I rode the merry-go-round at the mall today. Twice. I high-fived and fist-bumped the Easter bunny, and I pulled my knees up to my chest to fit them into the second-to-the-last car of the train that travels between the Lego store and the Food Court. This I did only once.
Yes, we–my sister and her troop of tinies, me and mine, and, of course, Gramma–we met at the mall today to “ride the horses.” We did not come here to go shopping.
We did come here to take turns riding next to the three-year-old who waved like a natural each time she passed those of us on the outside of the fence. We did agree to come here to take turns holding the two-year-old who made it clear that one ride on the horses was enough for him. We added in a few moments at the Lego store while we waited for the train ride just for fun.
Now a scoop of ice cream and one more ride on the merry-go-round later, and we were headed–past the stores and shops, the kiosks and tchotchkes–toward the mall exit.
My niece, blond curls bouncing, took the hand of her mama and without hiding the disappointment in her voice, said, “Mom, no shopping.”
“Yes, we rode the horses. We rode the train. We played with Legos.”
Her tiny legs and diapered bottom stopped and turned to face us all. She was not frustrated, but maybe a little confused. We were in the middle of the mall, after all. “Mama, no bag. No Minnie. No shopping.”
My sister, knowing exactly which toy had caught her tiny’s eye, looked to our mom, looked to me, looked back to her girl. “Okay, but let’s hurry.” She grabbed her by the hand, and they ran with my not-so-tiny in tow, and in just a few moments, they emerged from the Lego store, their own yellow bag in hand.
“Did you go shopping?”
“Good, now let’s get out of here.”
I am participating in the 10th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Today is day 28 of the 31-day challenge. So many slices came from today’s adventures–from the airport in the snow to a fall in the hallway to a burnt dinner because of blogging–but this one is the one that speaks the loudest, as only the voice of a three-year-old can.