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25 Things Parents Think at Soft Play

Posted on 7 Comments 5 min read

I

n retrospect…

… I should probably just have titled this post ‘Things I Think at Soft Play’, shouldn’t I? Because there can’t be THAT many other parents out there worrying that they’ll be attacked by a bunch of angry plumbers when they leave, can there? Like, two or three AT MOST, I’m sure?

Here are some things Ithink during a typical trip to the local soft play centre, then…

Kids soft play centre

01.

OK: my child has wrecked my home, and everything in it. It’s all gone. There’s nothing left for us here, so let’s just get into the car and head to soft play, so he can spend some time in a place where he can’t break anything. And also  so I can spend some time in a place I don’t have to clean up afterwards.

02.

Soft play: maximum capacity, 359. Maximum parking spaces: 5

Soooo, I guess we either wait for someone to leave, or we just turn around and go back home, then?

03.

Wait! Here are 28 empty parking spaces, all reserved for the plumbing business next door! I think Ima just park in one of them, and if the plumbers try to complain, I’ll just offer to come and work for them, to make it legit. Because surely a lifetime of plumbing in toilets will be totally worth it for the 45 minutes of relatively hands-off parenting I’m about to enjoy if I can just get into this bloody place?

Also, I guess the worst thing they could do would be to send me to jail, and at least I could sleep there, so…?

04.

Am such a badass rebel!

Am also crippled with guilt and terror.

Am obviously not cut out for the parking-space-stealing life: there’s just no way I’ll survive in jail, is there?

05.

Made it inside! Could cry with relief!

06.

Would also very much like to leave now, because OMG, THE NOISE. And THE PEOPLE. What was I THINKING?

07.

No, seriously: how soon can I reasonably leave?

08.

Would I like to start a tab? WOULD I EVER!

Oh no, wait: they mean for stuff like juice boxes and chicken nuggets, don’t they? As opposed to pornstar martinis and artisan gin, say? DAMN.

09.

Oh God, I forgot I’d have to remove my shoes. Where do I put them? What if someone steals them? And then I have to drive home in just my socks? Wait: am I wearing the socks without the holes in them today? Do they even match? What are you supposed to do if you arrive in ballet flats, or sandals, though? Would you just have to walk around in bare feet? What happened to my life motto: Never Do Anything You Can’t Do In Heels, For You Will Not Enjoy It? WHO EVEN AM I ANY MORE?

Who knew a simple trip to soft play would trigger an existential crisis in which I wonder whether I have, in fact, totally lost my identity to parenthood? Will I ever get it back, or will I now be doomed to journey through life as this hollow version of my old self? Ooh, is that a plate of curly fries being delivered to that table?!

10.

All of the play equipment is totally deserted, with the exception of the ball pool, which has 63 children in it.

Baby heads straight for the ball pool.

11.

Wait: why is he only wearing one sock now?

SOCK IN BALL POOL! WE HAVE A ‘SOCK IN BALL POOL’ SITUATION! WE’RE GOING IN!

12.

Both socks now in ball pool.

Baby is now barefoot, with his butt hanging out of his dungarees, which have popped open at the crotch due to his ball pool exertions.

All other children still immaculate.

Speaking of Other Children…

13.

Random child has now joined Max and I as we make our way around the play areas. Not totally sure how to deal with this. Don’t like to leave her to her own devices, but also don’t want to be creepy woman who tries to take someone else’s child round the soft play. DILEMMA.

14.

Problem solved when random child abruptly turns to Max and pushes him over.

15.

Valiantly pretending to be cool with the whole “pushing” situation, as don’t want to be known as the Neurotic Mum who freaks out when someone touches her prechus bebe.

16.

Totally am that mum, though.

17.

They’re making an announcement over the tannoy, but I can’t hear it because of all of the bloodcurdling screams still echoing around the place. Pretty sure it was either, “The building is on fire, please evacuate,” or “Will the ginger who parked in the spaces reserved for the plumber please come forward so she can be arrested,” though.

18.

BAAAABBBBEEE SHARK DO DO DO DO DO DO! BABY SHARK DO DO DO DO DO DO! BABY SHARK DO DO DO DO DO DO! BABY SHARK!

19.

I wonder if we can reasonably leave yet? Have been here for approximately four years now, after all?

20.

Nope: just ten minutes, apparently.

21.

I wonder how many calories you burn by repeatedly carrying a toddler up to the top of the slide, so he can slide down then want to go up again? 200? 400?

Checks Google: TEN.

22.

Still, I bet he’ll be so tired after this that he’ll have a really long nap!

(SPOILER: NO. Just 25 minutes.)

23.

Awww, look at how much he’s enjoying himself, though! Love soft play!

24.

Absolutely, definitely leaving now, though. Assuming no one’s stolen my shoes, and I don’t go outside to find 28 angry plumbers surrounding my car, that is.

25.

Also assuming I can catch my child and pin him down for long enough to wrestle him into his coat and shoes.

Back home:

BAAAABBBBEEE SHARK DO DO DO DO DO DO! BABY SHARK DO DO DO DO DO DO! BABY SHARK DO DO DO DO DO DO! BABY SHARK!

Later that night:

MUUUMMEEEE SHARK, DO DO DO DO DO DO! MUMMY SHARK, DO DO DO DO DO DO! MUMMY SHARK, DO DO DO DO DO DO! MUMMY SHARK!

In bed:

DAAAAADDDY SHARK, DO DO DO DO DO DO! DADDY SHARK DO DO DO DO DO DO! DADDY SHARK DO DO DO DO DO DO! DADDY SHARK!

Seriously, though: never going back to soft play again. No way. Never.

The next morning:

Child has once again wrecked the house. SOFT PLAY, HERE WE COME!

25 things parents REALLY think when they take their child to soft play

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7 Comments
  • Anna International
    March 1, 2019

    Ha ha ha! Your life motto is everything!
    And whilst I can’t attest to ever having upset enough plumbers to ensure we never have anything resembling a water supply ever again, pretty much every other thought has been there. And I would add the “what if I get stuck?!” perpetual concern! x

    • Amber
      March 1, 2019

      Oh God, yes – getting stuck is always a risk! I constantly have visions of them having to call the fire brigade or something to in-stick me from somewhere 😂

  • Brenda
    March 1, 2019

    When we used to go to “soft play” (I can’t remember what it was even called here in Canada, but it wasn’t soft play — it was something else but a VERY long time ago!) I was always freaked out about the GERMS. Oh, the germs! Then as my kids got a little older, I was more freaked out about their food allergies to dairy and nuts. Did another kid eat ice cream and not wash their hands? Or did their mom bring a peanut butter sandwich and allow them to run around after? Eventually, I just gave up. I couldn’t handle the thought of my kids having an allergic reaction and a trip to the hospital.

    • Amber
      March 1, 2019

      Oh no! Max doesn’t have allergies, thankfully, but I’m convinced soft play is the reason we all keep getting sick this winter – I try to wipe our hands etc when we leave, but I’m guessing there are still a lot of germs getting through! 🦠

  • Amber DeSadier
    March 1, 2019

    OMG this was so hilarious. As a mom of a two and a half year old… I totally get this. Also, we don’t have any soft play centers here, not like that. ~sighs~

  • jen
    March 6, 2019

    Absolutely absolutely love this post, made me laugh so much on the commuter train like some lunatics, unfortunately it resembles our life at the moment too…..xxx

  • zoe
    April 27, 2019

    Great blog post, very funny!

    Yep, same kind of thoughts went through my head when my little boy was a toddler.

    x

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