Monday, September 17th, 2012
If there was one thing I swore I’d never do as a parent it was to go to a Chuck E. Cheese.
So it is with great sadness, mixed with a feeling of failure and deep depression, that I find myself confessing. Yes, I’ve been to hell and back. I’m not proud.
The day started out so promising. Fia, Teddy, Courtney, and I were going to a waterpark. Yes, one of those places, as Courtney pointed out, we could get a flesh-eating disease. Luckily none of us had any open wounds (though it probably wouldn’t have stopped me). Fia and I had gone a few times to this place and had a blast. Plus, I was so excited about the chicken nuggets I had dreamt of them the night before.
Being silly non-California girls, we made the mistake of not checking to see if a waterpark would still be open in, oh, 100+ degree heat. I mean September is the hottest month out here. Why would one NOT be open?
We got stuck on the freeway with a tractor-trailer turned on its side, but remained optimistic. What should have taken 30 minutes took more than an hour. But the refreshing urine-filled water awaited.
We pulled up to the parking lot and not a soul was in sight. A big sign told the awful news. “Raging Waters Closed.” Huh?? We had our swimsuits on. Towels and snacks packed. And two toddlers waiting to get wet.
Well, apparently it’s only open on the weekends once the thermometer hits 100 (or when school starts again, which happens simultaneously). Makes a whole lot of f–king sense. I panicked. Courtney–ever the level headed one–went into action. Google. Google more.
“There’s a Chuck E. Cheese nearby!” she exclaimed. I looked at her in horror. Then she confessed that in New Jersey she had reached desperate measures (who doesn’t when you move there from Brooklyn?) and had taken Teddy to one.
Teddy started shouting with glee, “Chuck E. Cheese!” Fia joined in even though she had no idea what she was cheering about. My body began to fill with dread.
Ten minutes later I found myself in a parking lot in Covina, California in 110-degrees. Friends, this is what it means to hit rock bottom in motherhood. If you’ve been to one of these places, then you know what I am talking about. Bad pizza, tickets that get you crappy toys (made by children in China), a giant mouse walking around, and dare I say, on all the rides there must be staph. At least a waterpark has chlorine. The one upside was the central air. The bottom of our house has no a/c, so I tried to bask in it. If there’s such a thing as basking at a Chuck E. Cheese.
I felt dirty. I still do.
These are the sacrifices we make as parents. This is why being a mom is truly the hardest job in the world.