Which is how I found myself spending Saturday afternoon at a local Chuck E Cheese with the fruit of my loins and about 150 other peoples crotch fruit, plus a man (or woman) in a furry mouse costume, robotic animals on the stage and the birthday child, who surprisingly enough has been the main tormentor of my son this school year. In an even more shocking turn of events, this wasn't a party that the entire class was invited to, it was a select few and I can't say I'm not perplexed by the selection process.
The birthday child approached us when we arrived, and finally located the party table which was mixed in amid several other children also celebrating their birthday and parents who are less than helpful and kids who when running around in a place like that they all look the same, did not say hello to either of us instead he just demanded "Which one is your gift for me?" as he pointed to the overflowing gift table. His mother apologized, introduced herself and gave us the rundown.
Here's the biggest issue with
There were plenty of other adults in the immediate area, yet not one stopped to pick up the coins or ask if she was okay. They all just ignored everything around them, sometimes their own kids! What the ever loving fuck, yo?!? This girl was maybe 5 years old, but running around without an adult nearby to help her when she needed it most! Fucking parents, people.
The second issue involved my own child and some would-be ticket thieves. These kids seemed pretty slick. They came up next to my kid who was involved in a game and had a line of tickets from his previous game. The two other kids acted like they were playing the game next to my son, and then ever so slick reached for MY kid's tickets when he wasn't looking. Just as this kid was going to pull (hand clinched around the tickets, downward motion started), he looks back and sees me arms crossed over my chest looking at him (okay giving that MOM-glare every mom has), and the kid drops the tickets and says "Oh these aren't for my game", and then he looked at me mouth a gap when I say "For the game you just didn't play?! No, they certainly are not".
We had used all the tokens, exchanged the tickets earned for (hopefully non-toxic) made in China plastic crap and enjoyed the remaining party time with the birthday boy and other party guests. There was another child I knew from kiddo's class and with his mom not there, I helped him so the hostess could focus on her birthday boy. I'm less awkward around kids than adults.
Now, here's a fun little incident that almost had me find out if CEC has their own mall-jail equivalent:
When you arrive, you get a UV hand-stamp. Evidently this is to identify groups and/or parents and children who arrive together. It's apparently supposed to be waterproof, but it's not hand sanitizer proof. We used a hand sanitizer at the table before we ate, not thinking anything of it.
I was rethinking it when we approached the exit and had our hands checked with a small black-light. We didn't have the matching stamps and the oh-so loving crotch fruit of mine decided he was going to be a total ass! The braces-mouthed kid at the exit asked if we used something on our hands, I said yes and explained the hand sanitizer, and he then tries to ask crotch fruit if he knew who I was. This is where I started to realize I might see CEC-jail: my crotch fruit starts saying "I don't know!", every time a question was asked of him. I tried explaining it was very important that he tell the kid who I was, because I was about to meet the inside of the naughty car, and crotch fruit looks at me and says "I DON'T KNOW!". I turned to braces-mouth, calm as could be and say, "May I ask him a different way?", and thankfully he agreed. I asked kiddo "If you want to get my attention, what do you call me?", and he looks at me and says "MOOOOMMMMMMY!", I looked at the employee and he said "I'm good with that", the woman who was very patiently waiting behind us said "Yep, that's her kid.".
I left and we talked about the situation on the drive home.
Holy shit, y'all, my kid very nearly got me sent to CEC-jail because his favorite response to any question (not related to food) is "I don't know!"