For anyone who followed my day of live-tweeting Simon having a meltdown because of summer vacation and Dad having the nerve to go to his job, you have probably guessed that we have had some interesting days.
The Escalator of Doom!!!
Simon loves going to the mall. Who doesn’t, right? I blame my mall rat-ness on growing up in New Jersey. I could happily go to the mall almost every day. There’s no need to buy anything. It’s about walking around, people watching, drinking coffee, whatever else is happening. Luckily, Simon is the same way.
Since he’d been having a hard week, I asked him if he wanted to go to the mall.
Of course he did.
We got there, and after walking around for a bit, I told him that he could tell me if he wanted to go into any stores.
But as we walked close to a Journey’s Kids, he leaned in a bit, watching what was on their monitors. I asked if he wanted to go in.
We kept walking. He started leaning towards Dillard’s.
“Do you want to go into Dillard’s?”
I stopped. For real? Dillard’s?
“You want to go into Dillard’s?”
He was pulling my hand towards the overpriced department store already.
“What do you want in Dillard’s?”
“Escalators.” He gave me a look that told me just how stupid I was to have to ask that question.
We went in.
Found the escalators.
He gripped my hand, gave me his notebook (Blue’s Clues – Steve’s notebook) to hold for safekeeping, and we rode up the first one to the second floor.
“Do you want to go up again?”
Once again, that tight grip on my hand, and we were up on the third floor.
“Okay, do you want to walk around or go down?”
Easy enough, right? Right?
Oh my god, you don’t know how wrong.
I took his hand and his notebook, and we walked around the circle of escalators to go down.
Another crushing hand squeeze on my right hand, and I was trying to hold notebook in one hand and hang onto the railing with the left.
I started to step out onto the escalator.
He kept his grip and stood firm at the top.
One of my legs – the one on the step – kept moving further away. My left hand and arm kept moving away. The right side of my body, though, was trapped, held firm.
Before I split and became one of those horrible escalator accidents that you always seem to read about, I pulled myself back up to the top.
“Okay,” I told Simon. “You have to step off with me. Okay? It’s not safe otherwise. Ready?”
I tried again.
He stood there again.
I almost split in two trying to not fall down and snapped myself back to the top before I dragged him down with me.
“Let’s take the elevator down.”
We took the elevator down to the first floor.
“Now, do you want to keep walking? Or ride the escalator again?”
Up we went. Up we went.
“Should we take the elevator down?”
By now, my brain had moved onto the oh-my-god, we’re-gonna-die phase of the escalator riding. I could only think about the video that had been circulating the internet, the woman who got sucked into the escalator and killed.
But I’m a mom. I could do this. Maybe.
“Okay, we can try this. But you *have to* step off with me, okay? It’s not safe otherwise. You *have to* step when I do, okay?”
He took my hand. I held his notebook.
“One, two, three,” I counted.
He let go of my hand.
I went down the escalator, and he stayed at the top, watching me.
Was he going to try to follow me, trip and fall, and suddenly I’d be on the news as the mother who watched her child die in a freak escalator accident?
Was he going to freak out because I’d left him at the top?
Should I run back up the escalator?
Yeah, that wouldn’t work.
Instead, I told him to wait for me and watched him carefully as I ran down the escalator, ran around the corner, and came back up to him.
“We need to take the elevator down,” I told him.
“Escalator,” he demanded.
“You *have to* step off with me,” I said. “Do you understand?”
“We’re going to step on at three, okay?”
He grabbed my hand again. We braced ourselves.
And we did it!
We did it!
Down to the second level.
“Okay, we’re going to do it the same way. On three.”
We made it all the way down!
After that, he agreed to be done with the escalator, and I went and bought him a cookie at the Nestle stand.
We had survived the escalators of doom.
(Until yesterday, when we went and rode the escalators at Sears…but that’s a different story…)