BY Kathy Zucker • Saturday, October 4, 2014
It all started with a walk in the rain. I needed to return a dress I had bought on Washington Street, the main drag in Hoboken, NJ. My husband had the car since he had the two older kids plus huge heavy fencing bags. When he left this morning, he texted that it was pouring rain.
Instead of waiting for a sunny day like a sane person, I decided to brave the elements with my two year old. Reexperiencing the terrible twos after a hiatus has been..no fun. As in, oh yes, I remember this! And no, it’s not any easier the third time around. The way I save my sanity is by getting this kid out of the house and on adventures. The more fun she has – provided it fits around her naptime – the less likely I am to experience the wrath of the Toddler Who Does Not Like Her Shoes. And makes sure everyone knows about it in a two-block radius.
So. We bundled up in foul weather gear – a prerequisite for living in Hoboken – and made the rainy trek to Washington Street. Because I was in no rush, I let the baby walk for much of the way (we live allll the way on the opposite side of town so it was close to a mile), carrying a big black umbrella that made her look like a mobile mushroom. With silver shoes. We jumped over and through puddles, and made it to Washington Street, in and out of a couple of stores, and then across the walkway connecting Hoboken to Jersey City, making stops along the way at the Lackawanna rest room, Newport Green beach and Morton Williams grocery to pickup gourmet Asian treats for my kiddoes. And chocolate chunk cookies that the entire family adores.
Our final destination? Newport Centre Mall, to pickup yet another princess dress for my tiny princess. I’m tired of handwashing the Cinderella nightgown she has worn EVERY.SINGLE.DAY for the last three weeks. Those things are amazingly durable, withstanding daily washes and a toddler pushing her feet against the tulle overskirt.
Because of the rain, the streets and train station were largely deserted, so we had plenty of room for my little one to make her meandering way across two towns. We finally made it to Newport Mall, and pushed open the door to the nearest entrance.
And encountered this.
If you want to #meetup this #winter, you will find me at the #free all-day #IndoorGym at @newportctr #mall. #mompreneur #momlife
There are no words to describe how surprised I was to find the preeminent kid playspace open seven days a week at Sears, of all places. And the best part? The entire family gets FREE entry for two contiguous days with a purchase in the kid department. That means I could get all three kids in for multiple visits in exchange for buying a $4.99 headband. SOLD.
And the best part? Nobody knew about it. The art studio and free haircutting station were empty the entire two hours we spent there, and there were a total of two kids in the padded playspace during the two visits we made there. And it’s not like there weren’t a ton of kids at the mall today. Not even ten stores away, the usual kid hangout of spaceship rides and kid games was mobbed – these parents had no idea a kid wonderland awaited steps away. I talked to the organizers and they say the plan is to keep the Kidville playspace intact for the foreseeable future, so when the kids are bouncing off the walls from yet another snow day, I know where I’m headed.