I had ordered my new wheels and I couldn’t wait for them to come in. No, I wasn’t getting a new car. Something more practical. Something I’d actually use more than a new car. A new stroller! The current stroller was just a frame that the car seat clips into. It was perfect for us while Ellie was small, and we didn’t want to deal with the big, bulky travel system stroller. But she was getting bigger and we wanted her to start sitting in a forward facing stroller. After researching, we found the one that was going to work for us. The City Mini by Baby Jogger. It had “patented quick-fold technology that allows you to fold your stroller in one simple step.” Also, “eight-inch quick-release EVA wheels with sealed ball bearings.” Not to mention the “swivel front wheel for quick and agile maneuverability.” Jealous? I don’t blame you. I picked the purple color with grey trim because it seemed unique and dynamic. Needless to say, I was excited for it to arrive. And even more excited to take that bad boy out for a spin.
I already had plans to meet my friend Mel and her son Marcello at the mall for lunch and mallwalking. Two days before we were getting together, my stroller arrived! I put it together and took it for a spin around the house. I’m assuming it’s like a new pair of shoes. As soon as those wheels hit the pavement, you’re stuck with it. Wow, what a smooth ride! And talk about maneuverability! This thing had a zero-point turning radius. She’s a keeper. I think I’ll name her Betty. We were ready for some mallwalking. I couldn’t tell if I was more excited to see Mel, or to hit the street with my new wheels.
We arrived in the parking lot. This was go time. The wheels were about to hit the pavement. Was I really ready for this? Was Ellie ready for this? I had pre-adjusted the straps for Ellie to get comfortable in there. I had to wrestle her in because she was too cozy in the car seat and it was really windy out. But we started towards the door. It felt good. I purposely hit a few bumps to see what this thing was made of. It had a good bounce to it. Ellie seemed a little confused but okay. When we got inside I felt like people were gawking. “Daaaammmnnn! Check out those hot wheels!” I’d wink and point my fingers like guns back at them as if to say, yeah, I know. I’m awesome. No, I didn’t actually do that and I don’t think anybody noticed, but that’s how I choose to remember it.
We were going to meet at Olga’s in the wonderful Southland Mall. Since I had a small taste of Olga bread a few weeks earlier, I couldn’t stop thinking about Olga’s. But they were too busy. There was no way the both of us with strollers and two babies were going to comfortably fit at a table so we ended up at Ruby Tuesdays. But as I think back, we should have totally gone to the Big Boy instead. Nobody ever goes there. It’s only still there because it’s too old for them to get rid of it. Ruby Tuesdays was just fine though.
I hadn’t seen Mel or Marcello since September. During the last visit, Marcello just laid there on the couch unable to move while Ellie reached for his face. Now they were both mobile and had so much more personality. When we placed them in their highchairs, Ellie gave a big smile and a little squeal at the sight of Marcello. But he had just woken up so he sat there in a daze for a while. A blank stare at Ellie, and then a blank stare at me. Eventually they both warmed up to each other and started reaching out to hold hands. And then Ellie stole his Cheerios. Get used to it kid. That’s not the last time a girl is going to take something from you.
Of course while we are both sitting there with babies, a stranger has to assume things. Ellie was once mistaken as sisters with another friend’s baby, Zayna, who is of Pakistani decent. Now, people approached us thinking Ellie and Marcello were twins. Twins! Ellie has Japanese eyes and Marcello is Mexican! “Oh my they are so cute. They are twins right?” No, we are friends and they are four months apart.
With lunch over, I was ready to get rollin’. Although Southland isn’t that large and isn’t the greatest mall, it’s great for people watching. We saw some teenager in a Harry Potter trench coat, or a Dungeons and Dragons trench coat looking all “hard.” We thought it was a Halloween costume, plus, it’s tough to look all “hard” when you’re roaming the mall with your mom. Trust me, I know.Â We also saw our fair share of older men with long gray ponytails. Actually, they were just tails, not pony tails. So yeah, older bald men, with a long gray tail. One of them was walking out of a jewelry store. Someone’s a lucky lady.
Usually I’m still a little self-conscious mallwalking. But we proudly looped at the end of corridors, and plowed through the aisles in the major department stores as we made our rounds. With my new wheels, I didn’t care if I got any extra looks, because with a ride like this, I’d be looking too.