It's that time of year again. Y'know, when the weather is a constant shit show (bar a few glorious sunny and freezing cold days when you can let your kids loose in the park) so you have no other option than to wear them out at your local Jungle Gym or whatever they're called these days. I woudn't know because I'm one of those Mums. The Mum Who Won't Take Their Children To Soft Play aka party poopering snooty mum.
We've only ever been twice. Once was to a birthday party at the cutest soft play cafe in Bristol when Lil was almost one (that was lovely) and to another one that was full of shitbag older kids running around with their snotty noses, knocking the smaller kids over (that was not lovely). Lil got sick the second time and I vowed after that experience never again. And I bloody well stuck to my word.
Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge her from having fun but we can have fun doing other stuff that doesn't result in her having norovirus because some idiot has let their kid run riot in soft play when they really should be at home in bed not sharing their germs. Does this make me sound like a germophobe freak? Well I don't care.
I have a long list of things I'd rather do than go there, in fact, and it looks like this:
1. Do arts and crafts. Even if it means finding glitter in my bra and getting my hair stuck to my face with PVA glue (don't ask) whilst watching her colour outside of the lines (PAINFUL).
2. Bake cookies that turn out to be disgusting and pretend I love them because Lil made them and be forced to eat a whole plate even if I feel like I'm going to barf.
3. Make my own Jungle Gym using my really lovely, expensive cushions (note to self: wait until they leave home to buy more lovely, expensive cushions).
4. Watch Dora The Explorer back to back for three hours straight. Hola, Soy Dora etc etc. And don't judge, thanks to Dora my kid can now speak Spanish.
5. Pluck my bikini line. Has to be less painful than enduring Monkeybizz.
6. Empty the pan cupboard and let her make her own drum kit.
7. Let her paint my face (read: cake face paint on that sometimes stains my poor, sensitive skin).
8. Let her do my hair (read: rip it out).
9. Let her empty out every box containing toys or Lego or Playmobil all over the floor knowing full well I'll have to tidy it up and end up cutting my foot open because fucking Lego.
10. Play out in the rain. Because that's not so bad y'know. It' s certainly more fun that piss smelling soft play.
Does this make me a mean mum? Probably. But there are some sacrifices kids need to make too and in this house it's Jungle Gym.