After a little bit of a rough week (more on that tomorrow), I decided to take the kids to the mall this afternoon, mainly to get out of the house, let them burn off some energy, and play in the play land (plus we needed toilet paper from Target). On the way in, one child couldn't resist playing in the clothing racks and managed to knock one over. We hung everything back up and continued on our way. We stopped in the Air Force recruiter's office, since my oldest is passionate about fighter jets and wants to fly a F-22 Raptor someday. So the recruiter was nice enough to talk to him about what he would need to do if he wants to be a military pilot someday.
Things were going well. Until we were about ready to leave the mall.
On the way out of Macy's, I stopped to browse the selection of newborn girl sale clothes. One son announced he had to pee and went into the fitting room. My other son said, "That's not the bathroom. That's a fitting room." I knew I needed to stop, drop and run to prevent the inevitable from happening.
I managed to take everyone to the bathroom, when the problems began. One son turned off the lights. The bathroom was full. I apologized to everyone in the stalls. I warned him not to do it again. A few minutes later, he did it again. The bathroom was still full, this time with a new group of women. I told him he would personally be apologizing to each woman as she exited the bathroom. He suddenly became "shy." He refused. My anger-mometer was rising rapidly.
As if that wasn't enough, another son--who was trying to wash his hands--decided to throw a horrible tantrum because he couldn't reach the sink to rinse his hands himself. I tried to help lift him, but that just made him more upset. Then, as I announced we were leaving the bathroom immediately, two of the three boys decided to go at it over the fact that one of them grabbed the other's new dollar toy from Target.
So now we have not only: 1) the lights turned off twice, 2) kicking and screaming and crying out of frustration with the sink, but also 3) a full-fledged break-it-up fight in the middle of the Macy's bathroom.
Not a mother's proudest moment.
I can't even describe how some of the women glared at me on the way out.
At least this time, no one knocked over the mannequin. Last time, she laid flat on the floor by the entrance. The more I tried to reposition her, the worse off she looked. Arms laying strangely on her body, legs twisted, and no matter how hard I tried, I could not get her to stand back up. So I found a customer service representative, told her what happened and apologized for it, and we stepped over the mannequin on the way out.
Next time, I am going to the mall by myself.