Seth and I spent this morning at a local shopping center, right around the corner from our current house. I had been charged with asking local merchants for goods and services to use as door prizes for MOPs. I agreed to shamelessly beg for goodies from Applebees and Quiznos.
Applebees didn't have any more freebies until next month. The manager at Quiznos had to ask the owners, but she seemed very receptive. She wanted to know more about MOPs, and she had a young mommy friend that she wanted to tell about it. I should be able to pick up my loot tomorrow.
After that, I decided to strike out into uncharted territory. I stopped into a local salon. Seth was oohed and ahhed over, and the manager there promised to write me up some sort of gift certificate when she got a minute. She also wanted to know about MOPs, said she had a customer who'd said she wanted to get out of the house with her baby. I really started to warm up to this gig. People are nice when you ask them for free stuff? Awesome...
So I boldly ventured into the local Mediterranean restaurant. The owner wasn't there yet. I'd have to come back later. So Seth and I moseyed on over to the local Dollar General...
And that's when I learned something about toddlers and grocery stores. I usually don't let him get down, but this trip was all about amusing him for a little while. He wanted to walk with my hands in his death grip... no crawling for him. So we walked up and down the aisles. It was mid morning on a Thursday. There were cardboard boxes of canned goods on both sides of some of the aisles. Seth decided to use them for stair climbing practice.
He started reaching for the shiny gold sardine cans. I put some on the floor, and he stacked and restacked them. Then he noticed the canned goods on the bottom shelf of the aisle. He spent the next half hour pulling them off the shelf and putting them back on, his head bent over his task, a very serious, very little shelver. The real shelver came along, doing his own stacking. Seth didn't even look up.
And so we passed a quiet bit of morning in a grocery discount store. No one bothered us or told us to move along. It was great. I think I've discovered a new activity for slow, rainy days in the winter when we can't get outside to play. I think the key to this is that it's not our regular grocery store, and there aren't any carts there. He doesn't associate the place with grocery shopping. It's a quiet place where we won't get in anyone's way. If you have a little store like that where you live, and you have a toddler, I highly recommend this little field trip. =)
Oh, and the Mediterranean restaurant? I scored two free lunches! Too bad neither of them were for me... =) Oh well, I have a chance at that door prize just like everyone else.