2.11.2008

I lost my mojo at the Chuck E. Cheese

Saturday night I really wanted to write a nice long post recounting my afternoon at the Chuck E. Cheese. However, upon returning home, I discovered that I had lost my mojo. It had apparently taken all the mojo I had to get me and my two children to and from the Chuck E. Cheese without stabbing my eyes out.

I’d like to say we started off on the right foot by leaving on time. Except the 18 month old staged a lay in when I tried to change him out of the pumpkin T-shirt he’d been wearing for 4 straight days. It’s one thing to wear a shirt from a holiday 4 months ago that has crap down the front and kinda sorta reeks inside the confines of your own home. When we attend social gatherings at public locations, however, I like to create the illusion that I'm not a crappy mother.

While he continued to protest the new shirt that was apparently burning the flesh from his body, I wrapped a present and located everyone’s shoes. Shoes that had gone missing. Shoes I franctically demanded the newest 4 year old help me locate. She was confused about why she was expected to know where her brother’s shoes were. She kept attempting to explain to me that she hadn’t seen them. I kept attempting to explain that she needed to start playing hide and go seek with the shoes or there’d be no trip to the Chuck E. Cheese and hence no fun to be had.

By the time we gave up and declared the shoes lost forever, the house looked like a war zone. No time to clean up though. Everyone to the car. We need to hurry and begin driving because I’m about to miss the correct freeway exit and drive 10 minutes out of our way. We’ll need all the time we can get to make up for that.

We drag in the door 20 minutes late. On top of being late, I was arriving with an extra kid who wasn't technically invited to the party. But I didn't really have a choice because my husband was at work and it was too hot outside to lock the kid in the trunk of the car. I even let the 18 month old bring his raggedy and slightly smelly blankie with him. It’s his most valuable possession. It probably shouldn’t ever leave our house because the sky would fall if we lost it. But it's grown stained and rather unsightly over the years. Unfortunately, he started crying when I told him to leave it in the car. So I weighed arriving late with a uninvited kid with a raggedy old blankie versus arriving with a uninvited screaming kid and decided the blankie was the lesser of the two evils. He strolled in the door looking like Linus with it sort of draped over his shoulder and dragging behind him. And I couldn’t have cared less.

Here’s the best part of the story though. Me and the motley crew get up to the hand stamping chick at the door only to find out the party was cancelled. Birthday girl woke up sick that morning. Last minute cancellation.

Um. Yeah.

So I’m thinking, let’s leave. My kids were thinking, dude, look at all that cool stuff in there!

So we stayed. Because I’m not completely heartless. Except maybe when it comes to The World’s Most Annoying Dog.

We went to the toddler area which is actually enclosed so you don’t have to worry about your kids wandering off too much. I sat at a booth and my kids shoved tokens in machines. After an hour I even agreed to order pizza and the newest 4 year old crashed the birthday parade.

I’m not entirely sure but I think maybe I’m eligible for sainthood now. It’s a special “alone at Chuck E. Cheese with 2 small kids” rule. You get bonus sainthood points if your 18 month old pitches a fit when it's time to leave and you have to carry his crying bowling ball butt the whole way to the car. Including while they check his hand stamp. And while his sister tries to convince you the unused birthday present is too heavy and her arms will surely fall off if she has to carry it even one more step. I guess she thought I could carry it with my teeth. Go, me.

13 comments:

no way said...

Ah Chuck E Cheese. It will take the wind out of your sails for a while. The best part about it is the classic pictures I took of my son being scared to death on the monster truck. Worth every penny! But also spotlights the fact that I was snapping pictures while my son was hanging on to the truck for dear life. Anyhow, I agree, you are eligible for sainthood.

~Virginia~ said...

I'm sure it goes without saying, but Chuck E. Cheese is LOUD. I used to have birthday parties there back when it was actually Showbiz Pizza. Good food--too crowded.

Kristy said...

Oh, my gosh, I can so (sadly) relate. Chuck E Cheese: heaven for wee ones across the U.S, hell for their parents. I think it's a rule, in fact: Parents must look like they need an icepick jabbed through their temple or Chuck E. isn't doing his job!

As soon as we walk in the door, Sophie starts shouting, "Where's the big mouse? Where is he, Mama? Can you see him yet?????!!!!" And she really likes the part where the big Chuck E. comes out to dance on the stage and everybody run to get their groove on in the little kiddie mosh pit in front of the stage.

Serenity now.

I also feel your pain regarding the 4-day-old shirt and the need to create the illusion of Good Mothering when you emerge from the protective bubble of the house. Kind of along the lines of, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

Good job braving the non-existent birthday party. It made for some most excellent reading material.

Anne said...

Funny, we were at Chuck E Cheese Saturday as well, not for a party, but the pure pleasure of it. My son invited my inlaws along, to further enhance my fun.

You have earned many bonus points for surviving the Chuck E Cheese portal to hell.

Elaine said...

Was the birthday girl's phone sick also? Too sick to ring you up and cancel so you didn't have to drag two kids out to CC? Yes, you definitely qualified for sainthood.

Ree said...

Go you! Seriously, I'm amazed you could drive home after Chuck E Cheese.

Shan said...

Are you sure you didn't have my kids? Because they sound just like that, complete with the smelly blanky. Luckily for us there is no Chuck E Cheese within an hour's drive of here.

sippycupsandblackberries said...

OMG, I avoid that place like the plague. MAJOR PROPS for actually staying. And that is a bit crazy about the books...

Melinda said...

There's a special room in hell for people who don't call their guests when they cancel a party. Especially when those guests are bring toted by parents. And ESPECIALLY when the toting is happening in the direction of Chuck E Cheese.

Kristi said...

Our plan at ChuckECheese is to give them a few tokens and we take the rest and get as many tickets as possible. then we can use the bribe of prizes on the way out to get them out the door without crying. it seems to work every time.

Anonymous said...

crackhead, your son is not 18 months old!

Childlife said...

Sounds like a definite nomination for sainthood to me! I can't imagine flying solo at Chuck E Cheese with two kiddos... holy cow! And I can't believe they didn't tell you they canceled the party... that's beyond evil.

(Is that your husband up there calling you a crackhead?? LOL! Tell him I still refer to our youngest as 18 months old too and he turns two in April... your logic makes perfect sense to me :D )

a happier girl said...

no way - I have pictures of my kids like that too. They're fun. I also like to occasionally get shots of them crying or screaming for posterity too.

virginia - Yes. You have clearly been there. Loud and crowded are the two best words to describe it.

kristy - Thanks! I was pretty proud of my efforts. Including the clean shirt to maintain appearances. If it weren't so loud in there, I probably wouldn't mind Chuck E. Cheese so much.

anne - I like the portal to hell image. So true. I'm glad your trip to hell included other people at least. There's safety in numbers.

elaine - Right!?! I know. Hello. Kick a shout out. Although technically, her mother did try calling my cell phone. But I have a house phone too. And it's Saturday morning. I do not have my cell phone surgically attached to my hip while I'm laying around in my pajamas.

ree - I know. I was tired. Too bad they haven't invented teleporting yet.

shan - Lucky you. Really. It's like 12 times louder than the McDonald's play area.

sippycups - Just you wait til that kid of yours gets a little bigger and other kids start revealing the secrets of the universe to him.

melinda - Right! I know. Mothers need to do right by other mothers.

kristi - Very nice strategy. I'm totally using that next time!

anonymous - Get with the program, Love Dove. It's a joke. Helloo?

childlife - That most definitely is my husband. In addition to leaving that comment he used his cell phone to call me on the house phone in the living room to tell me I'm a crackhead. Dude's nuts.

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