Did you know that they serve beer at Chuck E Cheese? Something about that just seems wrong to me. That, along with the crowd of smokers we had to walk past to enter the place (at least the inside is smoke-free). Granted, after about 5 minutes of screaming kids, assorted video game noise, and the Chuck E Cheese video displays, I can sort of sympathize with the parents who were drinking. I just hope they don't decide to crawl around the tubes with their little ones after tossing back a couple.
We took Charlotte out last night for an informal birthday celebration, along with her friend Gavin and Gavin's parents, S&P. The kids definitely had fun. The pizza's really not bad, and for $25, we got pizza, drinks, and more tokens than a 2-year old can use in one night. She rode all the toddler rides--cars and fire trucks, soemthing that looks like a green flying saucer with buttons that make cow sounds. She played the munckin version of whack-a-mole (no tickets, but it was her size). We got "sketches" made (kind of like a mall photo booth, but the printout is black and white and looks sort of hand-sketched), and she rode the photo-car ride. We tried some of the bigger kid games--helped her toss mini basketballs in the vincinity of the hoop, and attempt to net plastic ball "bees" into a honey pot for tickets.
She crawled through the tubes, and though I expected Gavin to join us, his parents weren't comfortable with him navigating them yet and weren't up to the task of following him around. *Shrug* We've been taking Charlotte through similar playground toys for probably a year or more--one of us goes with her, these days mostly for moral support since she can do pretty much all the climbing by herself. Though their tube-maze was better ventillated than the one at McD's that we usually stop at before long car trips, it had a definite eau d'kid sweat.
At the end of the night, we dumped our remaining tokens into a slotmachine-esqe game that gives tickets based on where the coins fall. For our efforts, she left with a pair of purple cheap-o pom-pons and a fake plastic ring (probably a choking hazard, but we've let her play with them before and she's ok). She got a balloon upon entering, since we were there for her birthday, and I'm surprised at the way it was put together. Instead of the opening being tied, there was a thin plastic tube used as a stopper. It is another choking hazard, and Charlotte kept sticking it in her mouth in the car trying to help blow into the balloon (she's been fascinated by inflatable toys)--I finally had to remove the thing and tie it by hand to keep her from eating it. Maybe if I were more motivated, I'd write a letter to the restaraunt's management complaining about their handing out choking hazards to little kids--I'm sure it was some kind of "time-saving" device to make inflating lots of balloons faster.
You'd think that Charlotte would have been sound asleep by the time we got home, but alas, no. She was apparently too excited to go to sleep easily, and then refused to wake up this morning for daycare. Apparently I'm raising a party girl.