September 15, 2008

Run in with an escalator

Today I found myself in a department store. With my children. I could probably end there and just let your imagination run wild with the antics that might take place when one woman takes five children into a department store. Reality can be so much more entertaining.

We just left the dentist. I should have gone directly home and taken a nap. But, Everett needs a pair of slacks for church. I decide that stopping at the department store wouldn't be a bad idea. I must have lost my mind. Every time I get home from an "event" I always forget about the looks, questions, and conversations that take place while I'm out. We are a spectacle. Five kids walking around with one adult would get some stares. One Asian child, two African children, and two white children walking around with one adult gets quite a few stares. Add to it that one child is in a cast up to her neck (talking LOUDLY ALL THE TIME) and we get more than looks. It's almost as if the Muzak in the background screeches off while we walk by.

We get into the store and ride the escalator to the second floor. Now, I realize that escalators can be dangerous. I've heard the 'crocs stuck in the escalator' stories. But they are high fun for kids. Especially the kid that hasn't been on an escalator since the plane trip home from Ethiopia. We shop, I see the prices, we get ready to leave. Our trip up to the second floor was so easy that I don't consider how careful I need to be on the ride back down. We are all seasoned riders now, right? I don't realize that you can't see how high you are as you ride up. Looking from the second floor down a moving staircase is terrifying.

Ella got on and then I stepped on (with baby in sling) and Sally ripped her hand out of mine and froze. I'm going down...down...down. Three of my kids are standing at the top. For a split second I consider running up the down...but I'm not Lara Croft. So I start yelling (this is more my modus operandi), "Everett stay with them! You guys just stay there! I'll be right back! But, GRACIOUS STEP AWAY FROM THE ESCALATOR BEFORE YOU FALL!!"

I slowly turn around as they step away and meet the stares of the entire cosmetics department. All conversation has ceased. All eyes are on me. Ho hum, nothing to see here folks. I'll just be running over to the other escalator. For fun.

I almost told Ella to stand by the earrings and wait (she was slowing me down) until I got my wits about me. Telling this child to stay put would be idiotic. Once, I gave a spiel about taking candy from strangers, helping to search for lost puppies, etc. After my 30 minute talk about stranger danger, I asked her what we say to strangers who offer us candy. Her reply, "Thank you!" Yep, can't leave her alone. Ever.

Ella and I get back onto the escalator and as I'm pulling her around the corner I hear this thumping noise. It's my other three kids who have overcome their fear of escalators and found out that playing with the rubber black handrail can be quite entertaining. Just as I'm almost to them, two concerned clerks approach them. And why wouldn't they? Three kids alone playing on the escalator? Sounds negligent to me. Dangerous even. I think I hear children's services being called as I grab two sets of hands and pull them onto the escalators. We safely make it down and I try to hold my head high as we make our exit. Sans new slacks and sanity.


jill coen said...

www dot old navy dot com!!!

no escalators, just boring old browsing. ;)

you crack me up and i love you! we will talk on the phone at some point...i'm confident of it!

j :)

beBOLDjen said...

OHHHH I am not laughing at you but along with your pain. I have SO been there. Can't say my pain involved an elevator but public humiliation is my kids' specialty!! It's like the took a class in utero and came out with degrees.

the Steiger's said...

Thanks for sharing I needed that one.
love, Lenka

Christine said...

Could you guys come to Columbia for a visit sometime soon? Of course it be wonderful to see you but really it's the comedic aspect of having all of you around that I would look forward to... :o) Chris

Apryl said...

I didn't even mention what happened in the bathroom BEFORE the escalator...

I'm not leaving the house today :)

Rob & Candy said...

oh Apryl... I am so sorry.. I remember when Igor backed away from the escalator at the last minute. I was running up the down escalator trying to get back to him... some stranger- man picked up Igor and carried him down- ugh... I cannot imagine with 5...

Fantastic4mama said...

Apryl, you are so hilarious!! You need to write a book (and make millions) bc your descriptions are so great - I can see you exactly!! and the cosmetics counter!! I miss you in Mobile, still talking to Danica - she is coming to my new pet project - a birth stories group for new moms to be! see you love kristi

Jori said...

I so wished we lived near by!! I would love to have an outing with you!! I am out and about with 3 kids alone alot during the day and yet something tells me with 5 some things ARE going to change!!
My kids LOVE the escalators!!!! UP and down :):)
Thanks for sharing and still praying for Sally's surg.
love, jori

Team Dragovich said...

Tony and I are both laughing hysterically, and NOT AT you, but at the fact that we can just see it all so clearly!!! I am highly impressed that you all made it out alive-- I have barely made it out alive with just my three boys in a dept. store!!! You make me laugh, Friend!

Penny Smith said...

I almost pee'd myself!

I'm still laughing (for real) out loud!

(PS-similar stranger danger convo. here... I fell your pain!)

Penny Smith said...

OK, what happened in the bathroom! DO tell! :)