This past weekend, we took Trout and her cousins and a couple of friends to Build-a-Bear Workshop for Trout's birthday, which is what she chose for her birthday activity. Everything went well at build-a-bear; the kids had fun and it was very low-key for us grownups. I had brought cupcakes along, so after that we commandeered a large part of a seating area near one of those coffee kiosks to have cupcakes, sing, and be done with it. Little Man was the only boy of the group, and had pretty well reached his limit of not running around, so he pretty much snarfed his cupcake, and then proceeded to get out of his seat and run around a little bit talking to the girls, his aunt and uncle, and his father and me. He wasn't bothering anyone, just releasing a little bit of boy energy.
At one point, BigDaddyFish and his sister noticed a guy watching us. At first, they thought he was just annoyed at the fact that we had taken up so many seats, but after a while it became clear that it was more than that; there were plenty of other places relatively nearby if a seat was all he wanted. He was watching the kids, particularly Little Man. At one point, he got within 2 feet of Little Man, so SIL stepped in between them and caught the guy's eye, as if to say "we noticed you - what do you want?" He backed off for a bit, but still didn't leave the general area. BDF told me about it, and I realized my purse was on the back of my chair, so thinking he might have been watching that, I moved it to the floor between my feet - the guy would have had to knock me off the chair to get to it. As they continued to watch him (they never pointed out to me what guy they were concerned about), it still looked like he was watching Little Man.
A little later, one of my nieces had to use the bathroom, so she and SIL went around the corner and down the hall to where the restrooms were. This guy followed them. BDF then followed the guy, and unfortunately Little Man went with him; BDF was hoping to get some more info on this guy without interference from the apparent target, but no dice. BDF told me later that the guy followed SIL and niece, and then sat down on one of the cushy benches near the bathrooms. BDF and Little Man just did a slow circuit around the stores on that hallway, keeping the guy in sight at all times. After SIL and niece came out of the bathroom, THE. GUY. FOLLOWED. THEM. BACK. After that, it was clear we weren't misinterpreting things.
They came back to the tables, and we finished up opening presents, and said goodbye to the friends who had come along. While this was going on, SIL noticed the guy go upstairs, but even from the upper level he was still watching us. It was creepy. We went from where we were to a pizza place in a different wing of the mall; thankfully, the guy didn't appear to follow us. We were there a long time, maybe 2 hours, and by the time we came back out, he was gone.
The good news is that if he had tried anything, he would have been jumped fast by BDF, SIL, her husband (both of whom are in the fire service and in good shape), and dare I say, by me, and probably a few bystanders, too, so nothing much would have happened except maybe something that might have landed one of us in jail (I think I have the best chance of getting off, though, don't you think?). The bad news is that he was there in the first place, more or less stalking us. I hate to think what might have happened, or that anything might have happened to anyone else, and it makes me mad that we couldn't do anything as far as alerting security or police because, technically, there is nothing wrong with watching people. Just too dang creepy. Yesterday afternoon I repeated my lesson with the kids on stranger safety, and what to do if anyone tries to take you. They had remembered what we had talked about on past occasions, so I felt a little better.
On another note, I went in today for my 38 week check-up. My fluid level is back up, so that's good, and the baby is fine, but sometime in the last 4 days he moved, so now he's sideways again. This is bad because it means the likelihood of me going into labor on my own is less (not that it was stellar in the first place). I am still Fort Knox. Probably no baby this week, so we just wait. I hate this part.