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.