It’s funny how all winter I was praying for summer to come so I could be outside. And summer did come and it was awesome. And then it got hot. Really hot. All this intense heat we’ve had lately kind of forced Ellie and me indoors again. We were getting antsy,again. I wasn’t expecting this feeling until maybe January. I know I wasn’t the only one, either.

Some of the other moms I talked to seemed to be feeling the same way. But there we were, again, staring at each other looking for something to do to escape the shackles of the living room. So I decided to resort back to an activity I like to reserve for cold weather: mall walking.

We usually meet up with our friends Kelly and Evelyn down at , but due to the grossly hot weather we’d been having, we’d skipped a few weeks. With Ellie getting bored with me and me a little irritated with her, we invited our friends to go with us. Our local mall, Southland Center in Taylor, isn’t the best for a longer mall-walking journey, so with two giggling girls in the backseat, we headed out to in Novi.

Since it was the morning when we arrived, I was really expecting at least a few hard-core mall walkers making their rounds. You know, those people with sweat dripping and their headphones blasting, barreling down the walkways waiting for you to get out of their way. But the mall was surprisingly quiet. Was this going to be a boring trip, I wondered? But when you stop for cupcakes after 10 minutes, you know it’s going to be an awesome trip.

DS_2011_08_19b_editWe stopped at this place called Just Baked. I had double chocolate peanut butter and Kelly ordered the Fat Elvis. The what!? Mine was just chocolate and peanut butter, but hers had yellow banana cake, peanut butter buttercream frosting and chocolate ganache. Whoa, that would make a great Razzle flavor. (Hint hint, , just sayin’) Mmmm … Fat Elvis cupcake Razzle … Oh yeah, mall walking, back to the story.

DS_2011_08_19c_editWhen I walk next to anybody, I prefer to walk on the left side. Actually, it’s less of a preference as it is a necessity. It’s one of my weird quirks. It doesn’t matter who it is–friends, relatives, dudes, non-dudes, even Ellie–I need to walk on the left side. If I don’t, everything feels off. Things look weird from the other side. It’s like someone forcing me to write left-handed. It‘s not natural. But uh oh, Kelly got on my left side. What if she was a left-side person too!? I needed to switch and set things right without being a total weirdo.

On the next turn, I was able to maneuver in such a way that put me on the left side again. Yes! I could have just told her I have this weird thing where I need to be on the left, but I thought that’d be too weird. Somehow I figured writing about it and posting it on the Internet would be much better.

Other than my unique walking preferences, it was a pretty chill mall-walk journey, until …

Kelly’s daughter, Evelyn, saw the play area and kept saying, “Slide! Slide! Slide!” We decided to stop and let them play. We knew it was a bad idea going in, but by then it was too late. It was like dangling a Target gift card in front of my wife and saying she couldn’t use it. It would have been too mean to yank the opportunity away.

There were tons of older kids running around, and then Ellie and Evelyn in the middle oblivious to the fact they could get clobbered at any minute. We sat there hovering over our seats with eyes on our children like a hawk waiting to swoop in and fight off predators. Kelly was worried that when we left the play area, Evelyn would have a meltdown. I wasn’t worried about Ellie; she’s pretty easygoing. But it was the exactopposite. Ellie kicked and screamed and swatted my face. She wanted nothing to do with her stroller. “AHHHhhh! Get me out of here!”

To get Ellie to calm down, I had to let her walk. And since she wanted to walk, Evelyn wanted to walk. You would think that since Evelyn was the older one, she’d be the boss, the leader. But no, Ellie is. Evelyn is the voice of reason, always looking back to her mom for approval, to make sure it’s OK. Ellie is always saying: “Come on Evelyn! Let’s go! Don’t be a wet blanket. Live it up!” And before too long, they were on a giddy hand-holding rampage throughout Macy’s. All the female employees looked on with warm smiles on their faces that said, “Oh that’s just precious.” All the male employees had furrowed eyebrows that said: “This is Macy’s, not Babies R Us. Go on, get!” They were a little loud, but it was just too cute to break up the fun and we were headed towards the door anyway.DS_2011_08_19e_edit

DS_2011_08_19f_editIt was a great way to beat the summer heat and with two kids passed out in the backseat, I’d say this summer mall-walking trip was a success.

Now I think it’s time to get that Razzle from Twist and Shout.

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