By Diane Ako
At Windward Mall, there's a Cubby Train the children can ride. Tickets cost $3 per person, and the parents have to accompany children under age five. We enjoy this whenever we go to that mall (which is infrequent.) A recent ride proved quite amusing due to some misunderstandings between me and Olivia.
Like many similar type rides at malls across America, the train takes children on a slow ride around the entire building. As we passed the center, we drove right behind the Santa Claus set up, where kids line up for their photo and wish list session with Santa. It was early in the morning when we had arrived, and nothing was open yet. Santa's seating area was all stancioned off and I hadn't seen him.
There was, however, a bench behind the Santa area, and there was one rotund man sitting down. Olivia pointed and exclaimed excitedly, "Look! It's Santa! It's Santa!"
I thought she was pointing at this man with a pot belly, and I tried to hush her up, but she wouldn't. I think the man also thought he was the Santa in question because he looked a little surprised and hurt at the comparison. I continued trying to quiet her down because the train is slow and we were still within glaring distance of this guy.
"It's not Santa; stop, Hon," I urged.
"That man? In the red suit?" she questioned.
And there he was, sauntering up to open his lap up for business. "Oh, I guess it is. Never mind," I said.
The train continued. You know those senior citizens who lap the mall for exercise? We were there so early, we saw a lot of them. One particularly dogged walker had done a few laps. He had a leg brace, a cane, and a limp, but he went around a few times.
At the end of one wing, there was a seating area, and we saw him there, pooped out on an armchair with his bum leg inappropriately propped up on the arm. His cane was leaning next to him. He looked a little like a caricature of people who are super tired with their mouth open, eyes shut, and head tilted back.
"Look at that guy! He looks so funny!" Olivia yelled and pointed as we drove by.
This guy was so tired he couldn't hear us, but I felt bad for saying that kind of thing about a senior citizen (or anybody, really) when he was clearly fatigued. Also, he really didn't look all that funny to elicit such a reaction.
Once again I tried to quiet her down. Finally, I said, "Hon, he's old and resting. Let's not point at him."
She turned to me and asked quizzically, "The snowman?"
Yep, there was a big blowup snowman decorating the corner, far behind the man.
"Oh, right. I didn't see that," I corrected myself.
There was not a third miscommunication, but just to be sure I didn't do it again, I made sure to ask her for the rest of the day specific follow up questions to make sure we were talking about the same thing!
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