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.
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.