Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chuck E Jeez-can-I-get-a-beer?

For the longest time, I did not understand why they sell beer at Chuck E Cheese.

Then I had four kids.

I get it now.

We went there this past weekend for a birthday party. I am not a fan of the place, it is hard to keep track of four kids when there are only two adults and all four kids want to go different directions. The kids love it there, and every parent I know hates it.

I know, some of you say, "Just let them roam free! That's what Chuck E Cheese is all about!" If that is your philosophy, I respect our difference in opinion. Let me know next time I see you, and I'll smack you a good one.

It's the roaming free mentality that makes me want to drink large amounts. But I don't have time, since I am chasing my kids, and yours will eventually trip me and I would spill my beer.

So not cool.

It was the unsupervised one-year-old who was at his own one-year-old party that thought it was a good idea to climb up on Emma's Skee Ball machine while she was trying to play. I tried to gently pull him down, saying kindly, "Oh, don't climb up there sweetie, it's not safe!" and figured the parents had just lost track of him for a minute and would be coming soon. Nope. Ten minutes later I simply blocked him with my leg and told Emma to finish her game quick so we could get out of there.

It's the unsupervised children that really get to me, but not quite as much as the unruly-yet-still-supervised ones. Like when my daughter was riding the horse, and a little girl of about four tried to climb up on the horse with her while the ride was going. Emma told her to stop, but the girl insisted that she wanted to ride, so she proceeded to pinch her hard in the back in an attempt to get her off the ride. And the mother was standing right there, watching the whole thing, and never said a word. Marty said he scolded the girl, and was about two seconds away from telling the mother that she needed to control her child or he would teach his to start kicking.

Oh, and there were the kids from another birthday party that were rummaging through the gift bags at our party, checking out the goods. And their parents were watching. And didn't care.

This whole thing really scares me. And not just because I feel that I will become an alcoholic if we ever have to return to that horrible place, but what are we teaching our kids here? What is going to happen to these children that have no boundaries, no respect, and no self control? I am terrified that these kids will be going to school with my kids, and that they will be their friends and peer influences.

And what will happen to then as adults? If they have no boundaries as kids, if they have no concept of cause and effect or consequences, the government will provide consequences for them. Should we start clearing land for more jails now? Because people don't realize, in an attempt to let kids be kids, they are ruining any chance of them having a life as an adult. Period.

OK, I'll get down off my soapbox now. I'll continue to teach my kids the difference between right and wrong and to respect other people's belongings and personal boundaries.

And I'll avoid Chuck E Cheese for a while. Honestly, if their beer is as good as their pizza, I'd pass anyway.


Unknown said...

Amen to that!!!

Stephana said...

wow guess I won't be taking my kids there......ever!!

Shell said...

I hate Chuck E. Cheese. The only way I can tolerate it is to go on a weekday, right as soon as they open, since it's not crowded then.

Snow Mommy said...

So no chance of us all going for Lily's birthday? Really? J/K

DJan said...

OMG! I had no idea that CEC was like that. Is it only that place, or are they all like that? You are so right about the need for boundaries in childhood to help them become responsible citizens. No wonder our country is going down the tubes. I am chilled by this post, Tiff.

Tracie said...

Good Lord..... I Absolutely LOVE Chuck E Cheese!!! Wonderful food, top of the line beers, and it is a fantastic safe haven , where I can let my kids run wild and not have to worry about them while I enjoy my time!!!!

And on tiop of all of that, there are all of those game tickets to win, so we can pick out incredible prizes to take home with us as well


Hmmmmmm..... who could have written this I wonder?!?!?!?!?!?!

Tiff said...

Good heavens, Gordon, are they selling crack there now, too? 'Cuz I think you've lost it! :) Of course I know who that was. You can't fool me by posting under Tracie's name. You really should get your own Blogger profile, you know... :)

Unknown said...

I agree. Too many parents not paying attention..and not just at Chuckie Cheese!

Anonymous said...

Amen! I couldn't agree more and it DRIVES me CRAZY parents who either think it's a break for them and sit and have a drink while "their kids have fun" or they are the ones Marty had an experience with and sit there and laugh as their kid tries to boot your kid off of a ride!!! Thank you for getting on your soap box!!! At least I don't feel like the only "controling parent" who "tries to shelter her kids"!! Kristen

Some Guy said...

So you're not a fan of Lord of the Flies?

Briana and Bella said...

We don't have Chuck E Cheese in Australia, I've heard of it though, on like Friends or something. I don't think we really even have anything similar!

TheOldestStudent said...

Well said, Tiff! Providing your children with boundaries is PROOF that you love them! You are looking out for their future, yes, but you are also helping them now, by helping them be the kind of kid that other kids want as a friend, and other parents allow their child to invite over. Also, kids need boundaries to feel secure, otherwise, they feel lost and alone.

Sugarplum Creations Blog said...

Wow, Yes! I could not agree with you more. CEC is the worst! I hate it with a passion, and seem to be able to steer clear of it for the most part. I think we've only been once. Unfortunately I run into these same parents you speak of everywhere else. Like, at the playground today, for example :)

CulyQFun said...

Wow, that was quite the rant...but then again I havent been to CEC with kids yet.
I will remember this post if we ever go or get invited to go.

the story of my life... said...

We went there 2 weeks ago..same getting into our parties gifts..I had to stay by Carter every second..Matthew's tickets stolen in 2 seconds..214 of them..
CEC..a place where kids get to be Hellains..

Tricia said...

HATE that place.

The last time we were there, two girls a few years older than my daughter followed her around just waiting for the moment she put the cup with her tokens down. Even when I commented loudly about kids attempting to steal from a five-year-old, they still continued. All while their parents sat a table away!