My son never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes in a good way (by waking me with hugs and kisses), sometimes in a not so good way (by following said affection with wrestling falls to my full bladder).
Recently Connor surprised me by displaying a love for the mall. That’s right, the horrible torturous building I couldn’t convince him to enter as a 1 year old, has become a desired destination for my 3 year old. Whenever we drive by it now he points to it and asks “This one? This one?”
I say “This one what, buddy?”
He answers “More please”, still pointing to the mall.
It sometimes feels like I’m talking to someone who primarily speaks a foreign language, only having a tiny mastery of English.
So I say, “You want the mall?” somewhat incredulously.
“Mall please! Mall please!”
“Ok….we’ll stop by on our way back. First doctor then mall.”
“Then mall”, he repeats.
On this particular day coming back from therapy, I asked him “Do you want to go to the mall or the park?”
“Mall or park?” Connor echoed.
At the next red light I turned around in my seat so I could face him. “Connor, look at mommy.” I instructed. He finally looked me in the eyes. I said “Hi baby.”
“Hi Mommy” he answered.
“Do you want to go to the mall or to the park?”
He looked away.
“Connor, look at mommy. Mall or park?”
Finally he met my eyes and pronounced “Mall!”
“Ok, mall it is.”
Driving into the mall parking lot Connor even directed me to which entrance he would like us to use, pointing this way and that until we parked close enough to his particular choice. As I unbuckled him, he practically leapt out of his seat. Must get to the mall! Connor pulled me through the parking lot to the front entrance where he promptly let go of my hand and started sprinting down the hallway.
And why I say sprinting, I mean sprinting! This boy can run! You cannot do a fast walk to catch him, you actually have to run to keep up.
So I took off after him, grabbing ahold of his hand after about 20 ft. He didn’t mind. Connor just switched to his happy walk instead (which is him bouncing up and down with each step). However, once we neared the glass railing overlooking the first floor, Connor took off again.
He ran up and pressed his face against the glass, staring at the carousel below.
“ooooooo, look at that”, he said looking up at me.
“What is that baby?”
“Carousel” he said, although it sounded more like cow-o-sell.
Grabbing my hand, he pulled me to the escalator and dragged me towards the carousel.
“More please! More please!”
He was so happy I couldn’t refuse him a ride.
Here is a very blurry picture of him sort of smiling on the carousel. Connor usually has a deep look of concern when on a ride, as if he’s not sure he enjoys it. This time however, he seemed happy.
Seemed being the operative word here.
After the ride ended, Connor maneuvered me back up the escalator to the Cinnabon we had passed. He didn’t ask for anything specifically (or generally), instead he just ran over to the nearest table and sat down, just looking at me.
Ok…..I guess my child would like a snack. Not the healthiest choice for a snack, given that the cinnamon roll has about 800 calories but they have some twists for around 300. Cinnamon twists it is!
I think he enjoyed them.
Once he was done, which means he ate half the twists and drank half of my Diet Coke, Connor started running down the hallway again. This time, his destination was clear: the Disney Store. Located across and down from Cinnabon the Disney Store promised all of Connor’s favorite characters in one place.
I’m not sure how Connor came to be so familiar with this mall, I think a certain cousin of mine is to blame, but I can’t be sure. If only I could get him to be this happy when we went to Nordstrom, I’d be the happiest mom in the world.
As it is, I’m just the most indulgent.
Yes I bought him a toy. I know, I know. Connor, being an only child and a member of a 70+ extended family, is already spoiled rotten. He has more toys than he knows what to do with. If he sat down and played with three different toys every day, I bet it would still take him more than two months to get through everything.
So why did I buy him yet another toy?
Because I’m a sucker.
Because my baby boy was so happy and so well-behaved at the mall.
Because my autistic son spoke to me and asked for it.
Because we shared an afternoon I’ll never forget, but he might.
Because it made me glad to do it.
Whatever the reason, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.