Sunday, 9 August 2015

Play centres my idea of hell

I was sat in a children's play centre today, obviously with my little human! slightly creepy to go along without one of my own! We were there for a friends sons birthday. She hired out the whole play centre for the party as last year they had some trouble with other parents bullies children picking on their children. This was music to my ears (the hire part....not the bully's part!)

Most people Take their children to play centres to stimulate their darling little angels in a physical and social environment to progress their development.......Who am I kidding! Its when us parents are totally out of options for the day! Play doh, Check! Colouring, Check! Ipad apps, Check! yep We have reached the point where we just need to wear the sods darlings out or maybe you just needed to entertain them while you got your sanity back emails done or maybe you just need that bloody break with a cuppa tea!

I throw this out there and say.....I HATE going to play centres and I avoid them at all costs. 'Oh why' I hear you ask! I find play centres more stressful than anything! I would much rather be at home with 5 crazy kids nagging, running riot while I set up activities that take longer to bloody set up than the actual time the kids spend doing the damn activities!!
Walking through the doors your little human is literally bursting with excitement while ripping their shoes of the feet before you have even had chance to choke over the price of entry! 'Would you like the meal deal Madam?' why yes! let me sell my kidney scrape the content of my purse and pockets together!

So were in! lets find somewhere to sit amongst the pairs of people who choose to sit at tables for 6 people while resting their shoeless feet on the extra seats.
Before I know it I've been deserted by my little human! Gone! The panic and stress begins! I dump my crap at the nearest free table! My three year old is somewhere within this sea of children! My eyes search for him everywhere! he in the football area...nope, Is he in the baby area? Nope just a handful of ten year olds doing back flips into the ball pit! Is he in the Under 5's area?? Nope!......hold on! why the Hell not???? My eyes immediately rush to the over 5's area with the humongous slide while I try to contain the panic from creeping into my face. EVERYTHING goes through my head! What if hes climbing all the way up to that huge slide, what if hes too scared and gets upset! My ears pick up the sound of a child crying! holy shit! is it mine! where the hell is he!I knew it hes scared of that big slide!! I start to freak out and get up from my seat to search for my little human! I finally find him! in the under 5's area that I had already searched! That's the thing! as soon as you find them they go sodding missing again!
Back to my table I go scanning the other adults around me to see if its fairly safe to leave my stuff to go and get the cuppa that I've been waiting for! I decide to take everything with me giving up the potential ownership of our table!

Taking the sticky menu up to the till I decide to order a cuppa for me and some fuel food for my little human! As I'm waiting for my cuppa to be made I scan the room.....I am a people watcher after all. I see Grandparents that are having a break while nursing the little hairs they have managed to not pull out!
Then you have the baby club meet up mums that are pissed that their one week old babies cant go and play in the baby area due to the back flipping ten year olds.
The couple who have just had (or sometimes currently in the middle of) a domestic with swear words flying everywhere.
Then you have the 'careless cows' who children can often be found pasting shit out of other children, snatching toys, kicking, biting etc etc while their owners have no clue if their children are even in the same building any more! They will be the ones browsing Facebook the whole time they are there. If you get chance to approach these people regarding their brats childs behaviour they will claim that their darlings are just experimenting physically and socially and maybe it was your childs fault.
The heavily pregnant Mumma that just needs that break while she sits with a cuppa while hubby entertains the other child.
Then there are us worriers loitering under the daunting levels waiting and watching to see that our ikkle humans are ok and if they need our help.
Believe me you will fit in to one of these categories! And I'm sure you will see people for the other categories too!

