A couple days ago, Nathan and I hung out with my friend (who we’ll call T). We went out to lunch together, and while we were eating, we reminisced about another time we ate lunch together, after which we went on a quest to find a playground for Nathan.
I can’t believe I never blogged about this.
So anyway, we found one of those indoor playgrounds in a fast food restaurant. From the outside, the play space looked massive. It beckoned to us, looming over us at about two stories tall. So we hauled Nathan out of his carseat and into the restaurant.
As soon as I opened the door to the play space and looked around, my heart sank. Yeah, the play space was two stories tall, but it was NARROW. The room it was in was maybe 12 ft x 12 ft, with the play space taking up a good portion of it… leaving an available space of about 12 ft x 4 ft. And the play space was completely vertical. There were a number of ledges arranged in step-formation for kids to shimmy up, but there is no way an adult could because there was only about a foot of space available to squeeze through in order to climb to the next ledge. Someone like me would get stuck. It was a safety hazard if you ask me.
Of course, the kids all had to take their shoes off to play, so the smell of dirty feet permeated the tiny enclosure. There was no air conditioning or any air flow whatsoever, so it was stuffy and stale, which only exacerbated the dirty feet smell.
I sat on one of the benches and tried not to touch anything. My friend T appeared to be just as uncomfortable as me, but we couldn’t just leave. No, once you take a two-year-old into a play area, you cannot just turn around and leave unless you’re wanting to experience the apocalypse.
I couldn’t let Nathan climb the contraption because he’s so little, if he got hurt, I would have not be able to squeeze my way through the ledges to help him. Nathan, on the other hand, was completely oblivious to the stale air and dirty feet smell. And even though I wouldn’t let him climb the play thingy, he just ran around that tiny little enclosure, clapped his hands, and had a ball.
In fact, he was running so hard and enjoying himself so much that he quit paying attention and ran right smack-dab INTO A WINDOW. Just like how you see in the cartoons, with his little arms and legs splayed out. He kinda bounced off it, rubbed his head, but shook it off like it was nothing.
Another gross thing about the play space is there were a number of kids in there, and at least two of them were sick. One had a nasty, hacking cough and the other had a disgusting, snotty nose. You know, complete with those gross snot bubbles. And she was constantly wiping her mucus faucet with her hand and then she would TOUCH everything.
What made it even worse was her mother came in there once and was all like, Oh look at your poor little nose, my sweet sick little baby, blah blah blah. And I’m thinking to myself, CAN YOU NOT SEE YOUR KID IS SPREADING THE MUCUS PLAGUE ALL OVER THE PLACE??
My left eye actually twitched a little over the mom’s obtuse complacency. I mean, who can be so oblivious to others that they let their snot-bubble spewing kid sow their noxious germs into the porous plastics where said germs will fester and possibly mutate into an ULTRA MUCUS PLAGUE and other kids will then pick them up and spread the love? Who does that? SATAN??
Can you imagine the self control it took for me to not yank my child out of there?
I just didn’t have the heart to. Nathan loves being around other kids and was having a blast just running around. We stayed for about an hour, and let me tell you, when we finally left, FRESH AIR NEVER FELT SO GOOD.
No, not a good place for a mom like me who is trying really hard to control her OCD tendencies. Needless to say, I sanitized the shit out of Nathan’s hands once we left and fortunately, he didn’t get sick from the episode. Lesson learned. It will probably be a long, long, LONG time before I take my child back to one of those indoor play spaces. My friend and I were so dismayed… it felt like we were tricked. I mean, from the outside, it was so big and inviting… It was like a bait-and-switch, and we were very disappointed.