Thursday was Jake’s birthday, the big 5! Since Abby turned 1 on Thanksgiving, we actually had their party together last weekend, but on Thursday we still wanted to do something special for Jake so my husband said we should take him out to dinner. When we asked Jake where he wanted to eat for his birthday dinner, he said McDonalds (I love that he is a cheap date). I pressed him for another place and he said Burger King (he is sooo my kid).
Ed suggested (to me, not out loud to Jake) that we take him to Chuck E. Cheese. I literally shuddered when he said that, and I shuddered again when I wrote it just now. Chuck E. Cheese encompasses everything that makes me uncomfortable. Noise, germs, a creepy costumed mouse and mobs of loud, sticky children all under one small roof. But eventually the idea of how much Jake would enjoy the things that make me cringe, won over and I gave him a hint.
I asked him again where he wanted to go for his birthday dinner and he said, “McDonalds.” I said, “are you sure you don’t want to go where a kid can be a kid?” I watched as his wheels started turning and he realized what I meant. I’m sure you can guess what he said.
So we took him to Chuck E. Cheese. And it wasn’t that bad. Yes, some kids were rude, and yes some parents were ignorant but Jake had a blast and even Abby enjoyed it. The lights and the sounds had her in a trance from the moment we got there. I survived unscathed, and I didn’t have to yell at anyone’s kids, give dirty looks to any parents or punch the mouse. I’m still a little creeped out by the fact that they had carpet in some areas instead of wood flooring – imagine what is growing in there!
On the way home we had the following conversation as Jake finished the pink lemonade he had gotten with dinner.
“Did you know they have free refills on soft drinks at Chuck E. Cheese?” (the way he said soft drinks was almost like it was written: soft. drinks. like soft was an adjective)
“Yes, free refills on soft. drinks. Is ‘Mist’ a soft. drink, Mommy?”
“Is pink lemonade a soft. drink Mommy?”
“Yes Jake” (trying not to laugh)
…a pause – I thought it was over…
“Is Pepsi a soft. drink Mommy?”
“So, pink lemonade, Mist and Pepsi are soft. drinks Mommy?”
…another pause…and by now Ed and I are laughing
“All of them are soft. drinks?”
“Yes, buddy they are all soft drinks.”
I’m wondering if the word soft had him confused and he was trying to work through it. He was probably thinking that all drinks are soft…or at least not hard. The way he kept saying soft. drinks though was hysterical.
So everyone survived unscathed but I do have a word of advice.
Don’t order the breadsticks.
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