Bennett was invited to his cousin's birthday last weekend. Rocky was so excited to introduce his son to one of his favorite childhood establishments, Chuck E. Cheese. I however, was dreading it, annoying music, pushing kids, dancing robots dressed like overgrown rodents. Taking your child to one of these suburban hyperstimulation zones is one of those parental necessities like pinning your kid down for stitches that I hoped could be delayed a few more years.
My child is two. His favorite things to do involve cleaning, cooking, building and books. He doesn't understand complex games like punching monsters, dunking ducks or pummeling skee ball into tiny targets. He is nervous around strangers and afraid of people wearing masks. Despite family he adores and cake(!), the entire enterprise seemed like a disaster in the making.
He watched his dad put a token in the machine one time and then he was able to do it himself everytime after. He picked out which age innappropriate games he wanted to try, waiting patiently for his turn, and then ripped the tickets out when he conquered the monsters. He clapped with gusto when the giant mouse appeared and helped sing the songs for the birthday kids.
He loved it and I think we have to go back. But I will do almost anything to make him that happy again. And again.