Soft play parties

Yesterday I took my eldest to my version of hell, a soft play party.

The place we went to was rammed to the gills with screaming children, most seemed to be dripping with some bodily fluid and all were very excited that it was the weekend.

Usually my son hates these places so we get to leave early as he just stands there with his hands over his ears but not yesterday. He decided that it was the best place on earth to be and he was joining in with the screaming. While I was there I did manage to have a nice time chatting with the other mums and watching for my son in the giant cage like arena.

I did notice quite a few things with the other parents/children.

  • So many parents were ignoring their babies
  • Two of the kids got into a full on fist fight in the ball pool and no staff intervened. One walked right past and looked at them and left them to it. It took myself and another parent yelling at them from the outside to stop it.
  • Big kids were in the little ones area
  • Little ones were in the big area, with no supervision
  • A pair of dads were having fun with their kids in the sandpit but they stopped all other kids joining in as they would glare at the other kids.
  • So many of the kids were barefoot, vile and awful. So glad my son hates to be barefoot.

Once we went upstairs for the party section it was like monkeys were running the show. Each child had been asked what they wanted for food when they entered and this was written down on both a sheet and on the wrist band each child has to wear. They had successfully ignored both and made way too many chicken nuggets and no where near enough of everything else. Why offer a certain option if you don’t have enough of it to serve to those who want it? I managed to grab my son what he wanted but other kids weren’t so lucky.

They then did party songs, 3 party songs. The staff had no idea of the proper moves to Superman and kept looking at each other and giggling. Us parents did a better job with them, but then Superman is a classic song.

Then the dreaded giant headed figure came out. One kid went nuclear and started screaming in a pitch that only dogs could hear. She attempted to climb her mother to get away but the dozy twat kept coming closer and closer to her. The mother had to push past her so she could get her daughter to safety.

The final moment of the torture was the cake/party bags and balloons at the end of the party. It was a free for all. Kids were stropping because they didn’t want to leave, parents were stressed because there was no order and the staff were overwhelmed by all the kids clamouring for stuff. I stayed back and watched the drama unfold. Parents were grabbing cake before it had been put in the bags, kids were grabbing the bags and digging into them before they should have and the staff were swearing under their breath. They hadn’t blown up enough balloons either so there was tears and fights over them. The staff then refused to blow more balloons up as they had done one for each party guest. Totally fair but they should have said that before handing them out to all and sundry as some people had brought siblings and they had taken balloons for them.
While my eldest now enjoys the parties and my youngest might come to like them I can’t help thinking that my Milo will never get to experience them. I wonder if he would have been like his brother, scared at first and needing someone to climb around with him but then more independent. I see 3 year olds running around and it just reminds me of what I am missing.

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