Escaped convicts at the mall (a true story)


The actual Mall Jail

Around 10:00 in the morning, her little 2-year-old blue eyes looked all around the indoor play area at the mall. Although she was quite small, even she could see some similarities between this place and a jail. For example both had:

1) heavy boundaries
2) a guarded entrance
3) LOTS of  other “guards” watching every movement of those incarcerated
4) visitation hours
5) a rule of no food or drink allowed inside the area

The guard at the entrance of this place didn’t look very smart, either. He was plastic, for one thing. He was a plastic bucktoothed gray squirrel with his hand held out from his body. One was supposed to be able to stand underneath it, or be six years of age or less, to gain access to the jail’s facilities.

As she thought about how alike both were, she watched other kids her age playing with their brothers and sisters, plus she saw one gigantic bearded boy she was fairly certain wasn’t under six (nice job, plastic squirrel!!), darting all around the place looking like a bunch of lunatics. They all acted like they were at Disney World or something. She thought all of those kids needed to get a dingdang grip.

Kids can be so lame.

After watching them for a few minutes, the little girl decided she had had enough of the climbing-and-jumping-and-running-and-sliding-through-tunnels business. She would have to tell her grandmother that this place was Loserville and that she was ready for more exciting places, like Pho Nail in the grocery store parking lot. Her grandmother always went to Pho Nail. Why couldn’t she? She could really use a manicure. The only problem was that her grandmother would insist that she “play for a few more minutes”.

No, she would have to escape on her own.

So, when she saw her grandmother squeeze her big behind into the rubber tree trunk lying on it’s side to rescue the little girl’s crying brother, she took advantage of her chance.  And she ran. And ran. And she ran so far away. But, she could get away. Actually, she got away and ran right into a Claire’s Boutique.

She looked around with awe at the bracelets, bows, earrings, toys, lip glass, glittery things, fingernail stickers and a bright pink pen with a feather on top. She decided she’d like to have that pen, so she took it, turned her little body around and left.

Within a few seconds, she came upon an elevator. Since there are only two floors in the mall, she was left with only one option. So, up she went. As she exited, she moved her short, short legs right into a jewelry store with a feathery pink pen clutched in her fist and began to browse like she belonged there. This independence thang was niiiiiice. Why she hadn’t tried to break out on her own before now was beyond her.
Tap, tap. “Hi, Little Miss. Are you lost?”

“Huh? Lost? No way. I’m just here to see what you good people have in your glass cases and then I’m heading over to Pho Nail for a manicure. Just look at these nails!” is what she wanted to say, but all she could do was shake her head.
The jewelry store employee called security anyway, which had already been alerted the little girl was “lost” by the girl’s grandmother. Within moments, the grandmother who had been stuck in a tree trunk only fifteen minutes prior had the little girl in a tight embrace and was crying tears of joy.
As she wiped her eyes, she looked down at the little girl, gave her a puzzled look and asked, “Where did you get that pink pen?”
This story was told to me by the grandmother in the story as I watched my 4-year-old play in that same mall play area. I didn’t know her, but she struck up a conversation with me. It cracked me up and reminded me of the time when he was 20-months-old and squeezed out of that area while a family member was watching him. He hadn’t seen him leave. My son had seen his brother, his grandmother and me pass a jewelry store, Build-A-Bear, maybe a Hollister or something and then enter into Stride Rite. Moments later, he waddled up into Stride Rite all alone like he was any other mall shopper. I was laughing and in shock all at the same time. Mostly in shock.

Has anything like either of these stories ever happened to you at the mall??


On Saturday, NickMom featured my post “Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed Recipes, as written by a 3-year-old”. I didn’t see that it was up over there until yesterday. I know it’s past Mother’s Day now, but these delicious recipes (wink, wink, wiiiiiink) can be used year-round. Click HERE for my 3-year-old’s secrets. Thanks to all who stop by and/or share. It means a lot!


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