Chicago Mama's cupboard was bare, so I took The Girl and The Tot out for lunch today. I had suggested Panera, as it's right across the street from the Market Square Pottery Barn Kids. But The Girl declared that she did not like that PBK and wanted to go to the one at Old Orchard Mall instead.
In her younger days, before we had to worry about such silly things as school pick-up times and better budgeting, we spent a lot of time at the mall (our favorite, as a group, is probably Northbrook Court, with its giant treehouse in the center court). These days, although every retailer and its cousin is trying to lure us in with sales, rewards programs, and other incentives, we don't go very often. It probably also helps that the screenprint I saw yesterday at the T-Shirt Deli ("I take the fun out of shopping") aptly describes both The Boy and The Tot, thereby rendering shopping an activity best enjoyed without the company of children, and therefore not enjoyed very often by me.
And yet: we went. And despite the rain, it was (mostly) fun. At least The Girl keeps talking about how much fun she had. We went to the infinitely more preferable (than Panera) Nordstrom Cafe for lunch: Lime-Cilantro Chicken Salad ($9) for me, Simple Turkey Sandwich ($5) for The Girl, and The Tot shared with us both. On the way in, we ran into Carrie from Disney II, a mom of a child in The Boy's class, who seems to run in the same social/activities circuit as I do, and her little boy. After lunch, we headed to PBK to spend my PBK card holder rewards coupon. It was hard to come up with something I wanted to buy -- we checked out the stuff at Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma next door before settling on a pink Farmhouse Chair to complete our set; it's the only chair that we didn't buy as a floor model. We took a quick cruise through Gap Kids, where the salesgirl made me feel bad that my 2-year-old wanted to throw every one of the bucket of small playground balls set at perfect toddler height across the store. We stopped at the E-bar at Nordstrom on the way home for a latte (me) and snack (The Girl, The Tot) and skedaddled.