Yesterday, in my infinite wisdom I decided to take my two perfectly behaved and mild mannered children to the mall to do a Land's End return. (Bathing suit top needed in smaller size...notice it wasn't bathing suit bottom needed in smaller size...sad.) Anyway, did you know that you can return Land's End catalogue stuff at Sears? Me either. But you can. Schwing!
In addition to my children accompanying me, because I am the mother that can go NOWHERE alone...I also had LBF with me. LBF is Ava's little best friend. I've mentioned LBF before but to catch anyone who needs a refresher up to speed...LBF was adopted on the same day as Ava in a hotel in Hunan. They live 10 minutes up the street and are pretty much inseparable. I'm beginning to wonder if they are indeed Lao Tong, "old sames" from Chinese legend. They are sometimes freakishy close even for 5 year olds. So, LBF was mine for the afternoon and that bathing suit top needed to be returned before we leave on Saturday to pick 1 million grains of sand out of our toes and other crevices for a week. I popped her in the Dodge and off we went.
Have you as a white person ever taken a slew of little Asian kids to the mall in the Midwest? I've certainly taken one and now even two little kids...lots of stares and a few comments. Here's the deal breaker, three little Chinese girls twirling and singing at the top of their lungs being chased by moi really can attract as many wide eyed stares, head nodding, secret giggling and unsolicited comments as say a bald Brittney might walking down past the Wetzels Pretzels in high heels and a gold tone handbag.
I bribed them to act sane with pennies to toss in the fountain. This worked for 2 minutes until we drew a small crowd. Apparently two 5 year olds explaining the finer points of toss and wish to a coy and semi-reluctant 18 month old is far more interesting than the free cell phone minutes being dolled out by college drop outs from Sigma Chi at the kiosk next door.
Next, a bribe of ice cream for anyone who will walk quietly while holding civily onto the stroller. Ava shouts "Uh, I'd prefer a strawberry smoothie, it's much more healthy." LBF responds 16 decibels higher, "Are you crazy, girl? We are getting ICE CREAM. Which then leads to a rousing rendition of the old I-scream, You scream, We all scream for I-c-e-cream. Ugh.....Old people are now stopping us telling us their neighbors adopted from Korea in the 1960's. Teenagers are giggling, encouraging them to twirl as they sing. (I might add here they did seem to have almost perfect harmony as far as 2 5 year olds singing go.) I am trying to smile politely while practically spitting at Ava to move quickly and quietly.
New strategy. Hang back with the baby and let Sonny and Cher perform their little hearts out 100 paces in front of me. Perhaps mall security will pick them up and I can hit the Gap all by my lonesome, or with the baby, whatever. No such luck, I'm dragged to the ice cream stand. More questions about ethnicity and sisterly bonds of love while ordering 3 small swirl cones.
After icecream I'm done. $52.50 has been wiped off my credit card while a large size bathing suit top is on its way to a clearance rack near you. We head off in search of a black Dodge. We wave the Queen's wave to their adoring fans.
I silently promise to eat my own toenails before taking children to the mall again.