Friday, June 3, 2011

The Cootie Coated Labyrinth of Doom AKA: McDonalds Play Place

So, like I mentioned the other day, Wednesday was Elyse’s third birthday. In the morning, we went to their friend Casey’s house where the kids had a blast jumping in Casey’s little pool, playing in the sandbox, and hurling water balloons at each other. After a few hours it was time to leave and on the way home we decided to stop at Mc Donald’s for lunch. Well, I wanted to stop at the grocery store first to pick up Elyse’s birthday cupcakes and then run through the drive thru, but Aaron and his expert negotiating skills convinced me that we should go into Mc Donald’s to eat, “cause you know Mom, it IS Elyse’s birthday and all.” Thanks for the guilt trip Aaron : )

Anyway, I reluctantly pulled into a parking spot and went over the usual rules and regulations of eating in a public place with Mommy who is currently without backup and emotionally fragile. They both agreed that they would listen and behave, and so with a deep breath, we clasped hands and headed for Mickie D’s.

Now, Aaron has been asking to eat in the Playplace for quite some time. In his whole entire six and a half years of life I have let him eat in there once. I know, I know, Mommy’s a big ole bitch, but the thoughts of what could be lurking in those brightly colored, plastic tubes is the stuff that nightmares are made of. I once read an article about how filthy it is in those things and that besides a host of other germs, they have even found poo in some of them. POO!!!! Human feces!!!! Holy crap… literally.

But again, Aaron and his expertly honed negotiating skills pulled the birthday card one more time and got me to take them to the Playplace to eat. It is worth mentioning here that Elyse had never been in there. So we get inside and get situated to start eating and I have to admit that I was amazed at the restraint that they were able to muster while sitting there eating their nuggets. Their eyes were all sparkly and glazed over. Their minds were swirling with excitement while they took in every inch of the plastic monstrosity that sat before them, but somehow they held it together and ate their lunch first. I was incredibly proud of them for that and praised them for it repeatedly.

Once they had eaten their lunch, they asked me if they could go play. I pushed down the urge to suit them up in full on HAZMAT gear and told them to go have fun. In a flash they were gone; Aaron running ahead and Elyse following closely behind him. I checked my phone to see where we stood on time and to start counting down the hour that I was going to allow for the total and complete contamination. Maybe I should call the pediatrician for a round of antibiotics right now.

Less than five minutes in I heard Elyse screaming. I ran over to the Playplace just in time to see her crawling out of the opening, tears pouring down her cheeks. Aaron was close behind and he informed me that “some kid” hit Elyse. Now I’m not sure how true this is, but Elyse was so hysterical that I couldn’t get anything out of her, so I just took Aaron’s word for it and went to sit down with Elyse to plot revenge console my child.

I could tell that it was killing her to not be inside with her brother, and so after a few minutes I asked her if she wanted to go back inside. She shook her head yes and started for the tunnel. She set one foot inside and started sobbing again. Back to the table we went. By this time, Aaron came back out to check on his baby sister which she completely ate up because in her eyes he is all that and then some. He hugged her and then ran back inside. Aaron’s disappearance sparked another round of tears. It seemed like in her three year old head, once Aaron was inside, he was transported to another dimension and would never be heard from again. At least that’s what the look of total terror plastered all over her face suggested.

She got it together and once again made her way to the tunnel to find her brother. This time she made it through a few obstacles before she started to melt down. This went on for a long, long time. She would go in, sob, and come out. Aaron would wave to her from a tower high up in the top of the maze to prove that he still existed and when he went out of site, she would sob.

Finally, I decided that we had had more than enough and set about to start the process of leaving. Aaron was fantastic and came right out when I asked him too. I bet that total compliance is a side effect from whatever he contracted while inside those tunnels.

We said so long to the Playplace and went to get the cupcakes.