I took the kids up to Northbrook Court this morning. Largely because I had a couple of things to exchange at the new Hanna Andersson store, but also because the mall has a wonderful play structure, in the form a tree, in its middle court. The treehouse, as The Boy and The Girl call the structure, is entirely fenced in with benches around its perimeter, making it really a very pleasant and well-designed place for children and their parents.
Today, it was not at all crowded. The Boy wanted to take off his shoes to play, although I asked him repeatedly not to. Then the security guard came by on his rounds and told him that he had to put his shoes back on. Why is it that my authority as an adult means nothing, but a total stranger can say the same thing and reduce The Boy to tears? Well, at least he put his shoes back on. The Girl also had a bit of a run-in with another child at the treehouse today. A little boy of about 3 repeatedly ran her over on the way to the slide, repeatedly slid down into her (and his little sister) and at one point, started to hit her because she was sitting at the top of the slide on one side and his sister (who was about 1) was on the other. His name was Sam. I know this because his dad responded to all of these actions by telling him to be careful. I said nothing about it until Sam got between his sister and The Girl at the top of the slide and put his hand in The Girl's face in a "I'm going to hit you" action. She hit him in response, but wouldn't you? Sam hit her and it continued that way until I told The Girl that it isn't nice to hit, even if someone hits you first. After that, The Girl went to play in the play kitchen on the other side. I nursed The Baby.
The new Hanna, by the way, is pretty nice. Because it is a new store, it was still well-stocked for the sale, with lots of dresses and t-shirts left in The Girl's and The Boy's sizes.
After we visited the treehouse, we went to Whole Foods to buy groceries and have lunch. The Boy and The Girl each had macaroni and cheese from the hot bar; I had sesame-fried vegetables and brown rice, and two chicken potstickers. It has taken me awhile to find something I truly love in the prepared foods section of Whole Foods, but I think the potstickers are it. Each walking child got a small chocolate gelato from the gelato bar before leaving as well. One day, when I can eat dairy again, I look forward to trying some myself. Sorbet just isn't the same.