Friday, July 9, 2010

In Which Connor And I Moonlight As Mall Walkers

Today Connor and were originally planning on meeting up with some of his Deaf friends at the park, but instead we spent six hours at the mall.

I am totally not exaggerating, either.  We got there about 10:00 in the morning and stayed until 4:00 in the afternoon.  I don't think I've ever spent that much time in a mall in one stretch.  Oh wait-- except for last year, for the same reason.

Air conditioning. 

It was another scorcher today, and Connor didn't develop more effective sweat glands overnight or anything, so we had to stay out of the sun and in temperature-controlled environments.  Which meant no park.

Since the only places in the local area that have the blessed cooling machines are either retail or government buildings, that's what we were limited to.  While I wouldn't mind hanging out at, say, the library for six hours, Connor might have some extremely loud things to say about that (just because he's non-verbal doesn't mean he can't get his point across at top volume) so we needed somewhere with a few more distractions.  I decided, though, that if we were going to hang out in a mall for six hours it better at least be one with a bookstore in it.  So we drove to Tukwila and hit the Westfield Southcenter Mall.  It happens to be the largest shopping mall in the Pacific Northwest, so there was plenty to do. 

And oh, boy, did we have fun times.  First we made a full circuit of the mall, which took us a while as it has three floors.  Then we visited the bathroom.  Then we looked for some cute magnets for Connor's bulletin board, and didn't find anything.  Then we did another circuit of the mall.  Then we visited the bathroom again.  Then we looked for a cute hat for Connor and didn't find anything.  Rinse and repeat.  For six hours.

I am not really a mall shopping sort of person to begin with.  But Connor was actually having a blast-- mostly because they have really big skylights in the middle of the mall.  He loves skylights.  So I gritted my teeth and we continued doing circuits.  I figure I can count it as my exercise for the day.

We did end up making one major purchase-- a new set of clothes for Connor.  I decided to treat him and we ate at the Rainforest Cafe, which has neat animatronic animals that you pay through the nose for when you actually order food.  They also have giant aquariums full of colorful fish, which I (correctly) thought Connor would get a huge kick out of, so we requested seating right next to one.  He loved the place-- especially the giant mechanical butterflies-- so the elevated lunch prices were worth it. 

I got a half of a chicken salad sandwich (for me), a cup of tomato soup (for me and Connor) and a glass of chocolate milk, which was also supposed to be for Connor, though originally he didn't really want it and then later he became a little more intimately acquainted with it than he would have liked.  By which I mean that I accidentally knocked the almost-full glass over rather violently and it landed directly on his chest, soaking his shirt completely before ending up in his lap.  Connor then spent the next twenty minutes adding to the jungle ambiance of the restaurant by emitting ear piercing shrieks that luckily sort of blended in with the parrot sounds while I tried to dry him off as best as I could.  Since he'd already used up the extra outfit I always store in the car and it was now the hottest part of the day outside, I ended up buying him another shirt and pair of pants from the closest children's store we could find.  Luckily they were having a sale.

Just a couple of weeks ago I spent a bunch of time whining about all the rain we were getting, so I guess you could say I'm getting my just desserts now.  But I'm going to whine about the heat anyway. My bank account won't like too many more days as hot as these have been-- some of those stores were looking really tempting by the end of the day.

I think I'm ready for fall. 


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