Monday, 17 March 2008

The Bad Parenting Chronicles: Episode 4

In our humble corner of England named Huddersfield the government have just funded a place called 'The Zone'. The idea behind this is that they're trying to get all the lazy, junk food eating, PlayStation playing kids activated. That's why it's situated in one of the less than lovely parts of town where kids that fit the category are sadly the norm. But nonetheless it's done in conjunction with local Football team (Huddersfield Town) of League 1 fame, (don't let the 1 fool you, that doesn't mean they're good, sorry Rob!) and the local Rugby team (Huddersfield Giants) of Super League fame, I can only guess this is to add an air of credibility and a bit of eye candy for all the mum's as they watch the teams train. The Zone has a learning zone, a dance zone, a sports zone and a play zone. Now the play zone is the largest of its kind in the UK according to the website, but it's new so therefore clean so we went to check it out.

It was huge, three storeys of slides, tunnels and soft play! It was the best workout I'd had in a while I can tell you. The major challenge of it being so big when you've got two toddlers in tow is keeping everyone safely together. After a while Thomas thought it be fun to go up all three storeys and down the biggest slide of all, a blue twisty tunnel one that went all the way back to the ground level. I agreed it looked quite fun so we set off working our way upwards towards the slide entrance. It was such a long way that halfway there Thomas started complaining that he couldn't climb unassisted blah, blah, blah. So then I had to help him and Eli through all the obstacles to reach the summit. Which wasn't that big of a deal until we got to a part where I had to leave one of them and help the other and come back. So I took Thomas up to the next platform and returned for Eli who had disappeared. I tried to call him back but I could see he was happily working his way back down towards the ground. Thomas was now on the second storey and unhappy that I'd abandoned him to collect his younger brother. So I figured the best plan of action was to go to Thomas and quickly go up to the next storey and down the slide and probably make it to he bottom pretty much the same time as Eli. Perfectly easy plan.

If only it were that simple. We got to the third storey and saw the entrance to the slide. To get to the slide we had to walk over a bridge made of mesh. No big deal right? Well through the mesh you could see all the way down to the floor, three whole storeys down. I went over trying not to envision myself falling to my death (I have a wicked fear of heights you see) and beckoned Thomas across. He took one look down and completely froze. Suddenly it didn't seem so much fun to my three year old. At this point I was more concerned about Eli wandering around alone three levels below unsupervised. So like any good (?) parent would do I practically pulled Thomas across the mesh bridge at which point he was shaking involuntarily. I knew after the mesh bridge trauma that if I went down the slide first he'd just stay at the top recovering from his ordeal and I'd have to go all the way back up again to collect him leaving Eli wandering around alone even longer. So I did what I had to do, I made Thomas go first. Now before you judge me Thomas is a child who simply loves slides, any slides, and always has. So I was convinced when he hesitated that it was all down to the mesh bridge near death experience he'd just encountered. So I sent him down the slide and before he was even out of my view I could hear his cries, all the way down the swirly whirly slide increasing in volume despite the fact he was getting further and further away. Clearly all my parental instincts told me to jump right on and go after him but I was concerned that I'd plough right into him at the bottom so had to wait until I heard the hysteria move from the bottom of the slide. At this point I was very apprehensive, if my slide adoring child didn't enjoy it I knew I certainly wasn't going to.

I didn't enjoy it particularly and felt incredibly guilty the whole way down for forcing my child to endure the dark, twisty hell slide. But there he was at the bottom still crying like a child who just found out the world ran out of chocolate or something equally as terrible. We hugged and he cried and I apologised approximately 6000 times. Need I tell you that after that he showed no interest in the twisty slide again? Which frankly I am relieved about because my bladder just isn't up to a repeat experience anyway.

1 lovely comments:

The Hamilton's said...

Awww! Poor Thomas! But what else were you going to do? :-)