Let me start out by saying that I have heard the stories.
I am fully aware that there have been instances of children barfing on the landings and children running shoeless or on their hands and knees through it.
I know that there are guardians of children that permit their children to bring their food into the play area and then it is smashed all over, and again children are walking and crawling through this food.
I am aware that there have been said instances of leaking diapers, smearing down the slide.
And I'll admit it. Up to this point I have taken my children to this fast food establishments and have permitted them to enjoy the wondrous playhouse.
Never was there an incident.
Ok, so I have been a bit paranoid about the germs and have them use antibacterial hand gel when coming and going through the playhouse. And yes, even if the table appears clean, I clean it first with a wipe, then with some antibacterial spray, and then with another wipe. And then have them eat off of mats made of napkins. I am a big fan of disposable place mats. But who can remember to a.) purchase them and then b.) bring them?
Alright, maybe you can, come get your Mom of the Year trophy.
Let me preface this story again with what led up to our journey to this what will go unnamed establishment for kids meals and playhouse.
We had lost the remote for the Blue Ray Player once again. Knowing that it was somewhere downstairs being used for a phone, and or put away hastily in the wrong spot, I refused to look for it. This has happened like 15 times in the past 3 months, and instead of getting aggravated and going on a mad search through the downstairs. I simply pronounced, 'whomever finds the black remote gets to go on a trip with Mommy to _________.' ( the unnamed fast food establishment) They shared this with everyone, such excitement. But for some reason this went on for 3 weeks. I still refused to look for it. I get agitated when looking for needles in haystacks. I really do, and I know that there is some mental issues in regards to that, because it is more agitated then necessary, however, I simply refused exacerbate this said mental issue, and said, 'good luck my friends, may the best child win.'
So my friend Sue watches the darlings for us on Monday afternoons while I go and get my weekly spa treatments. Not really, wouldn't that be something though, to actually say that with no qualms about it? Really she is watching them while I go to work until my love gets home from work. I explained to her that they can watch a movie, but will have to endure all of the previews and then you will have to push stop and then play again to get past the main menu, because the remote is lost. The offspring chimed in, 'and whoever finds the remote gets to go to _________ with just Mommy!!!!!!!!!' I seriously think they thought that one day it would just jump into one of their hands because they did not once go on a mad search for it, but their enthusiasm over the prize was huge. I don't really think they got the whole concept.
Amazingly the next morning they proclaim, 'we found the remote!!!'
'Who found the remote?!?!!'
'We found the remote!!!!'
'You found the remote at the same time!??!'
'Uh....yes, we found at the same time!!'
'That's amazing, so you both get to go with Mommy!!'
Such good story tellers.
Later after egging the situation on with such praise and compliments, you know, 'I just can't believe you both found it, that is just so wonderful, I am just so happy for you, you surely deserve this trip,' and things of that nature, Kendall comes to me all guilt ridden.
'Uh Mommy, you know um, well, Sue actually found the remote, but she said that we could both say that we found it so that we could both go to _______.'
'Hmmm, well since you were so honest Kendall, and you know Mommy is all about being honest and telling the truth, I think it is only fair that we go, since the remote has been found and Sue wanted you both to go for her.'
We will later address the situation surrounding the prompting of my children lying with a write up, Sue.
So we're there.
I want to first point out my initial annoyance which typically occurs in said playhouse.
The age parameters completely being disregarded.
It annoys me to no end that guardians permit their grown children to play in the playhouse. And they aren't just walking around nicely minding their size and the tiny children underfoot. They are storming through there playing tag and wrestling and pushing and shoving and being all loud.
If they are an older sibling helping the younger sibling navigate the house, well then, I will let them and their kind heart slide.
But this rarely occurs and I just want to say that if you are old enough to read playhouse rules, you should not be in the playhouse.
I'm just saying.
So they play, we get the food, we call them to eat, they shovel it down, ask to play again.
At this point a foul stench begins to overcome the playhouse eating and playing area.
To the point where people are coming in with their food making a funny face, scrunching up their nose, and walking out.
And you know when you are in the smell you don't really notice it all that bad. But Andy who is walking in and out and is the roving reporter when anything is going on definitely smells it. And when Andy knows there is something going on that is affecting everyone around him, he always chimes in, always. He seriously should be on CNN or something.
Andy has me checking Jake's diaper, but it isn't a poop smell, and I really can't smell it all that bad, I haven't left the area, but the diaper was all clear anyway. Andy then has me smelling his feet. Picture: Me leaning over while husband props up foot and me again, sniffing. The things we do. But no, it isn't that either.
Then the crew walks in to 'inspect' the area. They have a mop and their noses, they scan the area like the freakin scent is going to jump out at them and say, 'here I am.' They pronounce they don't see anything, and walk out. You know, perhaps some air deodorizing spray might work in this situation, again I am just saying.
Ethan then walks up to me to tell me something crucial. It is that 'I can't believe this just happened,' face. It is half smirk, half amusement, half astonishment. These are typically great comments.
'Mommy guess what? I just farted like a super big fart and it's so loud in here that I couldn't even hear it!
'That's awesome E, but since you told me, can you still say excuse me?'
'Uh yup, 'scuse me.'
I suppose this was his first experience with the 'don't ask, don't tell,' policy regarding passing gas in public. If they don't know it was you, don't draw attention to it.
And I like couldn't even smell it either.
So then of course he has to use the facilities, and Andy is like, 'that's it we're out you are going to have to hold it E.'
And you know little boys and holding it? Yeah, not gonna happen.
So we run to the bathroom, he is dancing his I have to go to go jig, as I cover the seat with tissue paper. He says his normal line, and I can pretty much recite it as I know he will proclaim it every time, so that all females in there will hear that this wasn't his idea. 'Uh Mommy, it is ok for me to come to the girls room, even though I am a boy, because you are with me and I am too little to go to the boys room by myself, and there are strange people in there when I am not with Daddy.' I think he means strangers, but you know, people are strange too. You've heard the stories.
Then we walk back walk in and the smell hits me and I want to literally vomit. I grab one of the kids sweatshirts to breathe through because you need a gas mask of some sort. I announce, 'pack it up, we are getting out of here this is so gross!!!' And the smell is like dirty socks that have not been washed in seriously five months. You know the ones that have been sitting in the bottom of a gym locker after a serious sweat for the entire school year. And there are children who clearly can read, running through the playhouse at top speed. The culprits.
I tell Kendall that we are going, she is aware of what is going on, not sure where the smell is coming from and says, 'well if you want me to I can check the slide, maybe someone threw up in there, and I can go and tell the workers if I find some in there.'
I thank her for her sacrificial suggestion, but that we will be leaving before that can occur.
We rush out the door breathe in the fresh air, well sort of, it still smells like fast food, you know that fry and hamburger smell that encompasses the establishment in a one mile radius? But it ain't that terrible smell from the playhouse.
I announce, that that is it, we are never going in that dirty place again. No more playhouses at fast food places ever!
They both say, 'yeah that was super smelly gross! But we can go through the drive thru?'
And they have a point.
I mean who can never ever again have fast food fries?
*And I would like to point out also that with us that evening was a 10.5 month old who ate his entire Kids Meal... we're talking four nuggets, a small fry, and a juice box. He is no joke in the food department.