“Children may be deductible, but they’re still taxing.”
So last week I got desperate. It had been raining non-stop all week, Rhema was home from school and out of her normal routine, and both girls were going stir crazy. They needed to go to that special place ‘where a kid can be a kid.’ So I did the unthinkable and took them to (gulp) Chuck E. Cheese.
As soon as we got to the place, the girls took off in opposite directions. I felt like a guilty boyfriend on a date with two women, running from one to the other, supplying tokens and assisting them onto rides.
I was buckling Hope into the Chuck-e-Derby when I saw a commotion near a basketball game. The game consisted of a big shoe in which the balls come down the front of the shoe and you shoot baskets into the top. Apparently Rhema crawled in through the opening in the front and was standing inside the “cage” area where the basket is.
Any time someone took a shot Rhema was there to happily catch their ball and keep it for herself. She was tossing up balls with a squeal of “Wheeeeeee!”. She was like Air Jordan with a couple of dunk shots and some serious hang time from the rim. (That’s my girl!)
I climbed up the outside of the shoe in my most dignified manner (- we had an audience.) And, while balancing on shoelaces, I lifted her out.
Then Chuck E. Cheese himself appeared. Rhema’s eyes widened with delight as she ran over and held up her hand for a high five. I have never seen such good eye contact and attention from her as I do when a furry, life-sized character is involved. I was amazed at how interactive and engaged she was. Hhhhmmm, I’m thinking I need to don a big, gray mouse costume and ask all of her teachers to do the same.
I had to ration Rhema’s tokens because she loves slots and likes to go around inserting her tokens into every slot she can find. She lives by a what’s-yours-is-mine philosophy. If she saw that all the horses on the merry-go-round were occupied she’d simply climb on the back of some poor child’s horse… or better yet, that child’s back. If she saw a baby’s unoccupied car seat, she’d settle in and make herself comfortable. She was instantly attracted to an old lady’s walker because it had a small basket on it – just perfect for sitting in while pushing yourself across the room.
Not long into our adventure, Hope predictably began sneezing a lot. She had been exposed to some sort of allergen and was having a mild reaction. Hope and I sat down, I wiped her nose between sneezes and gave her some Benadryl. I kept an eye on Rhema bouncing around, but realized after several minutes that I did not see her.
I did spot a family of four at a booth across the room. The mother, father and two children seemed frozen and all had bewildered looks on their faces. I looked again, and there sat Rhema in the booth with them, contentedly chowing down on their pizza and sipping their soda.
She hasn’t learned all her manners, but, clearly, she believes in sharing.
I rushed over with apologies. Rhema had finished off half a slice of cheese pizza, and the mother graciously offered me the remaining portion. Never mind the major gluten and casein infraction… I fought the urge to giggle.
On our way out of the land of 25 cent fun, I bought myself a big bag of blue cotton candy. After putting the kids to bed, I tore into my cotton candy like a madwoman. Lots of blue sticky goo on my cheeks and fingers and in my hair.
It was mind-numbing.
It was euphoric.
Yes, friends. Why Mama Eats Blue Cotton Candy is my version of Why Mama Drinks.