This is what my son Logan called Chuck E. Cheese when he was 3 and he was not fond of him at all. Now he is 9 and well over that but the nickname stuck and that's what we all still call him. So when I spoke up yesterday and said we could go see The Big Smelly Rat, excitement was in the air. I had this coupon for the place or I would never have suggested it because I'm not a huge fan and as I tell the story you'll know why. (if you don't already) So the coupon was buy 40 tokens for $10 and you get 40 tokens free! Woo hoo! So how long does it take for 2 boys to blow 80 tokens? 4 HOURS!
Time is a funny thing in a place like this... it seems to evaporate. I couldn't believe we had been there that long, although I was truly done with it by the time the tokens began to run out. I was still holding both the boys tokens, why you ask? When they are old enough to hold their own damn cups? Because they kept spilling them everywhere and I got tired of stopping to pick them up and bending over to look under the machines because they were sure that one or two of them rolled underneath. The boys did have a great time and it made me very happy that I could find something cheap to do that would keep them busy and happy for that long. All the games only take 1 token each. (no wonder we were there 4 hours!) But it is nice that they don't have to motor through so much money as fast like the some of the other places. The problem comes when they are down to their last token (Oh no!) and have to make one of the biggest decisions of their young lives - what game is worth my very last token? Well, Logan decides on Skee Ball (one of my favorites) which was fine until he only got 2 tickets off the game. Logan - "Oh great, my last token and all I got was 2 crummy tickets!" Me - (holding about 300 tickets already) "Hello, can we just be happy that we came here, we've been here all day!"
Holden chose a bowling game that he became very fond of. Well by this time the place was packed and I was so ready to leave that I was doing the happy dance in my mind at the notion that this was it, the last token! So at this point we were waiting in line for this bowling game and Holden was next after this little girl. Well her little sister comes running up to her as she was finishing up. She was probably about Holden's age (4) and she was hovering there as her sister finished the game and slides in right in front of Holden. Oh, hell to the no she didn't! I'm telling you I almost became one of those parents that make headlines "Mom attacks 4 year old child over a line cutting incident at Chuck E Cheese." I could envision my mugshot as I sat there holding myself back from taking action. Well, karma worked in my favor because as she slid in and put her token in the machine she couldn't get it to work so she runs off to find her dad and in that moment Holden who wastes no time himself jumped up and put in his LAST token and started the game. (That's my boy!) So the dad comes back with her and I just calmly state that Holden was in line next and she could go after him. He was clueless so Holden finished his game with The Hoverer hovering over him as he played. He seemed fine with it so there was no need for me to intervene at this point. I was just satisfied that she didn't get her way the 1st time. Terrible? Maybe but that's the way I felt and I stand by it. I don't care how old she is!
So now you know why this isn't my favorite place. Children running amok, taking over and parents, most of whom are oblivious that their children are little bullies. Not all of them, I know. Mine are perfect! Ha, at least I believe they are! They may not be "perfect" but they are damn close. I have to say, I was very impressed at Holden, who was gracefully allowing the brat to take his place in line(until she botched it - ha ha). He showed much more tolerance than I, that's for sure!