The Tot Lot

It's officially full on holiday season, and for many of us, that means we find ourselves in the mall. I love Macys. I know that they are a little more expensive. I know that the store is huge. But I guess I am officially an adult- because I'm at the age where I'd spend a little more money on something that is good quality over something from a cheaper store that lasts only a few washes. That's how I found myself at Lynnhaven Mall recently.
I can trick RT into thinking almost anything is a game. Running between the racks of clothes? He's in a tunnel. Going into the dressing room, he's trapped with mama. (This doesn't always work when Bubbie is on the other side of the door. The boy loves his Bubbie...) But when I said, do you want to go play, he knows the difference between my version of play and his. 
So we entered the Tot Lot. Lynnhaven Mall's children's play area. Now let me be clear. There were signs everywhere that this area was for small children. First sign- it's called the TOT Lot. I looked up the word tot. The dictionary describes the meaning as "a very young child." Next clue, the fact that there is a large giraffe that says "You must be shorter than my chin to play." While some young children might not be able to read this, their parents sure can. Third clue, the fact that the play structures were little, had basic letters and numbers on them, and seemed very babyish. If all of those clues still escaped adults, the looks of the other adults should have been a clue that something was wrong. So when the group of very large 8/9 year old boys came running through the lot, I was confused and frustrated as to why the adult who was with them seemed oblivious. One of them actually slammed into my mom in a game of tag. RT got frustrated when they blocked the slide. 
Sure- kids want to play, and I get it. But all of the signs should have been a direct clue, that this was not the place for these big boys. Finally a security guard came over and told the dad that they were too big. His reasoning? Oh, they were just big for their age. Okay dad, big for an 8 year old or not, he was still 8. 
I'm not sure if this is an ongoing issue or a one time while we happened to be there type event, but it made me thankful for the security guard. (Am I being a Grinch?) The play structures were fine, and I'd come back to see if this is the norm. RT had a good time once they left and I'm sure would love to go back. Lynnhaven is nice because they offer free parking and several stores that have children's items. I do miss the food court upstairs, but they have added in a good size food court on the far end of the mall. If that doesn't appeal to you, there are several restaurants right outside the mall and even more around it. They have a Santa for photos in the middle of the mall right now too. I'd bring RT back here, but I'm curious to see what the standard is. I love free little places like this for toddlers, and I love that it is strategically placed outside of a Starbucks. Ahhh... a little treat for mama with a little treat for RT. 
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