Yes, these are some of the adjectives I would use to describe our mall outing.
Maybe my expectations were too high in the assumption that we would actually get some Christmas shopping done, but every time the stroller stopped moving, Allison's mouth would instantly shoot open and emit an ear-piercing wail.
Jerry and I just exchanged blank stares as if to say, "Um, now what?"
We must've looked like complete idiots to anyone who had been paying attention. We didn't ever leave one wing of the mall, favoring instead to retreat to a dressing room on one occasion and just pace in circles during other crying fits, wondering what the hell to do next.
I've decided that malls are not conducive to babies. First of all, the volume of the music in every store is set to "hearing loss." Perfect for waking a sleeping child.
Second, the clothing racks and merchandise displays are set so damn close to one another that even the smallest of strollers can take out an entire store in its wake. At one point, I nearly toppled a case of holiday-themed DVDs, swore under my breath and angrily mumbled something to Jerry about waiting outside.
During the few moments that we ventured upstairs for the sole purpose of getting to the restrooms to change Alli's diaper, we had to use the ghetto mall elevator for the first time. The smell in that confined space was so overwhelmingly bad that I nearly vomited my Orange Julius all over Jerry's feet. Instead, I managed to bunch my scarf over my nose and inhale as shallowly as possible.
When the doors opened to reveal another stroller-clad couple, the mother laughed. Probably at the lack of color in my face.
"I know, smells like dirty crayon wax, huh?"
I wanted to wholeheartedly agree at her accuracy of pinpointing the putrid scent, but I was afraid to move my lips even a millimeter, knowing that if I did, my stomach's contents would tumble out. Instead I just nodded, scarf still firmly pressed against my nostrils.
The only redeeming value of the entire venture was watching others react to Allison. People would instantly light up at the sight of her, exclaiming how cute she is. And I loved watching women walking in the opposite direction take time to turn around as we passed just for a peek and an "Aw" before pacing out of earshot.
And although we left almost completely empty-handed as far as presents go, the trip wasn't a total loss.
She did get her first picture with Santa.
I'm pretty sure she was thrilled.