Last weekend was a doozy. On Saturday night I went to my oldest friend’s champagne-fuelled party, then on Sunday I took my youngest to a birthday party at an indoor trampoline park so she could go feral and scream with about a million other children. We walked into swarms of kids, mood killer fluorescent lighting, over zealous helicopter mothers, loads of grumpy under-caffeinated dads and a sonic nightmare. The birthday girl was in heaven and her mother and I were certain we’d died and gone to hell.
My friend paid $130 for three kids to jump and climb for two hours. Fork! What happened to jumping off the garage roof?
An assortment of families gathered, made up mainly of these key players:
Mothers who didn’t want their over-sugared kids touching other children or any unsanitary surfaces
Bewildered grandmothers who didn’t understand why they were not just opening a pass the parcel and blowing the candles off a home made cake in the backyard
Toddlers too young to be there being run over by sugar fuelled 12-year-olds on a mission to escape their parents
Dazed grandpas who parked the car, did what they were told, then pretended to be deaf
I was the hungover mother dribbling on the plastic table, absentmindedly dunking my lukewarm chips into my friend’s coffee
Then my girl and her little friends decided they wanted to climb the walls.
There’s nothing I like more on a Sunday than to be greeted by pumping techno music and too cool for school teenage staff who don’t like to explain the workings of the safety harness more than once. In my decrepit state I watched as competitive dads scaled the walls, pushing their kids out of the way. The kind of dads who have their own Instagram inspo-fitness accounts. I closed my eyes as my gal climbed to the ceiling then abseiled down the wall again and again.
One of the day’s highlights was being told off for bringing fresh fruit into the ‘party zone’ by a spotty assistant manager.
As a former children’s party entertainer I despair that our kids are growing up thinking the only place to have fun is a climate-controlled, germ-filled noisy concrete bunker. We could simplify our celebrations and bring back egg and spoon races at daggy parties with our neighbours, a few marshmallows and a homemade cake, in the glorious seasons of Mother Nature, but instead we’re working to pay for experiences our kids don’t really need.
“Going so soon? I wouldn’t hear of it. Why my little party’s just beginning.”
Wicked Witch of the West – The Wizard of Oz