The Obligatory Mall Trip
Because I can't seem to keep track of my camera these days, I don't have the pictures to prove it...but I did it....I single handedly took all 7 kids to the Mall of America.
I made it quite clear in the beginning that each kid would only be allowed on 3 rides, and any complaining, arguing, name-calling, bickering, etc. would result in one less amusement. All the kids stuck to the plan, and we didn't have any issues. The new Nickelodeon themed amusement park was a lot of fun, and some of the new scarier rides literally had some of the girls in tears! Everyone was patient and didn't get upset when they had to wait while someone chose a different ride. Best of all, no one whined, pouted, or threw a fit when it was time to go.
After the rides, we went to the Rainforest Cafe. The staff there did a double take when I told them we needed a table for 7 kids and one adult, with room for a high chair. Also, we had many stares from nearby diners. And it was certainly a gamble, expecting the kids to continue to be on their best behavior, especially since it was getting late and they were hungry, but I decided to push my luck.
And surprisingly, everything went very well. The kids stayed in their seats, they all ate their food, they didn't fight, they weren't too loud, and they even shared with each other. (Although you must exclude Ella from such stellar behavior because...well...she's two...no other explanation needed). Several staff members even commented about how well behaved they were.
So our evening out turned out wonderfully...but I can't say I'd like to do it again anytime soon.