Today Mummy reached new levels of desperation and despair. After ten days of childcare within four walls, the novelty of pyjama, movie & popcorn days had ultimately worn off. It was only fair that The Terror Tots be released in to the fresh air – from the front door to the car door, and then allowed to unleash some of that feral energy that was manifesting in their strangely caged-animalistic behaviour of late. So Mummy did the unthinkable. She caved in to their cries and yielded to their yells. Mummy abandoned house and took the children to a Play Centre.
Now under normal circumstances, Mummy can just about tolerate a day out at The Play Centre. In fact, with the added bonus of a freshly toasted cinnamon tea-cake, a mug of steaming hot tea and a friend to bitch with, one could almost call the experience “pleasurable”. However, today could not be classed as “normal circumstances”. Today was a weekend first and foremost. And secondly, today it was bloody raining. Two horrors together with which, one must NEVER cross Mummy and Play Centre. Can you just imagine? “What better place to spend a rainy, weekend day?” Thought everyone in the world, ever. But today was different. Today, the Grim Reaper (GR) had dry-cleaned her cloak and polished her scythe and at this point, in a fit of fury, could have been held responsible for anything. So today, it was with the safety and best interests of everyone in mind, that Mummy decided to risk The Play Centre on a rainy weekend. And of course to avoid a jail sentence for the crime she did not mean to commit.
But Mummy had clearly been blinded by the pursuit of fun, frolics and freedom (even if only for a measly hour) and in her naivety, she had forgotten the 10 Perils that inevitably come with visiting The Play Centre on a rainy weekend. These 10 Perils, whose message is as fearful and resounding as that of The Ten Commandments, should have been warning enough. But Mummy took no heed today. This particular Play Centre may well have served fresh milk in her tea and real butter alongside her tea-cake, but was it really worth it? I shall let you be the judge of that.
For at The Play Centre, you will almost certainly face the following 10 Perils:
- You will spend all of your hard-earned cash before you have even set foot in the place. Once inside, you will then be blackmailed into forking out further, for over-priced snacks, slushies, slot machines and pieces of tat in plastic balls, from machines strategically placed around the room, at just the right height for little hands. Consequently you will hate yourself eternally for being “The Mother Who Succumbed To Her Children”. Again.
- You will curse the fact that your Terrors are no longer eligible for free entry and pretend that at least one of them is, by squashing and muting him/her momentarily, whilst entering the premises.
- You will be met with a hot gush of air, pleasant and warming at first, until you are hit with the distinctive Play Centre smell, borne alongside it. Namely a pungent combination of deep fried fat, smelly feet, sweaty pits and a spatter of piss, if you’re most unlucky.
- You will enter with white socks. Leave with black socks. Or even worse, you will leave with no socks at all: bare sodding feet.
- You will end up stuck at the top of the non-slippy slide, knocked out by giant boulders or sandwiched between jumbo foam blocks at some point during the day. Whatever your level of fitness, you must resign yourself to the fact that will need to get physical. Allow yourself to be wedged inside a tunnel however, and whilst you might enjoy the peace and quiet for a moment, you may never escape.
- You will lay claim to the only “disapproving” child in the place, who knows better than to be interested in fun tunnels and multi-coloured plastic balls and who instead, is absorbed only by watching LOL dolls and Kinder Surprises being unravelled on YouTube. It’s just your luck that this dive doesn’t have a WiFI code and you will inevitably leave with no data, on top of all those shattered hopes and dreams.
- You will be envious of the smug sodding parent who is sitting comfortably with his/her laptop, drinking a still hot skinny decaf latte and enjoying a still hot toasted tea-cake. What parenting skills do they have anyway.
- You will be forced to use the toilets. There is a very real reason why we all beg our children to empty their bladders before they leave the house. Sticky, smelly, stained toilet seats plus little hands. Say. No. More.
- You will lose your child beneath the balls, fishing out instead a smelly old sock or a half-sucked lolly. The Play Centre offers a multitude of options for misplacing a child. Use this piece of information at your own discretion. But be warned, The Play Centre is simply teaming with judgmental parents, nannies, grandparents, caregivers and potential paedophiles. Now is not the time or the place to accidentally on purpose leave your child behind.
- Finally, you will be at the centre of a punch up between an evil, predatory child’s parents and their prey – who, more often than not, belongs to your perfect, angelic, blame-free brood. Forget play zone. At this point, you are seriously done here and it is time to get the hell of the War Zone.
It will come of no surprise then, that having spent what felt like twelve hours trapped inside the dark, smelly hell-pit of play, and having been saturated of all resources mental, physical and financial, Mummy remembered why she doesn’t frequent The Play Centre full stop, never mind on rainy weekends. Needless to say, Mummy had never been more excited to return home to These Four Walls and the mess and mayhem contained within them. At least she could be sure of one thing: the cleanliness of her own home. There were no suspect smells, no wee on the walls and no faeces on the floor. But then again, with Three Terror Tots ruling the roost, who the hell can be sure of anything…?