Chuck E’s House

There once was a time when we frequented Chuck E Cheese on a fairly regular basis. We put up with the crowds, the screaming, the crappy pizza and the faint smell of vomit, so our kids could play the games and attend friends’ birthday parties. Heck, we held a few of our own birthday parties there. Now that we live a little farther away from town, we don’t make it to Chuck E’s house that often. It’s not that my kids don’t ask. They do. Every. Time. We. Drive. By.

Since my kindergartener’s birthday was this past week, I told him he could invite a friend and we’d take him with us to Chuck E Cheese. This was a major source of excitement all week long and a great motivator to make sure things got done. “Don’t throw a fit. Remember, we’re going to Chuck E’s this Friday!”

It didn’t hit me until just about quitting time on Friday that it would be me, my three kids and my son’s best friend… and no other adult supervision. This is about the time panic set in. I began asking around to my coworkers, jokingly at first, to see if anyone wanted to join me for an ounce of mayhem. No takers. Then, I turned to Facebook. Please, oh please, won’t someone come along for the fun? I’ll even buy you crappy pizza! No cigar. So, I pushed on. 

We arrived at Chuck E Cheese’s around 6:15pm. Mistake one. Rush hour at the Rat. Mistake two? Arriving at 6:15pm on a Friday. Oh, and let’s not forget mistake three: arriving at 6:15pm on a Friday the day after everyone gets their PFD. What was I smoking?! There was no backing out now. My son’s little friend was supposed to meet us there soon. I couldn’t bail now.

We walked inside. As I expected, it was total chaos. A group of militant soldiers in training (okay, it was a soccer team) were chanting and shouting some sort of team spirit commands. There were tables of birthday celebrations underway. We headed toward the food cashier. I held the hood of my toddler’s coat in one hand while I attempted to pay with the other. Then, I had to balance the plates, cups, tokens and children as we navigated upstairs. As anyone with a toddler knows, stairs can be a lonnnnng process. He’s in the “me do it” stage. It took a while.

Upstairs, we found a table. I dished out a handful of tokens and they were off. I hollered out one ground rule: you must stay upstairs. My daughter went one way, my son went another. The toddler was in overdrive. He ran up to every game, sitting in the chairs, turning the steering wheels, pushing the buttons and sporadically crying. Overall, he was happy.

After a while, my son’s friend showed up with his mom. God love this woman, she stayed with me for the entire time! (League of Extraordinary Moms!) We herded the children downstairs to get drinks. By this point, they were parched from all that playing. It took a bit to coax them back upstairs and away from all the bells and whistles of downstairs. It wasn’t two seconds into the ascent that my toddler spilled his juice. His red juice. I scooped him up and carried him the rest of the way upstairs.

Back at the table, my toddler spilled his juice again. He was sticky. I was sticky. The table was sticky. No amount of napkins would do the trick. I gave in to the stickiness. Later, he dumped the juice all over himself in the car leaving behind a red stained torso that had me, at first, fearing he had internal injuries.

We ate pizza. We played games and opened presents. I tried to watch my children as best I could. We eventually decided to play downstairs where I played the game of “Who’s a parent and who’s a pedophile?” Yick. The entire concept of shoving small children into one major arena like that freaks me out.

It was a complete and utter madhouse, but it ultimately began to calm down. We cashed in our tickets for great prizes like refined sugar, I mean Fun Dip. The other mom and I gathered up all the belongings (although we lost my daughter’s coat somewhere along the way) and made it to the cars. The kids didn’t even cry when we left. I like to count that as a major blessing.

We survived Chuck E Cheese. We were sticky, exhausted and overstimulated, but we survived. I have no plans to return until the next birthday party invite from some other kid. Until then, I’m going to avoid driving by the building at all costs.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. KalleyC
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 23:06:46

    Bless your heart for going through with Chuck E. Cheeses. I walked past that place before I had my daughter, and I vowed that I will never step foot in that place. It’s great for the kids, but from what I hear, it’s not that great for the adults.

    I’m glad that you survived it though, that place has been known to take many parents out.

    Reply

  2. Tara
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 23:57:21

    We’re having Morgan’s 5th bday party @ ChuckECheese but it’s at 9:30 in the morning…love it cuz no one is there & it’s one time they can have pizza for breakfast. But I remember how crazy it was at the CEC in Anc!

    Reply

  3. Momx5kidz
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 01:54:30

    That place was invented to make SANE parents INSANE!! We took the kids (once) to a B-Day party for a friend and we have never gone back! Most of the parents there are as rude as the kids…never, never, never again!

    Reply

  4. Momx5kidz
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 02:06:21

    Oh, I forgot to share a tip we learned early on: (we had 4 little ones that were very close in age) We put them ALL in red t-shirts and gray sweats (even my daughter) It was easier to do a “kid count” at Parks, McDonaldland (only early mornings on weekends) and the Zoo.

    Reply

  5. Tara
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 18:26:00

    you play “Who’s a parent and who’s a pedophile?” too?? i always hoped that the ppl at the door at chuck e cheese’s would help filter out the creepers. : / we have only gone there a couple of times. my son prefers bouncin bears a million times over, and i do, too, honestly.

    Reply

  6. Momx5kidz
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 23:02:47

    I have responded to several of your entries. You only respond to the same few people (a couple of whom seem to be your personal friends) so, why not just open a facebook so you can talk to only those friends? I had recommened your Blog to several people. I will now tell them it is a waste of their time. This is my last entry. But, I’m sure you won’t miss me….

    Reply

  7. BKind
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 20:55:49

    I was stunned to read Momx5kidz post. All I would like to say is that the mom who writes this blog is obviously a busy single mom of 3 kids and I would in no way expect her to reply to everyone. No blogger could do that. There are many times when she doesn’t reply to anyone who comments. This is just a fun blog that moms can share their stories and thoughts. I don’t know what is going on in your life right now, but I hope it gets better so that small things such as this do not matter so much to you and cause you to ruin someone else’s day with your unkind words. If you had an issue with the author of this blog, posting it for all to see is not the appropriate way to go about it. On another note, I appreciate Mom Land’s stories, and have had a lot of laughs reading them (and I don’t know her personally, so this isn’t one of her friends defending her). So thank you for sharing with us. 🙂 And no, I don’t expect you to respond to this post…I am a busy mom too so I understand. 🙂

    Reply

  8. Clarice U (@hunnyakaclarice)
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 19:21:47

    I swear I had all the intentions in the world with helping you but rishawn wasn’t budging he gets tired of that place I take him there at least 2x a week while ricky is doing his homework. Glad it worked out 🙂 I totally agree with Bknd it’s hard to be a mom period…let alone work a full time job with three kids all in different stages and have a blog having a toddler alone is enough for me for now anyways 🙂 To the blog readers if she responds she responds if not don’t lose sleep over it. If she responded to everyone’s comments she’d never have time to be mother her kids which means no crazy stories for us to read.

    Reply

  9. Amy
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 01:50:49

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s a little weird when a blog owner responds to every single post anyhow? Who has the time? 🙂 I always thought comments were just for fun, or to supplement a post…I’ve never expected a response. I wanted one, I’d email directly! Anyhow, fun blog, love hearing your stories!

    Reply

  10. Trackback: The Chuck E Cheese Phenomenon « Mom Land

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