Jesus said that "greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his life for his friend."
I think I did this in a pretty major way today.
(and on a side note, I have a picture exactly like this of Chuck E. and some random kid I've never seen before. She asked me to take her picture and then never even wanted to see it, just walked away. I would rather avoid lawsuits so I will not post it on the web.)
I have talked about this establishment before.
It is not on my bucket list. It's not even on my dustpan list.
My oldest child is on her very first trip without mom and dad this week. She was thrilled and is staying with my sister and her family and my parents for a few days halfway across the country.
In the meantime, I have two little girls still at home who are feeling rather miffed at being left out. Big sisters kinda do get to do everything. I should know as a middle child myself.
And so, to ease their pain, I indulged them in a very special treat. After bribing them with the promise of a surprise on our three errands, I revealed the magical news that we were on our way to see the big rat. The one and only.
A Mr. Chuck E. Cheese's himself.
The van erupted in squeals of delight and proclamations about me being the best mommy in the universe as we headed toward that reprehensible place. It is a place which braver moms than I have attempted and failed. A place created by someone who hates parents.
As we walked in, I couldn't help but notice two things:
1. the clientele
2. the kind of disturbing looks on the faces of most of the children.
First, let's discuss the patrons who tend to frequent Chuck E.'s. I can make this very brief and give you a fairly accurate mental picture. The men were wearing wife beaters. The women were wearing spaghetti straps and had multiple tattoos in places I really shouldn't even have been able to see. The children were the unfortunate ones here, forced in the prime of their cute years to sport mullets. I don't care how adorable your kid is. You put a mullet on him or her, the game is over. You just surrendered your IQ card. Everywhere I looked I saw tragic haircuts and somewhat concerning fashion choices.
I realize this makes me sound like a total and complete snob. But honestly, when you are a man weighing in at more than 225, a skin tight white tank is maybe not the best choice.
Next, let's ponder the crazed looks I witnessed on the kids' faces. One child in particular was camped out at the Chuck E. version of a Vegas slot machine. His eyes were glazed over, his skin looked clammy and pale, and he looked as though he had been living on stale pizza and flat Coke all his life (all 6 years of it, anyway). His mullet looked a little greasy to the touch, but he was not focused on anything except the perfect positioning of the next token. The tickets were pouring out of the machine and other customers were having to go way around him in order to avoid stepping on them. Small children were lined up behind him, waiting for their chance at riches and fame. They seemed to be strategizing how they would hit it big.
Then there's the kid who simply followed around any adult she could find, hitting us up for tokens. She was cute and she was workin' it. Pigtails, rosy chubby cheeks, and a t-shirt with a rainbow on it. She had her routine down to a science. I later observed her working her magic on the prize dispenser person behind the counter.
Of course there's the kid who simply shows up after you've put a token in games like ski ball and helps himself to a few balls. Considering I am 33 years old and had left my girls riding some roller coaster ride (watching it makes me sick), I did not feel the freedom to yell at him to give back my balls. In fact, I realized I kind of looked like a predator without having my children at my side. I simply gave the remaining balls to him and went back to my job as a mother.
Of course, we must talk about the children who are cashing in their tickets. When I was a kid, this involved actual basic math skills and we all added for all we were worth, trying to figure out what piece of junk we could purchase. Nowadays, they have these fancy machines that make chomping noises and the kids simply feed the tickets into it. It does all the adding and prints out a nice little receipt for you with the total. The kids who are feeding the tickets have an almost animal ferociousness about them. Anyone coming into their territory is putting their life at risk. You do not want to come between a kid and his chomping machine. I'm serious.
And so, we concluded our time at Chuck E. Cheese's. I must say I racked up some pretty major Cool Mommy points. I plan to trade them in tonight for a couple extra hugs and kisses and maybe one of those cool sets of vampire teeth.