Over the weekend, we decided to take Lily to Chuck E. Cheese Pizza and have a grand family time. We did have lots of fun, but I discovered a new pet peeve. My new pet peeve? Parents who don't watch their kids. Now, I realize that lots of parents just let their kids run free at Chuck E. Cheese (my paranoid self kept going back and checking on our stuff, which amazingly wasn't touched!) but there are some kids that need supervision. The following are some observations that I made.
When we first arrived and were seated at our table, we let Lily go and play on the slide/jungle gym play area thing that was right across from our table. Casey and I chatted, awaiting our pizza (which really was quite tasty compared to memories), and I was kind of watching the kids around us too. There was this little Hispanic boy (which I later had issues with, another story included) and a little black girl standing at this really simple train game, where you basically hit these buttons and light stuff up. The little boy couldn't have been more than 4 years old (I later thought he was younger, by the way) and this girl was probably around 8 or 9. He was having fun, banging on the buttons, and the machine was spitting out tickets. Like I said, simple game. The boy was completely oblivious to the tickets. The girl, however, was literally yelling at him, telling him "Push this! Push this!" and trying to shove him over to run the controls, despite the fact it had been HIS token. And then, the game was over. It stopped. The girl tore off the tickets and ran. I turned to Casey: "Did she just steal his tickets?" The more I thought about it, I KNEW that girl had taken his tickets. I didn't say anything. It wasn't my place, but I'll be damned if I let anyone do that to my kid. The pizza came and we ate. Yum. Then, it was off to game land. (Oh, they got rid of the ball pit, by the way... must have been all those urban legends about hypodermic needles and snakes in the ball pit.)
Skee ball. I LOVE skee ball. I think it's fun and a good way to get tickets and great way to waste a crap load of tokens. Lily had never played skee ball before, so Casey and I took it upon ourselves to teach her. We had a blast. Finally, Lily played her own game, with Casey and I taking turns in the lane next to her. We had to stop the same girl from taking Lily's tickets and I stopped this little boy, probably about 3 years old, from taking one of my skee balls, trying to throw it down my lane! I grabbed his hand before he threw the ball and told him "No, this is my game. You have to wait your turn. You can get in line." The kid looked at me completely clueless and then turned and wandered away. He returned a few times, trying to do the same thing. The last time, I finally told him "You need to go find your mommy." He disappeared, and I'm assuming, found his mommy.
Now, back to the little Hispanic kid. There is this kind of roller coaster simulator that you can ride, fits two people. Lily and I got in line while Casey watched (this was the second go around). There were two kids already in the machine, so we had to wait our turn. While in line, here comes this little Hispanic kid (the same one from the train), trying to shove his way to the front of the line. I grabbed him by the arm and told him that he had to wait at the back of the line. Again, he tried to push past Lily and myself! I grabbed him more firmly and pulled him back, again explaining that this was not allowed. Then, he got down on all fours and tried to crawl under the gate to get into the machine! That's when I picked him up, he fought me, trying to crawl under again, I picked him up, walked two feet away and... WHIPPED OUT THE SPANISH! I YELLED AT A KID IN SPANISH!!! (Obviously the English wasn't working!) I told him that this was unacceptable, that you don't cut in line, you have to wait your turn and that if he tried to do it again I wouldn't let him on the ride at all and that he needed to go to his mother and tell her exactly what he did. NOW. The kid looked at me, wide eyed, and slowly and sorrowfully ran away. Insert me flexing mom muscles here. I even said "YEAH!" Casey stood there, grinning at me, and said "You yelled at that kid! In SPANISH!" It was awesome.
It's funny, I describe myself as a very laid back parent. I do this only because Lily is such a good kid and doesn't get into much trouble. I think the worst thing that I've disciplined her for in the past two weeks was the fact that she didn't put a movie away when she was done with it. Oooh! Such a horrible kid! (That was sarcasm, by the way.) It has been a big adjustment for me to deal with other kids. Especially when their parents aren't around. If Lily has friends over, I have to parent differently. I have to be more strict about the screaming (my kid is a screamer when you get other kids involved), running around the house, general mischief that I would otherwise let slip under the radar. I have to also be more vigilant with the crayons because while Lily knows better than to try and color on the walls, some other kid may think "Well, this isn't my house..." And then there are the kids like the one at Chuck E. Cheese that tried everything in his power (and I applaud his tenacity, despite it's annoyance) to get through that gate to ride that ride. I can only hope that shows how driven he'll be in life to make something out of himself. I can also only hope that I taught him a lesson and he'll think twice before doing something like cutting in line again.
I also think I'm being a little optimistic about the situation, but then again, I've always been quite optimistic about stuff.
After Chuck E. Cheese we went and meandered a bit around town. We hit the mall, toy store, and finally went home. It was a really fun day. Sunday was filled with dull stuff like cleaning out of the cars, oil changes, etc. Mickie and Jason brought me a cake because I had mentioned that I was craving cake the other day. She's so funny. I guess she's getting me back for bringing her a giant box of popsicles over the summer when she was pregnant with Thomas. Friends are wonderfully silly things to have and I love them all.
OH! And I really must go back to Chuck E. Cheese again. Why put myself through that torture again? Two words: VANILLA COKE!!!!!!! Yes, Chuck E. Cheese has Vanilla Coke and it's a wonderful, wonderful drink and I love it more than any other drink in the world! Yes!