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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shopping Mall Behaviour

How do your kids behave at the malls? Mine behave as if they have just been let out of jail. The moment we reach the mall after parking the car and going up the escalator, its "FREEDOM!" and they'd run off. Its my husband's fault really. He would encourage them to run and race with him. Sometimes he'd urged me to leave my heels behind in exchange for sneakers so that I can join in the race (which I do occassionally). If you see a mad family of 4 plus 1 maid racing in the mall and annoying all passer bys, that would probably be us.

I am really worried about the kids running into people's trolley and injuring themselves or of them being grabbed when they are out of my sight and I have nagged at my husband many times about their shopping mall race so now we compromise by allowing them to run from Point A to Point B or at designated points or familiar places where we can see them. Its really hard to break a habit that has been formed and even harder to tame two kids when there is a third bigger kid supporting them.

Another thing, its the shopping mall floor patterns. The kids are so fascinated by the patterns and tiles that form patterns that they would hop and jump and run following the patterns or tiles on the floor. Its like playing an unending and weaving hopscotch. Hop hop jump, twist run, small hop, large hop, big skip, twist and turn and run straight..... depending on the pattern on the floor. If you're holding their hand, you'd have to weave along too.

The boy likes to run into a different aisle or walk a different way and them meet further up in front. The only problem with that is, sometimes he miscalculates the direction and ends up somewhere else.

I also hate it when we are shopping for clothes with lots and lots of racks. Racks make great hiding places. Oh how they love to hide in between the clothes and peek out at me from there. Sometimes they want to help me choose instead, bringing hanger after hanger of clothes and say "This one is nice, mummy. How about this one." and they'd get really upset if I did not consider their opinion.... "But, mummy, we haven't walked this way yet. I want to show you the clothes on this side."

At the shopping mall, they talk and joke and laugh and run about and forget that I said "Shhhh! This is not your house! Stop running about!" just a minute ago for the 100th time.

The little one used to pretend that his legs were as hard as stone and he can't move them anymore. Then he'd make a big show of dragging his heavy legs with his arms drooped down to the floor. This happens especially when he is bored with our shopping direction ie when not looking at stuff that interest him. He'd say that he is really really tired and needs to be carried. He looks so funny then, I really don't know whether to laugh or to cry. Recently this behaviour has eased off a bit. Now, he just says that he is hungry when he is bored and he doesn't drag his feet anymore. Crazy though this may sound, I kinda miss looking at his funny drag the feet look. But of course this funny look isn't very funny at all, when I am in a hurry. Haha.

Both of them have a hard time leaving the toy store or an amusement park but usually it doesn't turn into a full blown tantrum unless they're very tired to begin with. Usually its easy to distract them and stop the flow of tears. The trick is a firm "No" and then distract, distract, distract with other things.

Another thing we frequently encounter at the malls is balloons. When my girl was young we would rush to queue up for a balloon whenever we see one because it made her so happy. Now we try to avoid any sales promoters carrying balloons. lol. The kids love balloons but it can be terribly annoying for other shoppers because they do not carry it well, swinging it everywhere and into people's faces. On the very few occassions when they get a balloon without our knowledge, we sometimes return it or allow them (because they just love it so much so we feel a bit bad to forbid them all the time) but we tell them to carry it like an umbrella and play with it only when they get home.

In the supermarket, they usually follow their daddy so that I can shop in peace so there's not much to tell about that. They always prefer to follow their daddy in the supermarket because he is much more fun. He would point out fruits and vegetables and teach them their names. He would surprise them by putting cold cans next to their skin to make them jump and all sorts of funny antics whereas with mummy its always "Don't pull the leaves off my vegetables! Don't touch the fish, its dirty!"

As for free food in the supermarket, its a no no. Not unless mummy or daddy says its ok to take from that sales person. Once, I was put in spot when I accepted a food sample and my girl asked me "Why did you take food from that stranger?" because I had always told her that she must not talk to strangers or accept anything from strangers. I had told her that some bad people may pretend to be nice by offering kids sweets etc so she must never accept anything from a stranger. I had a hard time explaining that one.

So, how do your kids behave at shopping malls? Do they drive you up the shopping mall wall?

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