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  • Koreen Liew-Young

Mayhem in the malls

My toddler in a kids ride at the mall
Kids rides can make your life hell

Pulling into the car park, I'm tossing up between getting out the pram or going freestyle with Mr Just-Under-2.  I do recall somewhere in my distant memory, the last shopping experience was a handful. That I vowed to always take the pram or put him in a trolley just so that I didn't have to deal with a straying, destructive toddler, but somehow I convince myself that this time will be better.

Boy did I regret it.

At this age - Mr Just-Under-2 wants his independence.  He stubbornly wants to walk everywhere and wants to explore everything, including those seemingly innocent and stupidly conveniently placed kids rides, smack bang in the middle of the mall.  Upon sight, he starts dragging me towards them, begging me to make the $2 transaction for his two minutes of bliss, as if his life depended on it. And if I denied his request, I suddenly became THAT parent with THAT child writhing round in despair on the floor.

This time however, I was successful using the distraction technique, as I managed to entice him to walk on the other side of the mall. Mr Just-Under-2 is instead entranced by music and flashy marketing and he starts getting getting his groove on by wobbling away in "Beatles-like" fashion. It dawns on me, ah yes, this is why parents often run late.

We make it to the store eventually and I'm trying to decide between product A and product B. Out of the corner of my eye, Mr Just-Under-2 is making a beeline slowly and curiously for a really tall tower of polaroid cameras.  Of course he was intrigued by one of the boxes at the very bottom of the pile and naively reaches out with his eyes on the prize. I make it just in time to stop the entire tower from toppling over. WHEW.

It makes me reflect on previous shopping experiences....firstly being in a shoe shop, box after box, he would pull out shoes and leaving a trail of destruction.  Like a scene out of Lilo and Stitch I chase him down while hastily trying to return things back to normal without causing more mahem or bowling anyone over.

Still nothing beats that time where we exited the sports shop only to set of the security alarm. Immediately a staunch security guard approached me. I adamantly declare to him that I had no products.... then I look down at Mr Just-Under-2. He's grinning from ear to ear and is showing off a hot pink sports bra he picked out, (and conveniently in my size.)

Fast track back to today....

So I've made my decision on products and head to checkout where Martin starts to play up. I nervously try to encourage the salesman to make the transaction speedily by answering his questions with lightning speed and having my eftpos card at hand ready to go.  Mr Just-Under-2 suddenly flings shoes off as far as he can, lies down and starts making snow angels with glee, in front of the queue of people waiting to be served. It dawns on me....

Yes I am THAT parent...

After I get him off the floor, he spies my wallet and sprays the cards out like a lolly scramble, to at this point I lose the plot and scream his name in awkward desperation.

He looks up at me with big wide eyes.

I bite my lip.

Then look at the sales man.

"Do you have kids?"

"Yes..." he replies with empathy and quickly I'm in encouraged...  " Only mine are fifteen years old now..."


I sheepishly thank him for his services and drag Mr Just-Under-2 out of the store, who is busy reciting to other shoppers all the members all the superheroes he knows, complete with actions. They tell me, "oh he's so adorable", and I mumble "thank you" through my teeth, as I'm trying to politely shove him out the door by the face without completely losing my marbles.

In the end I had to restrain him in my arms as he kicked and screamed, at which everyone backed off because there was no point of return.

As I retold my horrifying parental ordeal to a friend (also mother to a toddler), she said to me, "Oh I'm so glad that I'm not the only one."  As we laughed it off, we see a mother passing by, pulling twoscreaming toddlers by their ears.  We blink at each other and sip our drinks in silence.

OK.... next time I will use the pram or trolley.  #toddlerlife.

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