Thursday, July 22, 2010

In the words of Reba, "What do you say?"

I absolutely love the nearest (to us) McDonald's with a Playplace. What's not to love? besides the fact that 7 out of 10 times, my kids leave there with pink-eye I get to sit in a cool, air-conditioned space sipping my caramel frappe and don't have to listen to the kids fighting over the same toy or the video game remote or who's turn it is to ride the 4-wheeler and why the other one has to *gasp* "ride his lame bike while waiting his turn to ride the 4-wheeler" which leads into: "why didn't we buy two 4-wheelers" and eventually into: "why was I even born?"

Nope, at McDonald's it's all peace and quiet...minus the screams of dozens of germy kids racing after each other and the screech of their elbow skin peeling off as they slide down the slide. I know that we're going to be there for a minimum of an hour, and I'm okay with that. To sit in a chair without any little people sitting ON me. I can just sit, and sip my frappe, and dip my french fries in that teeny little cup of delicious sweet'n'sour sauce and watch the world kids go by in peace. *wipes drool*

I've yet to bring my laptop in and read a few blogs or harvest some crops using the free wi-fi served daily. I'm working up to it. The laptop was even in it's bag IN the car last time, but at the last minute, a guilty little angel fluttered onto my shoulder and I left it in the car. The angel told me I didn't want to be "that" mom...little does she know...

But really, I saw my oldest's eyes light up the second he saw the laptop bag in the car. His little angel devil told him he'd get: a trip to McDonald's, a frappe, playing in the playplace, AND get to log onto OurWorld?! Score. *Ahem*...not. So I pretty much deduced that bringing a laptop to McD's would be the same as trying to use it during daylight hours at home...with 3-5 little devils angels tapping me on the shoulder wanting their turn to use it. Nah, I think I'm good with just letting them race their little hearts out for a couple hours and napping on the car ride home.

So good, in fact, that I thought to myself, "Self, why don't we try out a new McDonald's with a (looks like from the outside) bigger Playplace?" And lemme just say, if it was that little angel who put that idea in my head, the next time I see her, I'm going to squash her ass like the pesky little mosquito she has become.

As we roll up to the new location, I already felt dread.  {Heed that feeling, Future Me, and DRIVE THRU next time!}  There were no parking spots on the same side as the building's entrance.  My many men and myself would be dodging drive-thru traffic to get inside.  "Deep breath, woman," my angel said to me, "you can do this." Bitch.

Once inside, our new venture was already met with groans from the peanut gallery.  The playplace was NOT in fact bigger than our "usual" spot...it was atleast 3 times smaller.  Fanfreakintastic.  And when we finally ordered and turned to sit, there were no tables in the play area, we'd have to sit in the regular dining room.  More groans (mostly by me that time).  We sat and divvied out food and drink, only to spy a family leaving the playplace, so we regrouped the food onto the tray and entered.

Within seconds, they were in stocking feet and off and running...their lukewarm semi-nutritious-if-they-had-actually-OPENED-the-apples-that-is meals were long forgotten.  There was a new area to explore: an under age 3 area with some musical instruments and a piano slide that made noise when they slid down.  It was pretty cute, for the littles, anyway.

The the two bigs, on the other hand, not so impressed.  They went down the ONE big kid slide ONCE...and had nothing else to do, except sit across from me eyeing my frappe and I could see the "why were we even born" conversation brewing in their sweet little rolling eyes.

To my left, I saw "that" mom...the one barely checked into her little girl who was running wildly barefoot up the piano slide because searching youtube for the perfect video to place on her facebook page was so much more important.  {Note to Future Me: no laptop at McD's...I think...}

Behind her was a family of 4 who's oldest boy had been playing on a built-in and provided by McDonald's video game screen/table their entire visit.  My judgemental mind: How delightful...you bring your overweight kid to fatty McD's and instead of having him burn a few calories running up the slide the wrong way, he's playing a video game...that McDonald's provided!  At least my kids aren't playing video games here...

