Thursday, August 18, 2011

In praise of Padded Cells

You know those days when you know from the first second that opening your eyes is going to be a bad idea and as for getting out of bed? 

Forget it. 

Today was one of those days. The house looked like it had been torn apart by wild monkeys due to a slight glitch in our going-to-bed routine the night before and my Beloved and I were snarky even before the sun rose. 

By the time the playroom had been deconstructed (courtesy of the Sprocket) and the firewood and half a cup of milk transferred to the kitchen floor, (also courtesy of the Sprocket) and the Sprocket had decided to run and hide behind the back shed just when I had the Poppet in the car and the bags packed, making us late (well, later) for gymboroo, I was thinking fondly of padded cells. 

Either for me or for the Sprocket, I didn't care which. 

And then I remembered. 

There are actually legal padded cells for toddlers. 

And their fraught parents. 

They're called 'Indoor Play Centres'. They cost an arm and a leg by the time you add snacks and drinks and they don't let you bring your own, but they have bouncing castles and pits full of balls and slides and climbing frames and mini cars and dress-ups and kid-proof gates. 

They sell hot, caffeinated beverages. 

Everything is padded. 

They are the best. 

The Sprocket dressed up as a dinosaur and bounced in the big blow up castle. He followed the big kids around slavishly. He wriggled and giggled in the pit of balls. He climbed right to the top of the climbing complex and grinned and waved down at me. I didn't have to use my 'I am very disappointed in your behaviour at the moment',  speech.  I remembered why I completely adore him. 

We stayed there all afternoon and now the Poppet and Sprocket are soundly asleep and all I can say is thank-you padded cells, I love you. 

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