The 11 Hour Trip to the Mall

What was supposed to be an exciting trip to an indoor water park in Kansas City ended many hours later as a simple trip to a pet store and Columbia Mall. 

When you have a home full of 11 people, like The Atherton Home, you experience “the best laid plans come to naught” saying almost daily. Spring break was no different, as a scheduled trip to the water park ended when the park began renovations the day of the outing. No worries. Home Parents Brian and Mandy Wallace (aka: Mr. Brian and Ms. Mandy) knew their kids love shopping, so they planned to go to a big mall in KC instead.

Then Ms. Mandy got sick. Perhaps now they should cancel? No way – Mr. Brian is not a quitter! He called in reinforcements willing to help him for the day. A bit later than planned, they were finally off with a van load of excited kids who had already picked out which stores they wanted to shop at. 

About 30 minutes from their destination, Mr. Brian hears the words no parent ever wants to hear on a road trip. “Mr. Brian – I think I’m going to be sick!”

Another delay and change of plans. Cleaning up the van and child and then heading to the nearest store to buy cleaning supplies and clothes became the new plan. Mr. Brian announces they need to go back home. He explained to his van full of children that any one of them could have been the one to get sick, so they shouldn’t get angry. It wasn’t her fault. One understanding child interrupted to say, “Mr. Brian, we’re not mad – you’ve taught us better than that!”

After road construction delays, they finally arrive back home to rest, when Mr. Brian discovers that Mr. Kibbles, the family dog, has gotten into something that stinks soooo very bad. They scrub and wash him, but nothing seems to help. Since Mr. Brian has decided that a trip to Columbia Mall might help ease the disappointment of the day, they decide Mr. Kibbles could also use an emergency bath at a pet store.  Another recruit is found to come along and help and everyone loads up again – minus one sick, sleeping child and plus one very stinky Mr. Kibbles.  Whew…windows down all the way to Columbia! 

They drop off Mr. Kibbles and finally enjoy some shopping fun…perhaps a bit too long. A phone call reminds them that the pet store closes in ten minutes, so they rush out of the mall and pick up an amazing, yummy smelling Mr. Kibbles. 

A tantrum delay and delivering the recruited helper home meant that this simple outing to Columbia Mall didn’t end until 10:30 PM…almost 11 hours and 280 miles after they first loaded the van to head to KC at noon.    

Mr. Brian concludes, “Some people may call this day a disaster. I simply call it Tuesday. My kids are worth it!”