Well, Mother Nature gave it to us. Snow and cold temperatures have been here all week and school has not. I think I’m one of the few parents who LOVES being stuck home with my kids on snow days. We stayed home Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. So by Thursday morning I was ready to get us all out of the house. I loathe indoor play places due to germs, but weighed that with having kids who couldn’t burn off energy outside due to dangerously cold wind chills. I find that indoor play places are best right when they open. Off we went bundled up in the van to escape for a few hours. We arrived and as I sat there watching my kids run, jump, and slide…I also observed the other caretakers. Some of us fall into multiple categories…
Spot Grabber – This parent typically arrives early to claim a good table. “Good” is relevant to age of children, number of children, number of adults, etc. This matters much more to parents who actually get to sit and stay seated at the table instead of having to join in on the “fun”. Those parents want a table with a view.
Leave-Me-Alone Parent – See above. They arrived first, claimed their spot with a view, and now wish to be left alone with their books, magazines, and iPhones.
Martyr Mom – She either is already babysitting half the neighborhood or offered to load everyone up…by herself. She arrives with 25 kids in her care. The mothers she left behind owe her…big time.
Even-the-Kitchen-Sink Mom – She brought it all. The hand sanitizer, the water bottles, the snacks (she claims a table far away from the counter to secretly feed children the snacks out of view). She’s got it all.
I’ll-Pay-Anything-Just-To-Get-Out-of-the-House Mom – She brought nothing. She’s handing out dollars right and left for drinks, snacks, and what-the-heck-let’s-just-stay-for-pizza lunch.
Dads – Moms only brought them or sent them to entertain the kids. If mom is there WITH dad…she becomes the Leave-Me-Alone parent. See above. Dads love the climbing, sliding, and being-a-big-kid stuff. And it shows.
Grandparents – They hover. They worry. They never lose an eye on the kid. No matter the age. Not for one minute. If their own kid is with them as well, they still continually ask, “Do you see Johnny?!?!” The parent often becomes aggravated with the grandparent. The grandparents leave more exhausted than the kids.
Mom Huddles – The look of joy when their own “mom-playmate” arrives? Priceless. It’s yes-now-we-are-in-this-together written all over their faces. Somewhat like the Leave-Me-Alone-Parent, but they just want to be left alone to chat about the latest mom gossip.
The Bouncer – If the indoor play place has separate areas for separate age groups, she’s the one with kids in both areas. You see her bouncing back and forth trying to keep an eye on everyone and keep everyone happy at the same time.
Wannabe Mom – This poor mom has kids that are too small to be left unattended. She despises the Leave-Me-Alone Parent and the Mom Huddles. Because she is running all over the place chasing her toddler that isn’t quite big enough to do anything without assistance. Leaves almost as tired as Grandparents. Cannot believe DAD didn’t want to come along or had to work. You see a bit of frustration, turmoil and/or sadness in her face. She wants to be glad she got out of the house, but it was so much work just to get there and even more work while there. Does not realize how close she is to graduating to Leave-Me-Alone Parent.
That Mom – The one who is there playing along with her kids every minute. And loving it. You have to wonder…did she just pick them up from being at Grandma’s the first half of the week? Or does she really have that much patience and energy?
There are definitely other categories..who did I forget?
Where do you take your kid(s) when it’s too cold to be outside, but you still have to get out of the house?