Actually, I’m not sure it necessarily redefines the word ‘fun’, but, more appropriately, obliterates it … removing it from the grid and telling it to stay there until it’s learned its lesson.
It’s winter … even though my kids keep on insisting it’s still ‘technically’ fall and they don’t need to wear winter jackets yet … and it’s officially gotten into the 30’s here – which might as well be the Alaskan tundra.
That’s me, by the way, every morning, attempting to get them to wear a winter coat to school so the teachers don’t send home a scathing note telling me I’m the worst mother to ever live. Spoiler alert: I’m unsuccessful 100% of the time!!
Last weekend I was asked to watch my baby sister and 10 year old brother, along with my own three kids. That’s 5 kids, people. Five. (I know you can do math) After several hours of “we’re bored!” and “when can we play video games?!” while I reacquainted myself with Desitin and baby diarrhea, I caved and bundled them all up (actually, I only bundled the baby – I’m pretty sure no one else wore coats … or shoes) and drove them over to the local Family Fun Center … Oasis (which, to be honest, is named too ironically to even go into).
There was a time, when the kids were little, that I actually worried and agonized about them being kidnapped at one of these places. Luckily my guys are old enough now that we can exchange this look – “I won’t be up your butt monitoring your every move as long as you don’t get yourself kidnapped, deal?” We all wink (the only wink I truly trust is the oldest’s, I’m pretty sure the other ones had stuff in their eyes) and I squelch my fear and live in denial for the next hour. (Of course I still made them check in with me every 10 minutes!! … I’m not that zen!)
I was already so frazzled from the day that I bought them all the VIP passes. (I lied about the baby’s age so she could get in for free – sorry OASIS! I bought the VIP passes for 4 kids, you can suck up the money you lost on an 18 month old!)
The VIP pass allowed them to do EVERYTHING (I wasn’t messing around) while simultaneously depleting their college savings accounts in the process … two birds. I told the
ingrates darlings to scurry along and have fun while I played with the baby in the foam pit of hell. So violent were the kids in this pit, smacking each other with large rectangular plastic battering rams that they had concussion testing right outside the facility with waiting ambulances. These 2 year olds are no joke.
I witnessed a few scenes that made me wonder if I had chosen the right place to attempt to maintain my sanity. A mom, in fetal position, huddled in a corner, her purse wide open with her rabid kids tearing it apart – literally shredding the faux leather bag from Target (I spend a lot of time at Target) – looking for another 5 bucks, sobbing, “Take it! Take it all! I don’t care anymore!”. Another mom, with more kids than me, on a perpetual bathroom loop … covered in soap, tears, urine, feces, and a sickly desperation that only parents of potty training toddlers know. Her eyes, dead from seeing, hearing, and doing so much, made a chill run down my spine.
After 20 minutes (mmmm HMM!), my guys had “done everything” and were “bored”. God I love these guys!! And they are nothing but appreciative.
Me: (through clenched teeth) What do you say?
Them: (in a sing songy voice with either no eye contact or, my favorite, the eye roll) Thaaaaaaaaaaank yooooooouu.
God damn kids.