Alexander was eager to make a monkey as he has newly fallen in love with Curious George, completely fitting if you ask me, but chose instead a furry little brown dog. He selected a sound, a heart and even helped to stuff it. When his dog was all done he went over to the bathtub area and gave his pup a pretend bath. Alexander was in heaven, walking around hugging and kissing his new pet! Christopher selected an adorable turtle to stuff, which really makes me want to break out into "Hey, it's Franklin... comin' over to play!" Rebecca chose a white polar bear and a doggie bed. With our gift certificates these new toys only set me back $10!
There was an ever so slight problem, however... Isn't there always? I had left the gift certificates at the house on my desk... What to do? What to do? I had a little chat with the store manager and asked if it would be alright to put the purchases on my credit card and then come right back with the gift certificates and have the card credited. Not a problem he told me, or I could leave the animals at the store until I returned with the gift cards. That was my initial thought, but then I saw how in love Alexander was with his Doggie and I knew he would not understand why it would have to stay behind even for 10 minutes. I could not do that to him.
So back to the car we schlepped, loaded up the kids, stroller and back home we went to get the gift certificates. I was and am still amazed and completely impressed that the older two never uttered a peep... nary a complaint! (I did allow them to watch the Curious George movie in the DVD player to pass the time a little more quickly. Well, this was really done to prevent Alexander from falling asleep!)
Once we had everything taken care of we let Alexander run around briefly in the play space and then off to lunch we went. We opted for the fine dining establishment known as Ruby Tuesdays as there are some healthier options than what can be found down at the food court.
What on earth was I thinking to bring 3 kids by myself to a restaurant? To my amazement, again, I was wowed and awed by the behavior of all three children.They ordered their drinks, 2 Shirley Temples and a Dr. Pepper and sat and waited patiently for them to come. I left Rebecca in charge as I headed to the salad bar to load my plate with veggies for us all to snack on. I piled my plate with peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and a light Ranch dressing. It's a genius way of keeping the kids entertained until their food comes and sneaking something nutritious into them. I think Alexander ate most of the veggies. He continued with the salad despite the fact that his mini cheeseburgers had come. He took one bite of his burger, pushed his plate away and continued with the salad. When he was done with the salad he went for the fries. Who could blame him. They were good... I took a couple off his plate! Shhhh! My white bean chili was rather impressive as well. I couldn't believe that my children were behaving so well. I didn't compliment them until much later as I didn't want to jinx my good luck!
After lunch we headed to the toy store to get a Birthday gift for a little friend of ours, then to GameStop to get a game for Rebecca's DS. This too cost us nothing and was purchased using a gift certificate! I rewarded each child by getting them one of those really cool swirly, large as your head lollipops. Something I normally would never ever do! It was approaching 2:00 and the kids could have stayed at the mall all day but I wanted Alexander to nap before it got too late. He fell asleep in the car as we headed home. When he woke up the first thing he asked for was his popop and a glass of white milk. He also wanted to watch an episode of Blue's Clues and I let him because the other two were playing quietly and saw no reason not to!
One last thing to do was go to the grocery store. I knew I would be met with some major resistance so I suggested a quick trip to Target just across the street. Christopher wanted to see what Star Wars figures there were and he had an unused gift certificate as well. I am telling you all, it really pays to save such things for a rainy day!
He did not find what he was looking for at Tarjay but did find something else he wanted equally as much. His new purchase in hand I knew he would not fight me tooth and nail at the grocery store! This was all going according to plan.
At the grocery store the kids fared much better than I had expected. They helped me get items and ate dinner, quite literally, at the deli counter! Christopher took charge of the shopping cart and pushed Alexander through the store. And any time I attempted to push it Alexander would shout out "Go away! I want Brother to push me! Brother! Brother!" It was pretty amusing. I left them at the bottom of an aisle as I went in search of some plain vinegar to decorate our eggs. The kids were being loud and silly, but not misbehaving at all -- and as I walked back towards them I leaned over to a lady inspecting the Ketchup selection and asked her if she thought anyone would notice if I kept walking out of the store and just left them behind! She was quite amused!
I might have done such the day before... but yesterday they were mine and cute and making me rather proud to be their mom!