The elf had some shopping to do, so The Tot and I headed directly up to Hanna Andersson in Northbrook Court after school drop-off this morning. I made excellent time on the Edens, so we got there well before the stores were open. I let The Tot explore a bit -- he dug the escalators, of course, as well as the water feature near the elevator. We swung past The Corner Bakery for a latte and a Monster cookie for The Tot (He's learned how to say "bite," which is the cutest thing. He'll say it, open his mouth wide, and shove the proffered item into my mouth) and went over to the center treehouse to eat/drink them.
The treehouse was not very busy, and the kids who were there were primarily wee ones like The Tot or 3-year-old girls like The Girl. I was thankful for this as it allowed The Tot to feel comfortable enough to explore the structure while I drank my lukewarm coffee (my least favorite thing about the suburbs: cold "hot" drinks!*). Unfortunately, he didn't get to stay and play for too long; we had to get back to the city by 11:30 to fetch The Girl from preschool, so we skedaddled upstairs as soon as the shops opened. I also accidentally left The Tot's jacket hanging on the fence by the treehouse, so we got to make an extra trip on the escalators. In the span of 45 minutes, I managed to hit HA, Gymboree, and the Stride Rite store for a new pair of shoes for The Tot. And I still got to school well before 11:30.
* in the interest of fairness, I'll note my most favorite thing about the suburbs: cheap(er) gas.