I am still in bed reading The Book Thief. Jane is mother henning Tommy and for some reason he is loving it. She feeds him breakfast, showers him, tries to wrestle him into his clothes. Other Costa Rica golf widow, Jen, calls and proposes an outing for all the children. I am game. We finally decide on Sea Monsters 3D at the Arizona Mills Imax. I have a niggling fear that perhaps the mall is not the best place to be heading this fine and drizzly December day with 8 kids, 8 and under. But I find a parking space with little trouble, and I feed Tommy junk food at full speed for the full forty minutes of the film, in an effort to keep him seated. He is wild with sugar by the end. Claire and Charlie are equally unappreciative. It was cool movie, though. Kids and I loved the 3D action. Ross kept yelling out things like: Look! That's a pleistomegalostegatortadolisaurus! Did you see it, Mom?
Yeah. Course. I'm wearing the 3D glasses, aren't I?
We planned to eat in the food court, but the place was packed. So we stand and hover for a minute, until one of the kids spots a vending machine that spits out Pokemon crapola for the bargain price of 4 quarters. Let's do the math. I need 12-16 quarters, Jen needs 12. I have no quarters, and all my cash in in the car. (Yes, I know, good way to become a holiday crime statistic.) So I tell Sam the bad news, and he totally loses it. He is seriously heartbroken (and peevish, since he stayed up until 11 Friday night). So instead of getting the heck outta there, we stand around the Pokemon machine and talk about leaving. Sam gets worse. Other kids are plotting mutiny. Jane whips out her purse and buys her own Pokemon toy. Purseless, coinless boys whine at the unfairness of the world.
Sad Sam, hugging Pokemon machine.
Jane, gloating and riling up her male relatives.
Finally, some poke-love.
Jen finally goes into Gameworks and gets enough quarters for 4 toys. So everyone gets something except Claire (and Tommy, who doesn't really know what is going on). Claire isn't happy, isn't placated by small empty plastic dome courtesy of Sam.
Noise and mall crowds freaking me out. We walk out and Claire starts tantrumming in parking lot. Jack is pushing Charlie's stroller in dangerous-looking way, with evil smile on his face, and small 4-quarter Pokemon in his sweaty fist.
Charlie threw a fit, too. No, not really.
Finally everyone is 5-point-harnessed and belted into both Honda Odysseys, and we are on our way home. I drive through In-n-out, which as you know is always a bad idea.
Cardinal rule of In-n-Out: You must eat it fresh, whilst sitting inside building, or you must not eat it. Even walking to outside tables might expose burgers to terrible taste-ruining draft. There is magic in the burgers and fries, but the magic wears off the fries in 2 minutes, and the burgers get only 1 minute beyond that.
I had planned to eat my burger on the way home, but then I remembered I had touched the horrible and nasty floor at the Imax looking for Tommy's shoe, and I couldn't reach the baby wipes while driving. I began to picture myself running off the road and dying, leaving all the children for Jake to raise alone. I could hear in my mind the eulogy. "Kelly died doing what she loved, with her handi-wiped fingers full of hot fries." No, no, it isn't worth it!" I concluded. Then glanced with longing as the fries lost their savor around Val Vista, and the burgers were mushy by Greenfield. Why oh why did I order it animal style? Now is soggy mess.
All in all, quite a good outing. Things could have gone much worse.
Came home to clean the house so Jake won't see dirty underpants piles and want to fly back to Four Seasons to live in Costa Rican jungle with howler monkeys and sloths.
Finally, long lost husband arrives home (Yippee!) with Cadbury Hazelnut candy bars, a fakebaked looking tan (just way too dark for December, even in the desert.), and some T-shirts, and we all (except Sam, sent to bed for being crazy mean) watch Star Wars (the real one, not one of the boring, lame new ones with lots of effects but no heart), then everyone is in bed by 9:30.
The End. Almost.
This morning Sam dropped his tiny vended Pokemon toy into brand new gallon of whole milk. He is stopped as he is on his way outside to dump it in rocks. Now Pokemon is stuck. We have Poke-milk.