I’ve seen stuff.
We took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese last weekend.
I know, I know. We’re idiots. Though I must say, it wasn’t half as bad (or expensive) as I thought it was going to be.
But make no mistake, if you, too, decided to go to Chuck E. Cheese, you will spend 90 minutes in an overcrowded room with wailing and free roaming children, sweating your you know what off, trying to win tickets in order to make the entire production worthwhile.
And you will victoriously slap those tickets down on the counter at the desk when it’s time to turn them in, thinking that surely 300 tickets should net you something more prestigious and valuable than a postcard from Dover, Delaware and a pair of wax lips.
You have to feed those tickets into a machine that counts them for you before you can actually turn them in to collect your reward. One ticket at a time, even. Here, you will consider your life and ponder its worth and despair over what it’s all come to. Until the machine finally spits out your receipt with the number of tickets counted and you snap back to reality.
Those tickets will yield you one miniature slinky, one heart-shaped bracelet for your daughter, and two small dinosaur toys for your son. Because in all of your skee ball playing haste, you forgot that you will have to split the tickets between your two children.
Had you not had to do that, you would have been able to win a rubber ducky. But not a full-sized rubber ducky, a miniature one.
Alas, no duck for us.
I guess the baby will just have nothing to play with in the bathtub for now. Except for hopes and dreams.
Yea, we decided to take the kids to Chuck E. Cheese last weekend. On a Saturday. In the middle of the afternoon. Because we decided that we like pain.
There, I watched a child wander up into the jungle gym with a slice of pizza. It was then that I solemnly collected my delighted children so we could move on to play other games.
They had a blast. How could they not? There was a giant ruler hanging from the wall! A giant ruler that measures how much fun you are having.
And you had better be having fun.
We also saw the mouse himself, Mr. Chuck E. Cheese himself.
I wonder if the person in that suit ever thought that their life would amount to being stuffed inside a probably way too hot suit while children shrieked at him, uncertain of whether they want to hug him or just rip his stuffing out.
Our kids did great. They seemed to really enjoy themselves and save for a time or two of wandering off, they were very well-behaved considering the madness that was going on around them.
I injured my neck playing skee ball. As a parent does while at Chuck E. Cheese. But I got my mojo back when I played a Sonic the Hedgehog game, and won copious amounts of tickets for the cause.
I actually figured out how to consistently win 25 tickets at a time, pushing the buttons at precise moments. It was the parenting equivalent of counting cards. I did check to see if there were cameras around and worried that I would get caught. I’d probably end up thrown into one of the ball pits that Chuck E. Cheese USED to have.
They don’t have them anymore, they say. But they probably do. That’s where joy goes to die, now. For those that doesn’t have enough fun. For those that have figured out the way to rig the Sonic the Hedgehog Game. For those that don’t follow the rules.
But seriously, my children had a lot of fun. And I’m glad that we went.
And so were they!!