Hard Times At Soft Play


Hungover and feeling battered, I considered heading out to the parkrun this morning and leaving my wife to fend for herself with the kids, but I was much too crapulent and ended up staying in bed until 8:30. Eventually I got upright and we took the children down to the local playgym, Playkeroo, a somehow marsupial themed chaotic mess of trampolines, slides and balls.

Oh, the balls.

In particular, there’s one bright pink ball, the same size as a small gym ball, that every child in the facility is obsessed by. There are at least twenty different balls in the place, but there is only one pink one. And they can’t play together with it – if one child gets it, they batten onto it with a limpet-like grip, refusing to cede any ground to anyone else. Our friends’ kids were at Playkeroo too, and their son was clasping the ball, looking warily at a girl a couple of years older than him who desperately wanted it.

Then her younger brother ran over and shoved her. She started to cry, and her mother scolded her for crying. Then her younger brother shoved her again. Her mother smiled at him and told him not to push, but in a particularly weak way. Boys will be boys, after all. So he shoved his sister again, and this time she pushed him back, and then a blast of rage was unleashed on her by her mother, while I stood there gaping at the hypocrisy of it all. And I was really too hangover to deal with my own children being anything less than angelic, let alone anybody else’s.

I’ve also given up coffee since Tuesday, and today was my first day without sweets, and I have a nasty rash on my back which threatens another bout of shingles. So all things considered, this doesn’t look like a very promising start to the weekend… No more jazz though. No more jazz. And no more biting.


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