I kept Big Kid home from school today because he has a runny nose.
He's convinced he has Swine Flu. When Mr. Ashley told him it probably wasn't, he said that it felt like Swine Flu to him and he didn't know what else it could be. I don't know what I was thinking when I told him about Swine Flu.
I needed to run out to the book store to get a couple of cancer books, so we went to the Books a Million down the street, with strict instructions not to ask me to buy them anything and bribery for good behavior.
It is a very fancy, brand new, two story Books a Million. I have a major escalator phobia, but decided to go ahead and get on it because the kids were curious about it and I don't want them to feel scared of escalators. On the way up, we were fine. Big Kid went on ahead of me, stood still with his hand on the handrail and his feet in the middle. I held little kid's hand and we shared a step. Big Kid was a little nervous when it was time to dismount, but he did it (with a leap).
Soon enough, it was time to go down. Big Kid told me he felt scared and I told him not to be silly (I felt scared too). With two books in one hand, I told him to take my hand and I'd tell him when to step and then I'd let go and get on behind him with little kid.
He panicked and walked right on, which was fine, he was safely on a step. So I went to let go of his hand and he got scared and wouldn't let me go. I couldn't just walk onto the escalator because little kid was standing by my side and I didn't have a hand to get him. It was a miniature Sophie's Choice moment there on the stairs as Big Kid traveled away from me. I tried harder to get him to let go of me and he lifted his feet off of the steps, basically forcing me to drag him up 4 growing stairs or tumble down the escalator myself. It was a slow-mo sort of moment for me, but I guarantee there was shrieking and yelling involved. People were staring.
Feet finally on firm ground again, he said, "I'm never goin' on a escalator ever again. Never." I tried to assure him that he was fine, he just got confused which was common for new escalator users, and that for now we'd go on the elevator (which are 2nd to escalators on my list of general fears). We boarded the elevator and I could tell he was embarrassed, so I was trying to explain how the whole situation had been my fault and how no one even noticed.
That is when little kid pressed the alarm button.
There was more shrieking and yelling. We rode the rest of the way down in tense silence and when the doors opened, people were staring.
All of that for two books. It is always an adventure.
Next time we'll take the stairs.