9.30 am Rule one. We do not talk about Soft Play.
Actually that's a load of bollocks because Soft Play is ALL we've talked about ALL morning. It's week two of the school holidays, it's raining and despite Father Christmas delivering what looks like the entire contents of Toys R Us, your child is bored. Soft Play is probably the only thing to do today that won't mean me having to arrange an overdraft to pay for it.
Spend several minutes being angry with myself for being the only Mum in Cheshire without a family pass to Chester Zoo, then start to get a bit teary about S being an only child. Start to spiral a bit then, start a thread on Mumsnet asking if we're causing her irreparable damage with her lack of siblings.
Blame Mr O for lack of Chester Zoo family pass.
10.30 am Text S's friends to see if they would like to attend Soft Play, sadly they're busy, probably at Chester Zoo. Mutter again about lack of sibling and Zoo family pass but Mr O already looks like he's lost the will to live so leave it there.
We're about to go to Soft Play on his day off give the man a break.
11.00 am About to leave when I see ProudMumof5 has commented on the Mumsnet thread. Oh. She says I am actually causing S irreparable damage with her lack of siblings?Decide not to get into this right now with a stranger on the Internet because we need to leave for Soft Play. Remind myself not to revisit the thread after a Pinot Grigio later....
11.15 am Debate which Soft Play is best. I don't want to go to the one in the pub which smells of pee and has sticky floors. Mr O wants to go to the one with sticky floors and smells of pee, probably because it's in a pub. S wants to go to the one with ALL the crappy arcade games to obviously ensure we spend as much money as humanly possible.
12.10 pm Arrive at Soft Play. Eyes take a while to adjust to the florescent lights and bright colours. pay £££ to get into what is essentially somewhere to cage your child for a couple of hours in relative safety whilst you drink tea that looks like dishwater and try to avoid getting drawn into any Soft Play turf wars.
Mr O mentions something about 'popping' to B&Q, warn him if he's more than half an hour then I will leave him.
12.16 pm Manage to deal with turf war battle #1 with compassion and understanding, Encourage S and her Nemesis (AKA The boy that got down the slide in front of her ) to 'play together' rather than just stalking each other around the upper level, trying to beat each other to the slide and seeing their bums if they make eye contact with other.
12.21 pm Turf war battle #2. A lost sock, not hers but am unable to signal the boys Mum whose sock it is as she is steadfastly not making eye contact. Admire her skills. Thankfully sock is found in the ball pool. Try not to vomit as and touches something damp and slimy. Am compassionate and understanding yet again, although now a bit sweaty.
Pretty sure the kid that's watching me rummage for the sock whilst picking his nose is responsible for the damp, slimy thing.
12.30 pm Turf war #3 An errant ball that has been thrown apparently On.Purpose!
Try to reassure S that you are sure it's not been done on purpose, but secretly wonder if the kid still rummaging in his nose and staring at you from the ball pool is responsible. Probably sending a sign to keep me quiet about the damp slimy thing.
Worry this Soft Plays getting out of hand and someones is going to get taken out with a zombling.
12.32 pm Am alerted to the sudden cries for Fruit Shoots and snacks. Face is pressed up against the soft play fence drenched in sweat, sounds as if her throats been cut. Wonder if I'm actually in an episode of The Walking Dead for a moment. Text Mr O to ask if he's on his way.
12.50 pm Try to take selfie and aim to hashtag the life out of it to show how much fun we're having. Die a little bit inside.
12.57 pm Still attempting to take selfie without looking like a twat. This is apparently impossible.
1.00pm Have to forget about the selfie as turf war #4 has started, this time over a eye poking zombling. I knew it!! S asks if she can go on the arcades, happy for her to be out of the warzone and in relative safety so agree.
1.11 pm 11 minutes and £8 down on arcade games. Mr O finally appears. Am about to go nuclear on him when he distracts me with talk of a pub lunch, he knows my weak spot.Dammit.
1.25 pm Have suggested leaving to S several times but she simply runs off when we approach the soft play area, she knows we are unable to enter it without making complete twats of ourselves. Say loudly and firmly that we are leaving in 5 minutes. Knowing full well this is out of our hands.....
1.30 pm Mr O goes to the car Tell S once again that we are leaving "Right Now" She is incensed! Wants to play a bit longer with her 'Best Friend' They've spent the entire time ignoring each other or giving each other evils, but you know best friends now we're leaving.
1.45 pm Start gathering coats, bags, shoes etc to show I mean buisness about leaving. Am completely ignored.
1.48 pm Start shuffling away from the seating area saying things like "Well they're closing now" "Well we'll get locked in" S is looking at me with a mixture of pity and disgust at how pathetic these attempts are.
1.59 pm Actually start getting a bit panic stricken, and claustrophobic but then S appears and starts to put on her shoes and coat, breathe a sigh of relief. Notice Nemesis/Best friend is also leaving...
2.01 pm Finally leave. The girl behind the desks hands me the register in order to sign out. She looks a bit dead behind the eyes like me, she's seen things, she's touched more than one damp slimy thing in that ball pool. We share a moment as she presses the buzzer and the gate opens. Feel's like an episode of Bad Girls when they're leaving prison. Eyes take some time to adjust to natural light again, breathe in the fresh air. Get in the car, Mr O asks what took so long ffs.
2.15 pm Arrive for delicious pub lunch, have a wine. Feels like the taste of freedom.
4.00 pm Pub has play area. So still there, I can have wine though and the Wi-Fi is free so suck it Chester Zoo!
Soft Play - What is essentially a soft, brightly coloured cage where your child can play in relative saftey.Where someone is always gonna lose a sock, and a drive by ball throwing is bound to take place.
*Nothing against Soff Play
* ProudMummyof5 is not real I don't think and if she is totally coincidental sorry!