And it was as if my kids were reading my thought bubbles because next thing I knew, I heard a tremendously high pitched squeak that would have made dogs howl.  What the... Oh, it was just my kid pedaling on the only other video game in the room that was a bicycle race game that you had to pedal to make it go.  Sure, he can pedal THAT bike, but not his own at home?!  Maybe I can squeeze enough grease out of this cheeseburger to lube up those pedals...

Just as the Call of the Wild calls to...well...the wild...that squeaking called to the rest of my boys.  All five of them, in their stocking feet wanted on that god-forsaken bicycle game N.O.W. And there would be no good manners used in their motives to get on it.  When the game would freeze and one of them would get sick of waiting for it to reload, they'd move on and one or two of the other vultures boys would wrestle their way onto the seat and pedal those squeaky pedals like there was a caramel frappe waiting for them at the finish line (if there was, I might have tolerated the noise and fighting, btw).

But alas, there wasn't a frappe in sight, and my own was drained.  I tried, I honestly tried...I tried encouraging them to ask for a turn from their brother politely, I tried giving them each "one more race," or one more minute, I tried picking up the refusing-to-cooperate-one and talked him into asking for a turn and waiting another minute, while I tried getting down to the other one's level and talking him into giving up the bike for a minute.  I tried, damnit.  But nothing worked.

I looked around at the now cold, barely touched food, the annoyed parents trying to usher their kids away from the bike line which had since become a wrestling match, and declared "We're leaving. We came, we saw, we fought, we tried, we're outta here."

Cue the tears, refusing screams, tantrums, and throwing self onto the floor.  The kids even cried a little bit themselves...

I rushed to the shoe rack to grab the shoes for the heathens toddlers needing my assistance, trailed by one of them grabbing my leg and yelling, "No, don't make us leave!" Back at the bike, I put shoes on one of the crying/wrestling ones and turned to mash them onto another's feet, only to turn back and find the first had taken his off in protest.

Which leads me to my post title..."What do you say...in a moment like this?"  When you're the other parent on the outside looking in at this woman who you've never seen before, who seemingly does not have her kids under control, and probably isn't fit to be a mom...not nearly as fit as "that" mom posting about "that noisy family" on her facebook status.  

Lucky for the onlookers, noone said anything, and they all averted eye contact--lest their heads be dipped in sweet'n'sour and washed down with frappe.

Ok, Ok, I'm kidding about that last part.  The truth was, I was mortified!  I can't even remember the last time I felt I had no control over my kids, if ever...not in a public situation such as this.  What those parents must have thought of me...of us! Pfffffffffft.  I know what I would have been thinking!  {To Future Me:  just remember, it might be another mom's first time dealing with this situation also if you see it sometime...}

So I did what any well-medicated Mom would do.  I emptied the trays in the trash, calmly wiped down the table, shoved the shoes in my purse, announced "I'm leaving, you can come with me if you want to, or you can go home with another family!" (the other parents probably would have helped them all with their shoes and carried them out to my car for me at that point...and gave me gas money to boot LOL). I scooped up the most ornery child of mine, and left the 1/3-of-a-Playplace-and-FYI-adding-2-video-games-doesn't-make-up-the-other-2/3rds-m'kay?!  The rest of my little ducklings darlings followed behind...still protesting.

And never again will I betray my beloved close-to-us McDonald's with a Playplace (and NO video games).

*Lesson learned*

5 comments:

Jill said...

The pink eye thing had me laughing! So funny because now that I have kids of my own I look at most (but not all) other kids as total germ balls.

Kelly said...

Ha ha ha....you had me at McDonalds....

Tashmica said...

Ugh, I am surrounded by penises too! This post I can so relate too. I try not to use technology when we are supposed to be enjoying a play area but I can't not sleep forever! A

ll children make you look crazy. I just wish they would lend me the itinerary.

kim earley said...

I totally relate!!! Between me and the hubby, we have 7 children... 1 girl (now grown, and about to be a mom herself), and 6 boys!! My dog and cat are girls, just to TRY to even things out a bit! LOVE, Love, love this post!!! I'll be a regular follower now.

the mrs. said...

It's not your child, it's the place :).
Just kidding.
Now when I ask my little one what he'd like for lunch when we're out and about, he replies, "a toy."
Oh man!
I feel for you.

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