It’s official. Parenthood is about sacrifice, and I don’t mean the sleepless nights kind of sacrifice.
I mean, REALLY, how else can you explain Chuck E. Cheese.
A few weeks ago we were invited to a birthday party, and though I’d heard horror stories I figured it couldn’t be that bad. Oh my, was I wrong. While this place may be ecstatically fun for children, for parents it’s right up there with getting a root canal sans anesthesia.
For starters, it’s LOUD. You’re greeted in the lobby by the sounds of a ticket munching machine. The play area, a mix of an arcade and video games, is full of screaming children vying for their turn on the various games.
And as if this is not bad enough, some of the kids are unattended, so imagine 4 and 5 year olds trying to figure out who’s next on the horse (yep, it’s a disaster!).
Secondly, I was surprised at how many parents do not realize they can’t leave small children (and by small I mean 3-6 year olds!!!) by themselves. The kids were FIGHTING – punching, pulling, biting – in the tubal slide/ball pit. This made the shoving at the carousel horse look like nothing.
Third, Chuck E. now has live back-up dancers/singers. On paper this was probably a good idea. However, in reality, not so much. The back-up staff looked like Chuck E. had roughed them up in the dressing room before they came on stage.
They were sullen, moved mechanically, and were not at all into the show. I felt bad for Chuck E. because he had to carry the whole act (unless he really did shove them around in the dressing room…).
And my last pet peeve was the parents. Let me just say this, it is TOTALLY inappropriate for anyone to wear his/her “night on the town” outfit to Chuck E. Cheese. Children are here and the stripper-like tops and spandex bottoms are really out of place. A t-shirt and jeans will work just fine, really.
Whew, it does feel good to sound off every once in a while.
Towanda Long aka The Cafe Lady