Ah the fun never starts. As Jill gets her hair cut me and the Munchkins are at Smuggler’s Cove. Brilliant for kids but terrible for us adults for several reasons, mostly the music playing on a loop about drunken sailors and the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean.
These places are hell on earth in my opinion because while they keep the kids amused I’m bored in seconds. There needs to something for us to do in here rather than just sit and wait for the inevitable crying to start, or the screaming, or both. Trying to keep track of them as they vanish into the labyrinthian soft play area is not so bad with Jake, but to Jenna who has no sense of fear at all it’s a whole different prospect. She’s gone for twenty or thirty minutes at a time in which time you have fully visualised the Crimewatch reconstruction and missing posters. Then suddenly she appears from nowhere doing the wee wee dance. This involves decamping three bags, as many jackets and a collection of shoes – mostly ours – only for the announcement of “not needing.”
The collective noise is the real low point – as the chorus builds in a choral
crescendo of chaos usually led by Jake. By this point bored senseless, really sore head and just about ready to kill. And we know it doesn’t stop there. The wallet has already taken a hit but once you add food and drinks to the outing you realise that you need a second mortgage just for a tea and a fine piece.
Then there is the overwhelming urge to give other people’s kids into trouble as they charge around knocking your offspring off their feet. Their parents don’t seem to even notice their little bastards causing trouble, punching and hitting their way around the place. The brat knows you’re watching but is more than aware there’s nothing you do about it. Little sod!
You finally convince the kids it’s time to go only them to spot the Iggle Piggle or Hello Kitty ride which means the pound coins are needed and your pocket follows the lead of your wallet in being a lot lighter than when you came in. Also if they see the machines and tickets the last of your money is gone as you exchange a couple if thousand tokens for a cheap flimsy dress up kit of some kind that will be ripped and binned by this time tomorrow.
Two hyperactive volcanoes not sit in the back seat screaming and reminiscing about what just happened in full and exaggerated detail. “Oh they’ll sleep as soon as their head hits the pillow” this is a lie as they somehow have a backup generator of energy that lasts all the way home and past bedtime.
Sometimes you just want to scream “I’m a parent, get me out of here!”