. Perhaps we should stick to visits to Target when we want to do our fancy shopping…
(It took me all day to figure out why he called them “guys.” He thought they were giant army men like he and Adam play with at home. It was that army of mannequins in the lingerie section that convinced him.
And yes, I definitely made a sizable contribution to our “Kids Therapy Fund” jar this evening.)