Sat back at my seat I quickly finish my burning cuppa as Ive got 'Careless cows' Brats making grabs for it'. I begin to think I'm better off in the play area with munchkin so I grab my phone, tuck my purse somewhere I've never had to before and I surrender my shoes knowing there is a high chance that they wont be there when I get back!
'Mummy! I want to go on the big boy slide!' Oh god! there it is! the 'big slide' card! 'Ok hunny, shall Mummy come with you?' hoping he will say yes! So after squeezing through holes I thought only my head would fit through, climbing over bridges and worming my way through tunnels, 3 levels later we are finally at the top of the 'big boy slide' 'Hang on Hun!' I shout as he sits on the edge of the slide 'maybe you want to sit on Mummies lap?' in the blink of an eye he's  shouting 'wweeeeeeee' Gone! no care for me! I start my decent down the 'big slide' hoping not to go too fast and earn myself one of those damn slide burns! Instead Ive worked up that much of a sweat getting to the top that my now sticky jeans wont allow me to go down the slide anything faster than golden syrup sliding off a spoon! I finally reach the bottom and my little angel I stood there waiting for me with a beam on his face! 'Yey Mummy!.....lets go again' as he runs off towards the entrance of the tiny hole I took what felt like hours to squeeze through that starts the assent towards the 'big boy slide'. Oh god not again!

After a few more trips down the syrup slide I decided to admit defeat and return to my seat. Thankfully my shoes are still there. While I'm sat recovering watching,  I notice my little human being pushed around by some hellish children while they use language even Jeremy kyle would think was tame!
My inner crazy bitch of a Mumma wants to brave that assault course again to give them a piece of my mind, pick up my little munchkin and whisk him away from little shits like those! but deep down I know I need to allow him to learn that not every ones behaviour is good and how he can handle himself in that situation. Needless to say I didn't quite leave it as far as allowing him to figure it out for himself! I couldn't sit back while they continued to play out their own little fighting computer game on my son!
I shouted up 'come on down hun, if they are being mean don't play with them' to which my little munchkin came straight to me. We had a little chat regarding not playing with mean children and to come and tell Mummy. I soon get tapped on shoulder by one of the 'careless cows' asking me very abruptly why I told my child not to play with her children. I explained they were being mean pushing him over and she accused me of over protecting my son too much! she then shouted up to the 3rd level 'boys! for f**ks sake, be good otherwise I'm gonna lose my B*****d s**t on you both. Oh wow! time to eat I think!

I manage to entice my little human down to have his food before the wandering 15 month olds try to pinch food from his plate! Now I start to rest and chill a little! Call me over protective but when my son is not directly in front of me I worry if he is safe, is he climbing to high, watching he doesn't hurt himself on the slides due to the 15 year olds climbing up the slides as hes coming down, running around as adults are carrying cups of tea. Thing is no parent wants their child to be hurt so its in my nature to do whatever I can to protect him from hurting himself! Ok Ok I'm not wrapping him up in cotton wool but I constantly worry!
After finishing food I manage to convince him that he cant run around now because he has a full tummy and will be sick everywhere so we finally get our shoes on and leave.....As I get into my car I take a deep breath and RELAX!!!
Please tell me that I'm not the only Parent who feels like this about play centres! Between brats of kids and parents who couldn't even give a shit I find them more stressful than what they are worth!!


  1. Awesome! I find soft play stressful too. I point blank refuse to go anywhere near it at weekends/bank holidays or out of term time. Or when it rains. Shudder.

  2. Oh, I love soft plays! I'd wish we'd had them when I was a child. It can be tough when you get misbehaving kids who aren't being properly supervised, and some of them really need a good clean - they can be really gross. I find they're great for rainy days, especially when It's great now my biggest two can go off and play on their own, as it can be hard going round after them and rescuing them. But I must say, I do love whizzing down the big slides! x

  3. lol this made me chuckle! I too have a love/hate relationship with play places. It's normally other peoples seriously unbehaved children I can't stand. Oh and like you said the sticky menu!! Gross! x

  4. I very rarely go to play centres on 'busy' days, I avoid holidays, weekends and any time there's a discount offered as I know it's going to be heaving. So far G is too little to go off by himself somewhere like this so I know if I'm planning a trip that I'll have to get involved too. I agree with the 'careless cows' they annoy me and scare me in equal measures. But with all that said I'll choose play centre over playgroup any day! The thought of having to make conversation and put yourself 'out there' terrifies me! x