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11 June 2010

Fast Food Playhouse of Horror

So you all know I'm one of those laid-back sort of dads, right? I don't go all bonkers when Kaitlyn falls and scrapes her knee. I toss her ten feet in the air on the sidewalk confident in my ability to catch her. I don't shout when the kids in class are playing rough; besides, they probably learned it from her.

But I do draw the line at older kids trying to toss my little girl around. Case in point: the local fast food playground.

You know these things: small places where parents can presumably take their toddlers to burn off those 1,200 calorie kid's meals while Mom and Dad check email on their iPhone. Kids run around, sliding down slides, playing in make-believe cars and rolling around in ball tosses. Harmless, right?

Well, you know the rules of these places, right? Sure, they've got something on the wall about age limits, unaccompanied children, running, strangling with the balloon strings and other mumbo-jumbo that their lawyers told them to write. But you know the real rules?

There are none.

Parents scope out the prime seats on the opposite side of the glass from these human hamster farms so they can say they're watching their kid when they're really spiking their fountain drink with mini bottles of Schnapps and Absolut. In the meantime, their little terror(s) is/are running up the enclosed slide, pushing other unwatched kids down the stairs in an attempt to not be "it" in an all-out game of tag and screaming louder than their mothers during childbirth.

And you know where Kaitlyn is during all this? Huddled in the corner of the suspended-in-mid-air-race-car, frozen because she's scared out of her wits. Tonight, before the mayhem ensued, she made her way -- laughing, mind you -- up the stairs and into the hamster tunnels before a group of kids (five or six, all above age 7) came in and proceeded to climb all over the place, through every conceivable hole in the play room.

Kaitlyn was stuck up there for what seemed like forever, but was probably something like three or four minutes. I would try to guide her down one way, but there was a screaming child. Not crying screaming, just screaming for reasons only his therapist understands. I tried to direct her to the slide before not one, but three of the snot noses ran up. I looked around for some parental unit to interject, but I was the only one in the damn playroom.

I finally got her out and she looked at me and said, "I go home now." So much for the couple minutes of fun I promised her. I even asked if she wanted to play at home with Daddy, but she said no. "Lay down with my binkie," she whimpered.

So I would just like to say thanks not only to the half-dozen kids who ruined my daughter's five-minute treat for eating her dinner, but also to the parent(s) of those kids. I thought I was unassuming and aloof when it came to Kaitlyn, but you people truly take the cake.

1 comment:

  1. We had the same experience today at the children's museum in the airplane. All Gracie watned to do was play in the pilots seat and push all the buttons and then go down the slide... bbbuuuuttt there were three or four snot nosed hellians in the cockpit that refused to let her play. We waited for about 5 minutes then I convinced her that we could go down teh slide one to have 2 kids INSIDE the slide climbing up and down and playing so that she coudlnt even go down the damn slide. I was extremely irrate when i had to escort her whimpering down the steps because she didnt get to play due to the ignorant morons that should never have become parents in the first place sitting god knows where tweeting or facebooking while their children run amuck! Infuriating. And we wonder how so many kids are kidnapped everyday in the US.

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