Saturday, November 12, 2005

How to survive the mall on a rainy day in November

A week ago I promised a gaggle of post-rehearsal girls "an afternoon at the mall on Friday November 11." So there I was yesterday, wringing myself out after huddling in the rain at the cenotaph and preparing for a Coquitlam Centre afternoon.

Daughter had coordinated an arrival time with her buddies and a rendezvous point. I had spoken to the moms and gained agreement on the level of security and supervision appropriate for the group. We met and lunched at the food court (a good way to become habituate one's self to the noise level of the mall) then we launched the girls and the other moms left the building, leaving me in charge of the gaggle.

The girls are 10 to 13 years old, 4 of them. The rules are: stay together at all times, make good choices, keep your cell phone in your pocket so you can hear if I call to check on you, be safe and meet me back at the big couches outside of The Gap in one hour. The girls had hardly any money and make a noisy enough phalanx to scare off any potential maurauders. The one hour check-in is a precaution and also a chance for me to gauge how things are going for them as a group. When it gets too late in the afternoon or they begin to show signs of exhaustion and/or bickering, we go home.

So here's what pre-and-just-teen girls do at the mall: ride the kiddie rides, buy stuff out of vending machines (bouncy balls today), do make-overs in clothing stores - each girl gets to prescribe an outfit for one other girl to try on - the more hideous the better, record a message at Speaker's Corner, shop for junk and candy at the dollar store, eat ice cream, buy a group squish photo in the photo booth. Here's what mompoet does at the mall: buy a coffee, find a big chair (the good thing about Coquitlam Centre for me is that there are lots of big cushy chairs and couches in the middle of the mall. There are also big screen tvs with zombies watching them, but I ignore all of that.) Sit in the big chair with the coffee and a good book and tune out the mall and enjoy the book.

My mall book on Friday was Andrea Levy's Small Island, loaned to me by my friend Louise. I'm just beginning it, and it seems very good indeed.

At 3:30 I made the mom-xecutive decision that it was going home time. The protests were pretty feeble so I knew it was a good call. The girls stopped for Yogen Fruz on the way out to we left the parking lot just before 4. I dropped giggling girls off at their homes and arrived back at our home around 5:15. Andy was cooking a turkey supper.

Did I mention I don't like to shop? I think this plan will work for the time being. I noticed a few other moms seemingly doing the same thing, so I guess I'm in good company. Oh well. A good book can get you through almost anything.

question: where do you wait while others romp?

mompoet - happy side-sitter

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