Oh, how about going to a soft play?
The weather has been atrocious today. It seems that a large proportion of the country has either shutdown or gone on standstill. We got up about 6.30am and it was tipping it down. This continued until about 5pm, I’ve not seen rain quite like this for some time. Yet by 7pm it was glorious sunshine. At least the house didn’t leak today. It leaked last week, it happens occasionally when the rain is heavy and in a particular direction. It drips into the lounge, instead of a bowl to catch the water I’ve taken to placing a large house plant underneath the dripping, just plain lazy.
There’s a really nice playgroup nearby on a Friday morning so we went there. I know we could have put our waterproofs on and gone out in the rain, but I really couldn’t face it today. We came home for lunch, rain still pouring.
I’m not very good at entertaining the boys when we’re stuck indoors, their age difference, whilst only 18months does mean that their abilities are quite different. The house ends up looking like this, mess I can deal with, skating on Lego I can do without.
Or sometimes it looks like this, or a variation on these themes. We could have done jigsaws or games, but most likely The Farmer would sit on them, whilst trying to persuade The Farmer to get off, The Fireman would probably get bored and wander off. Baking is quite fun, but I have to pick the right recipe. Recently granola has been quite good, but I have to be quick to get all the ingredients in or The Farmer starts eating them all, handfuls of dried fruit, then handfuls of nuts, he’s finding it funny by this point, then he stuffs in a handful of dry porridge oats, ha, ha! He won’t do that again in a hurry!
Today I just had to get out. The Farmer was very definite about his decision not to go out jumping in puddles, I was easily persuaded too. So I thought, how about I take them to a soft play? Blood pressure immediately rises, sudden cold sweats, body starts twitching.
I absolutely HATE soft play centres. Now please don’t think that I’m some soft play snob, I really do think they are great places for little ones to play occasionally. I know my boys love going to them. It’s just that I can’t cope with it, they are just so stressful. Two little children with different capabilities, going in different directions and getting stuck every few minutes is not my ideal trip out. The noise is horrendous the floor is disgustingly sticky and they stink. Going to a soft play is great to have a break from thinking how to entertain them, but for me it’s not a time to just ignore them. Unfortunately I often find that some parents do exactly this. Whilst at the centre I see a child spitting on rides, another throwing the balls from the ball pit onto the roof of the climbing frame and others being really mean to other children. Thankfully there are lots of nice children too. I’ve always been slightly paranoid at these places where my boys go out of sight. From the age of 5months The Fireman has been a ‘breath holder’. It’s not happened for a long time now, but i’m still paranoid. On a few breath holding occasions I’ve called for an ambulance, it is the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. So when he’s out of sight for a while I panic. On a different occasion The Fireman disappeared, I found him with his legs stuck in the safety netting. I also remember the time when shortly before The Farmer was born, I took The Fireman to a soft play, word of warning, do not try and post yourself through those roller type of things whilst heavily pregnant.
Today’s soft play was quite a small place, but was also full those horrid tacky £1 per ride cars. Why would I want pay for these things after I’ve already paid to get in?
The worst thing is when you do pay for these rides (which I’ve never done), they hardly move, I reckon The Farmer could rock them more than they move on their own. If I really wanted my boys to play on these things, I’d just take them to Tesco’s foyer, there’s loads there and it’s free to get in, I might even get a chance to pick up a bit of shopping.
So was it less stressful than getting our waterproofs on and going out in the rain? Probably not. Did the boys enjoy it more than going out in the rain? They enjoyed it, but would probably enjoy the rain too. It’s also cost me 4 times more than going to the nearest country park. Oh well, next time there’s rain we’ll be out there.
The downpour also meant the Colin Potter 10k race I was due to run tonight has been cancelled. A large part of the course and car park are underwater. I feel very sorry for them. I imagine a lot of hard work went into organising it, fingers crossed it’ll be re-arranged soon.