Yesterday I was introduced by my friend Cerece to what will be one of my new summer saviors! The mall.
But not just any mall. Because typical malls won't really work. Most malls have lots of stores which means lots of people. You have to keep a rather tight reign on your toddler. No one wants to lose a wee one in a crowd, or have them plow into someone with an armload of newly bought goods.
But here in Austin, a mere ten minutes from our house, we have the perfect mall for toddlers on summer days. It's called the Highland Mall, and it is...in transition. Like many malls across the country its anchor stores have left, which means many other stores have left, which means soon, it may no longer be a mall at all. I've heard that Austin Community College will be taking over at least the part of the mall where the Dillards used to be. What will happen to the rest is unknown, at least to me.
But right now? It's pretty much toddler heaven. There are fountains! Into which one can throw pennies! We brought some change, but Lisel had so much fun that we ended up having to borrow money from Cerece, find a place that would exchange 50 cents for a penny roll borrow more money from Christie (who was the mom who hipper Cercece to the mall. Call us the sisterhood of desperate mommies)...if the pennies had been available, Lisel would still be there now, throwing them exuberantly into the water.
Or she would still be riding this school bus.
Or this rocket.
Dude, on the second floor they have these kiddie rides which looked totally boring to me. A little school bus that moved back and forth and a rocket ship that moved up and down. No big whup right?
Wrong! Because for Lisel and Simon, other two year old there, it was like they had just discovered Space Mountain right next to the world most exciting tilt-a-whirl! Had there have been an unending stream of quarters, would have rode that school bus until they were actually old enough to go to school. (the rides cost 75 cents per ride! I was shocked by the rise in kiddie ride rates).
Add all this up to the fact that there were areas where the kids could run about and expend their toddler energy stores and you have a pretty great afternoon.
Summer now seems a little less scary.
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