Ian gets to spend the entire day with his Grandma Edie and Papa Chuck. He practically kicks me out of their house as he waves goodbye. "Bye, mommy!" Slam.
I can't blame him for his actions. He has a lot of fun with his grandparents. Plus, Laurel's not going to be there to bug him or destroy any of his creations. Then there's the fact that he knows they're going to the Dinosaur Museum (aka: Mesa Southwest Museum).
So, it's just Laurel and I. I pronounce today, Girl's Day! Whoo-hoo!
The mall is our destination. No, not to shop, are you kidding? Laurel HATES shopping with me! The minute we step foot into a store, she goes ballistic. She so much as smells leather (shoes) or fabric, she screams and arches her back in the stroller trying to escape. Just wait Laurel, I will pay you back when you're a teenager!
No, I don't want to fight with her, I want the two of us to have fun. So instead, we play at the playground inside the mall where there's free air-conditioning. Sweet, sweet cold air! Today's temperature is 107 Fahrenheit/42 Celsius!
Laurel has a blast running around with the other toddlers and babies. The play area is primarily for that age group. All structures are padded and somewhat low to the ground. Laurel easily climbs everything, and slides down them. When she runs by me, she shouts, "Mommy, mommy, mommy, I runneen. I runneen."
Twenty minutes into play, Laurel starts sneaking out of the play area and sits in our stroller. I walk out to her and inquire, "Are you ready for a snack?"
"No, mommy! Ha, ha, hahahaha, ha!" she cackles and then runs back to the play area.
I sit back with the other parents and watch Laurel run through the area and disappear into a tunnel. Shortly, she sneaks by me and sits in the stroller again.
Again, I walk over to her and ask, "Laurel, would you like a snack?"
"No, mommy! Ha, ha, hahahaha, ha!" she again cackles and runs back to the play area.
So, it's become a game has it? We'll just see about that.
I let her play, but it isn't too much longer before she's sitting in the stroller for the third time.
I meander towards her. "Hi, Laurel. It looks like you're ready to go." I reach down, buckle her into the stroller and walk us away from the playground. "Say bye, bye to the playground."
No screams, no tears, I guess we are both ready to do something else. We splurge and get ourselves a couple of cookies and milk, and watch the other children ride the carousel.
"Mommy, mommy, mommy, hosey, bunny."
"Would you like to ride the horse or the bunny?"
"Ride bunny on cawasuu."
"Ok, we'll ride the bunny on the carousel."
And of course we do. And of course I'm a sucker, and we ride the carousel a second time, only on a horse.
Laurel passes out on the drive home. I gaze at her sweet reflection in the rear-view mirror, while thinking about the morning's events and how much fun I've had with my daughter.