Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dante's Arcade

I went to Fantasyland last night. Now before y'all start snickering to yourselves, know that Fantasyland is a family amusement center, a local version of Chucky Cheese. My friend, whom I love dearly, had her kids' birthday party there and four of my critters were invited. The sheer noise, lights and frenetic energy of the children assaults the senses like a rabid squirrel on Red Bull.

I suppose they call it Fantasyland because The Fourth Circle of Hell would have been too much to put on a neon sign. Don't get me wrong here. I'm not mad at my friend, whom I love dearly, and I'm not upset that we went because the kids had a wonderful time. Let's just say I'm writing this as a public service announcement.

The party part was run by the Fantasyland staff like a well organized military maneuver; out with the pizza! out with the juice! away with the dirty plates! out with the cake! out with the ice cream! clean up! clean up! clean up! tag the kids and release them into the wild gaming area!

Out in the gaming area, my two older ones went off on their own and I walked around with Tater and the Maniac Baby. Our first stop was skeeball. Now among Bo's many talents, he's got killa skeeball skillz. Had he been with us, I'm sure we would have won enough tickets to get the crock pot (only 6,350 tickets!). Alas, these skills were not inherited by Baby. His first throw barely made it up the ramp. So mommy showed him how to put a little more muscle behind it. His next throw bounced off the edge of the game and nearly took out a kid two game tables over. After I sheepishly retrieved the ball, we collected our tickets and moved on to the indoor rides.

The boys chose a rocket ship ride; the kind that spins as the rockets go up about 15 feet into the air. The look of pure delight on Baby's face was a joy to behold until Baby decided to get up on his knees and start fiddling with the seatbelt latch. Fifteen feet up in the air, my kid looks like he's about to parachute out of the jet without the parachute part. Meanwhile the ride operator, Lindsay Lohan I think, was too busy flirting to notice my boy. So there I was trying to yell above the din, "SIT DOWN!!!" and all Baby does is look at me and yell "Hi Momma!" Luckily, the ride ended and God is good.

The next ride Tater wanted to try was the Ferris Wheel. I really don't like those things. Something about being trapped high up in a swinging gondola just doesn't seem right. However, given Baby's theatrics on the previous ride and the rather inattentive staff, there was no way I was going to let Baby and his brother go by themselves. Besides I'm a sucker for Tater's smile. Wouldn't you know as soon as we get on the ride, Tater assumes the airplane crash position and I'm stuck trying to fake calmness AND keep Baby from leaning over the edge and addressing his adoring public. It was one of the rare occasions when I said to myself, "Bo owes me for this."

We moved onto the bumper cars which, thankfully, Baby was too young to ride by himself. Since only two could fit in a car, my friend, whom I love dearly, took Baby in a car with her and I rode in another with Tater. I could have sworn I heard Baby fuss at my friend for not letting him drive.

We spent two hours and I don't know how many tokens in order to earn enough tickets to purchase...Dum Dum lollipops. Not even the big Blow Pops; the Dum Dum ones that are consumed in 4.65 licks (you're surprised I counted?). One mother on line at the prize counter confessed to purchasing 500 tickets for $12 so her son could get the prize he wanted. I think the three inch heels she was wearing explained why she didn't want to spend the time to earn those tickets. A quick calculation taught me that I'd have to spend $152.40 in tokens before I could get the crock pot that normally sells at WalMart for $30. Not that I'm counting. After all, it's the experience right? No wait, it's for the children, right? No, it's for people who are bad at math.

After what felt like more than a night in Vegas, we left. I could only imagine what I looked like when I got home because my oldest, Princess Buttercup took one look at me and said, "Oh Mama, sit down and I'll rub your feet." When I closed my eyes two hours later, I was still hearing the noise and seeing the lights.

This morning, my boy was telling me about the tickets he had earned and what he had purchased. He added, "When we go back, I know exactly what games I'm going to play to get more tickets."

When we go back?!?


GE is me said...

WHEN WE GO BACK?!?!? It will be a VERY COLD day in hell! How much do you love me??? I think I counted at least 3(maybe more) whom I love dearly's! your darling baby whom I love almost as much as you do, didn't fuss at me for not letting him drive. I did let him drive, he was just too short all the way around~ arms & legs to drive too much. :) btw~ Thanks for still loving me. I AM truly blessed to have friends like you.

Bill said...

ok.. so this was not one of our brightest ideas. Next year something really quiet.. Do I hear library party?

Maria said...

My daughter LOVED hanging out with your two oldest. I am also not in a hurry to go back. The children are currently helping me relive the experience by making inordinate amounts of noise and racing around. I can't wait for bed time. Maybe if I offer them dum dums they will go quietly to bed?

Kelly said...

We went there once with Meagan's pre-school, and I still have a residual headache.

Bo said...

The Domestic Goddess loves me best because she let me stay home.

MaryEllen said...

Bah hah hah! I can so see my boy doing every single thing Baby did! Yep. Quite a year for boys, '06 was...