This is the third day in a row that it’s been rainy/overcast outside. There is something about that kind of weather combined with living in an apartment that causes normally well-behaved children and parents to get a little stir-crazy. Yesterday morning, my Music Man got up with our little bitties (L & C) in order to allow me to sleep in. Once I was up and functional, we both agreed that we needed to get our
wild animals children interested in something other than destroying the property and our sanity. In the pursuit of finding this something interesting, we did something we had sworn in the past not to do. We took them to Chuck E. Cheese.
Now, our last experience with the place where a kid can be a kid was when L was a toddler, before C was born. We went at lunchtime (mistake), on a Sunday (bigger mistake). The place was grimy, packed, smelly and all together disgusting. I doubt we were even there thirty minutes. That experience was seared into our brains as the worst parenting decision. Ever. So I’m not sure exactly what I was thinking when I suggested to Music Man that we go there, other than the fact that our preferred place of patronage didn’t open until later in the day. I was mentally prepared to provide baby wipes and hand sanitizer after each and every surface touched.
Amazingly enough, we had a wonderful time. There were only two other families there at the same time, and one of them was having a birthday party at a table. $5 in tokens bought L & C a ton of fun on new ride-on games and good old arcade favorites. A couple of games “stole” tokens, and the employees were very prompt in fixing the problem, not to mention reimbursing the kids with several tokens each time. The ticket counter machine messed up, but that was okay because the “fixer man” (C’s name for him) hooked us up with 100 or so extra tickets. Every one was pleasant, nothing was grimy. We still used hand sanitizer when we left, but more out of respect for the germs we knew were there, not ones we could feel infesting the surfaces of the games. Music Man and I looked at each other when we left with identical, Wow, what do you know? expressions on our faces. The kids had an amazing time on only $5 and were telling us about these people, the best parents ever, that they knew.
So the moral of the story is, 4 years is enough time to boycott a place before you give it a second chance!