bringing up kids in malls


shopping malls depress me.  really.  i hate shopping to begin with, but indoor strip malls – they suck my soul.   i hate the lighting, i hate the advertising, i hate the food courts, i hate the crowds and i especially hate the idea of a place we’ve created that is devoted, entirely, to consumerism.  to me, the mall represents, in one indoor space, all that is wrong with society.


 but i mean, shit – i live in a city, sometimes i go to the mall.   Both offices I work in have malls within walking distance of them, for example.  So I occassionally (very occassionally), stroll on up and get myself some lunch.  whenever i’m out at the mall getting my lunch i always notice how  full it is of mothers and their young kids.   has anyone else ever noticed this?  malls have become a kingdom where strollers reign supreme.   

this, to my country-childhood mind, is far from a good thing.

firstly, mum always looks frazzled and secondly, the kids are always screaming.  or running away and mum is screaming.  and it being in a mall, the acoustics make the screams sound more hollow, high pitched and desperate than normal.

it’s horrible.

horrible for mum because why does she have to sit in a fake parisian, indoor cafe with fluoro lighting that backs onto Woolworths?   

horrible for kids because why are the kids indoors under fluoro lighting, surrounded by shit to buy?

these scenes always see some anxiety kick in, because i don’t yet have children and am still deciding if i’d like them and scenes like this make me wanna stab myself in the eye rather than have kids. 

i don’t wanna raise my kids in a shopping mall.

kids need to be outdoors, away from the fakery of the mall, they need to be infusing their vocabulary with words like ‘springtime’, ‘bike riding’, ‘sun’, ‘grass’, and ‘trees’, not  ‘50% per cent off’, ‘buy one, get one free’ and ‘dunkin donuts’.

you know what i mean?  i know that in theory, this is possible because i myself never stepped foot into a mall until i was in double digits.  thankfully, my mother hates malls as much as i do.  but has society changed so much now, that bringing up kids in shopping malls is simply a legitimate thing to do?  parents? help me out.

now, let me be clear.  this observation about kids in malls is not me making a judgement on the individual mothers i see there.  this observation   is more of a sadness for society as a whole.  kids in malls doesn’t seem right to me.  being surrounded by consumerism so young, doesn’t seem right to me.  choosing the indoor cafe to have lunch instead of stepping outside to eat in a park, doesn’t seem right to me.  this is australia for christ sake, go outside! 

it’s upsetting. 

i just want parents to know that they don’t have to succumb to being in the mall at all, that all the things they need can be found outside, that you don’t have to buy things everyday, that grass will not make you sick.

or maybe i just want the future parent in me to know that.

*sigh* on the other hand,  i got a really cute scarf there today….


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