My whole family took a little trip to a fun center out by my parents’ lake house this week. The venue had a ton of options including laser tag, trampolines, bumper cars, an escape room, glow in the dark golf and a big arcade. We spent the first twenty minutes trying not to trip over each other while chasing glow in the dark golf balls around the second floor. While doing so I learned two things – my golf game does not improve in the dark and my daughter has not outgrown her poor sportsmanship phase. She makes Happy Gilmore look like a the Dalai Lama. She took about a hundred swings and picked up her ball more than once, but the lights were out so apparently nobody was supposed to see her shenanigans.
While we were checking out the arcade games we noticed a group of adult men hanging around. They were playing an arcade game as if there were valuable prizes on the line for winning. I don’t know if they had perused the prize center, but it was mostly landfill and sugar. Maybe they were anxious to get their hands on a pillow shaped like a giant turd for 2,000 tickets.
As we watched these grown men walk around the place talking to groups of young boys playing games, offering advice on the best way to get their name on the winners board, my parents discussed the probability of them being pedophiles on the prowl. I was ready to agree until the largest of the men turned around and I saw his face. It looked as if someone had taken a sharpie to him after he passed out the night before and etched a thin handlebar moustache on his cheeks. He was also wearing what appeared to be a Captain America t-shirt that only covered the top two thirds of his beer gut. I questioned whether or not a pedophile would try to draw that much attention to himself. Then again, I have seen news stories of some criminal who got caught robbing a bank due to the surveillance footage of a giant tattoo on his forehead reading “thug for life”.
Jumping on the trampoline was fun but I was quickly reminded that I am a middle aged woman who should not jump around like a teenager unless I do more kegel exercises. Every time my feet hit the floor I peed my pants a little. Some activities really should have age limits. This was one of those times I would have actually appreciated a sign to protect me from myself – specifically one that read “caution! jumping may make you wet your pants”.
Laser tag was mostly me hiding in a corner trying to outsmart my husband as he chased Riley around in the dark. I heard screams of “don’t shoot me daddy!” from across the room so of course I went to her rescue. She apparently takes laser tag even more seriously than glow golf. I hugged her as she sobbed into my blue flashing vest “Daddy just keeps shooting me. It’s not fair” which really meant “I”m not winning and this game sucks”. I promised to help her sufficiently destroy her father before the game was over. We attacked him from both sides as the door to freedom opened.
We decided it was time to leave when we reentered the arcade and found Snidely Whiplash chatting up a couple soccer moms and their kids. We cashed in our tickets and stood around the counter as my daughter tried to decide between an emoji ball and an unnamed toy that was basically a tube of slime. She settled on a blue slime tube. I watched my daughter trying to ram her entire fist through the center of her new toy while walking to the car, and I realized what all the creepy old dudes were turning in their tickets for. This little unnamed prize was actually very similar to a sex toy for men. I guess the family fun center really does offer something for everyone. If we ever return i’m not going to argue if our pile of tickets turns into a sparkly unicorn poop pillow.
I wrote this while listening to The Melvins.
The other night I told my daughter we were going to church in the morning because it was a holy day of obligation. When she argued that it was a weekday and not a church day I told her we were going to celebrate the virgin Mary. I explained that we have all kinds of celebrations for Jesus but just this one day for his mother who was so important. She asked “will there be cake?” I guess it’s not a proper celebration without cake in her mind. I almost lied just to get her to comply, but I knew that would somehow lead to me actually purchasing a cake, so I stuck with the truth.
When I shared this story with my husband his reaction was “I’ll go to church with you if there’s cake!” Now he is sending me photos of cake ideas. He’s going to be really surprised when he comes home to find 24 cupcakes with rosaries on them. He forgets it is summer and I am home with a small child all day – we have nothing but time. So for anyone who didn’t celebrate the Assumption with a little cake after mass – you are doing it wrong.
Like most seven year olds, my daughter is obsessed with YouTube. She has been interested in filming videos for a few years now and I have told her that she can make videos, but I refuse to let he open toys, play with toys or otherwise promote toys in videos. She has settled on cooking, even after many attempts to bribe her to do more Logan Family Band videos. I guess my music skills are really that horrific.
In addition to wanting to make videos, she loves watching YouTube. There is a family from Arizona that she recently discovered that makes a variety of videos. The kids are cute, but watching the parents makes me crazy. The dad has a cheesy frat boy arm band tattoo and I really need the mom’s number so we can talk about getting her some eye cream. (Side note – selling skincare makes you look at everyone with a critical eye. You want to save everyone from their wrinkles.) I have also made a mental note to stay behind the camera in these future YouTube videos so as not to attract the same kind of snarky criticism I am internally dishing out to all of the adults on screen.
The thing is, my seven year old wants to emulate whatever YouTube channel she is obsessed with for the month. Last year she was consistently watching a girl who face painted, so my whole family had their faces covered in neon hues on a weekly basis. She even called her grandparents over to be victims. My daughter does not have what you would call a light touch. Her application process is similar to patching a hole in drywall. After having their faces nearly torn off with scratchy brushes and being doused in glitter we sent them on their way back home, reminding them they may need to swing by the local party store for a bottle of water on their way. I waited patiently by the phone for a call from the police station or mental hospital that night. My mom did call later asking for the best technique to remove glitter from my dad’s ear hair.
The channel she is watching now has a variety of skits that take place in a classroom or a hotel. She has focused on the hotel and has, herself been pretending to live in a hotel for the last few days. It started with us driving to my parents’ house to “check out the resort”. We decided not to stay after we found the staff relaxing in the pool and booked a room at Loganland. My husband’s roles have included manager, chef, bellhop and concierge. I have been asked to play a guest (of course!) and the MAID. Seriously, does this child not know me at all? She has watched me destroy two vacuum cleaners and clean an entire room with a wet one, yet she cast me in this role. We also may need to have another talk about equality of the sexes since her reasoning for casting me in this part was “you’re a girl”.
My husband is really getting into his parts. He is accepting room service calls, cooking to order and basically delivering anything requested by his guests. He is even answering questions like “what is on the activity schedule at the resort today?” I think he may be taking it a little too far though. Last night I told my daughter that I had requested a wake up call from the front desk so she wouldn’t be late for camp this morning. I was awakened by my husband saying “this is your wake up call!” at 5:30 am. My alarm was set for two hours later. He was promptly driven away, confused by my annoyance. He thought I was serious when I requested that he wake me up in the morning. Now I am asking does my husband know me at all? I never thought I would need a “safe” word for playing a make believe game with my child.
I am a little concerned about some of the amenities this resort offers. I have never stayed at a hotel that insists on complimentary cuddles at night from the manager. I think that would warrant a bad Yelp review at the very least, if not a restraining order. I do enjoy that they let us roam around the hotel in our underwear and help ourselves to the pantry at all hours. Their snack selections are a little lacking though.
At this point I’m pretty confident we could turn our home into an AirBNB rental if we ever needed an extra source of income. I’m sure it would be more lucrative than my daughter’s blossoming career as a YouTube star. I’m guessing the complimentary cuddles would earn us some great reviews. Hopefully my husband won’t figure out that this was all just a long drawn out ploy to get him to serve me breakfast in bed.