“You couldn’t pay me money to get within 10 feet of one of those places!” This, from one of my dearest partners in crime, as I
begged asked her to accompany me to the local Indoor Play Place on a recent rainy summer afternoon. Even a promised future pedicure couldn’t get her to budge on her decision to stay home. She said she’d rather be trapped in the house with her crazed preschoolers.
No one, not a single friend, could be convinced to go. It was like I was asking them to skydive over Ukraine. But, I’m always up for an adventure; so, off I went, all by myself, with Sweetgirl and her friend.
Ten minutes after our entrance to The Place, I realized the gravity of my mistake.
Just thirty minutes later, sweetgirl and her friend grew bored with their dozens of new friends and wanted me to navigate my way up a maze of ropes and bouncy nets to the dark black twisty slide. I may or may not have yelled, “You’ll never take me alive!”
After breaking up about 32 different “She doesn’t want to play with me” skirmishes and drinking the stiffest cup of coffee I could find on the premises, I checked my watch. Surely, SURELY, it had to be close to time to wrap this up?!
Not even close.
We hadn’t even been there for a full hour yet.
Not too long after that, I’m pretty sure that I hallucinated my pillow dancing toward me and calling out for me. I spent the rest of the time trying to sit very still despite a serious eye twitch and feet itching to be out of socks and back into flip-flops.
Two agonizing hours later, I was experiencing that moment when you roll up to The Ice Cream Place to deliver on a promise made in the heat of the moment to two six-year-old girls who needed to be bribed to leave the
7th ring of hell indoor play place.
Thankfully, God saw fit to inspire the invention of the Ice Cream Drive Thru.
He is a good God that way.
“What flavor of ice cream would you like, sweetie,” I asked Sweetgirl’s friend as we pulled up to place our order.
“I’d like a Big One, please.”
“Oh, okay then. And, what flavor would you like your Big One to be,” I tried again.
“The Big One. You know, that looks like this,” she tried to show me with her hands.
She was trying to be helpful.
Not one bit helpful.
Sweetgirl, who always orders “Banilla” piped up at this point. I was so ever-lovin-grateful, and was hoping she’d shed some light on what this other child meant.
“Mama, she wants the Big White One! Like the kinds I like. You know, mama,” she informed me, like I’d forgotten my ABC’s or something.
And I’ll bet you a dollar that you will not believe what came out of that sweet friend’s mouth next.
“Yeah, what she said.”
Oh. My. Stars.
Soothed by ice cream, I pulled up into the little friend’s driveway to deliver her to her parent. She had a ring of ice cream around her mouth and was fairly bouncing out of the car.
“Wow! You’re a brave one. You must be exhausted,” the kind mother attempted to encourage.
Yeah, what she said.