Tuesday, 18 July 2017

ARE YOU THE FELLOW PARENT IN THE BALL PIT? | SOFT PLAY

There are two types of parent at soft play. The cup of tea drinking one and the parent that can be found on the play equipment wishing they were the ones drinking the tea. I fall into the latter category. 


Jack absolutely adores soft play. His face lights up when I mention the local soft play centre. The thought of running through the ball pit, climbing the stairs and coming down the huge wavy slide makes him very happy. My face however does not light up in the same way. For me soft play is something that as parents we tolerate for the love of our children.
In actual fact, I'd prefer to be outdoors at a playground rather than in the busy, warm soft play centre. However since I place my son's happiness higher than my dignity - off we trundle to soft play. 

I sit watching other parents drink a cup of tea whilst their child runs around the soft play area. When will I be able to do this? It sure as hell isn't now. I don't even get to sit in a chair. Actually I lie. I sit on a chair whilst I take my shoes off. In fact I'm surprised I'm not charged a higher fee for entry as I seem to make full use of the play equipment. 


Jack is three years old. However, he is short and needs help getting up some of the stairs within the play area. He also needs help in avoiding being knocked over by the older child that usually takes over the under 5's area. That by the way is one of the reasons I don't like soft play. When your child is tearing around knocking other children over, put your cup of tea down and keep an eye on your child! I do realise you have probably done many years of accompanying your child on the play equipment but spare some thought for this mama who is usually battling her way through the ball pit or pushing herself down the slide. There is always a fellow parent on the soft play equipment. I usually pass them going through a tunnel or attempting to slide down a fire pole. Maybe next time I see you, I should say hello. I'm sure soft play would be more fun with fellow mum/dad friends. 

I don't hate soft play and I can see why my son adores it. I just wish they would make the play equipment parent friendly. Widening the slides would be a good start.


I'm sure that one day I'll be the mother drinking tea and having a chat with friends. I'll look across and remember the time where I got my quota of daily exercise at soft play. No doubt I will miss playing with Jack in the ball pit. The smile on my little boys face when we go will be something I never forget. I'm not sure I'll miss trying to climb over some of the equipment though! 
 It may have looked like I was training for an obstacle run but I assure you I wouldn't pick here to do it. 

Until then,you'll find me in the ball pit. Just don't ask me what else is in there.



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